Day 9: We started our day en route to Budapest via Easyjet. This was a great process overall...it's a discount airline, but everyone was still very nice (v. RyanAir). No horror stories here.
Budapest wins the award for: Cheapest City, Most Interesting Spa Experience, Most Beautiful City at Night
We arrived to Budapest in the afternoon and made our way to our luxury accommodations at Hotel Palazzo Zichy. This place was incredible! We wandered to a little area of outdoor eateries close to our hotel for a quick drink. WOW, we definitely got our money's worth here. It was a little less than 2 Euros for a liter of beer (compared to the 10 Euros we would pay at Oktoberfest). After having a few drinks, we were pretty hungry, so we walked to this cute Greek place - Taverna Dionysis. The food was absolutely delicious and they even gave Mallory and I roses :) We then walked along the Danube river for a while...Budapest is the stunning at night! Note to self: Don't drink the ouzo! I don't care if it's free, it's not worth it!
Day 10: Budapest is definitely the city of spas and we wanted to see what all the fuss was about! This was the day we went to the Szechenyi thermal spas, a Turkish bathhouse. I've had a lot of time to reflect on our trip here and I still can't decide whether or not I liked it. To start, you just need to go in with the mindset that you WILL see things you don't want to...yikes. (Mental image - 400+ pound guy in a banana hammock.) Beyond that, it was a nice, relaxing afternoon. It's definitely a way of life there. Putting that aside, the water is supposed to have healing properties. I'm a little skeptical considering Jason got sick the next day...but I'll tell that story later.
The pools outside
Hanging out in the baths
Later that night, we decided to walk around to see Buda Castle, Danube River banks and the Parliament building at night. It started to POUR on us, but we were persistent. We grabbed a quick drink and waited it out. Once the rain let up, it was absolutely gorgeous! After the trek up to the castle, we walked across the famous chain bridge and made our way to Borkonyha Winekitchen for a cheap, wonderful meal.
Us and Parliament - right before the rain started
Parliament building on the Pest side
Running across the bridge - windy and COLD!
Overall thoughts on Budapest: It was a little behind the times. The subway system, while functioning, sounded like it would break down any second. There are young people EVERYWHERE...it seemed like the youngest city we visited. Also, the roads are insanely confusing and I'm glad we didn't rent a car here! While it was fun, I think we were ready to head to Germany for Oktoberfest.
Up next though, our short day trip from Munich: Salzburg, Austria!