Travel: Budapest, Hungary

Well, if there’s one place that I disliked on first sight and then grew so fond of it, this is Budapest. One of my favourite places to be. I think that Budapest is one of the places that people either hate or love! There’s no middle ground… Me? I absolutely love it…!

My first time there was back in September of 2008, for my first trip abroad, and first project meeting, for the Organic.Edunet project. I still remember that I missed my plane from Athens and had to pay for a new ticket to get to Budapest the next morning. Fresh faces, people that I hadn’t seen before and the grim atmosphere of a project meeting.

I still remember that I really didn’t like anything that I saw from the airport till the Flamenco hotel (!) that I stayed in (including the hotel). Of course, after the first day of the meeting, I got to walk around and stumbled across things like the following, that started to change my view of the city…

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I still remember the first business dinner I attended, where to my surprise I was also knighted! It was a silly game of dare in the Sir Lancelot restaurant (oh God, the food!), where I sang a song to a beautiful lady from our consortium, and then was awarded knighthood for my courage…! How about that for an ice breaker? How about that for a first experience for my first time outside Greece and my first project meeting dinner? Nice?

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After this, I travelled back in Budapest another three times, in 2009, 2010 and 2012, always for project related events, from conferences to winter schools and project meetings. Always having a blast, creating memories that up to today I hold close to my heart. And, as almost local at the time, I would visit Sir Lancelot restaurant each time I was there, for the apparent reason shown in the next photo…

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I still remember the nice long walks along the river and also within the Budapest castle. And of course I remember the second time that I was kind of put in the epicenter of attention, when I was appointed the cook for the entire room, being forced to cook something I barely remember..! (see photo below, me in the chef’s hat)

Budapest is as familiar for me as a childhood memory. Tied with smells and images from my first trip, Budapest will always be something sweet and familiar in a way that no other city can become now. I really hope I can visit Budapest, sooner than later but in case you get there first…

Without further ado, my top eleven for Budapest!

  1. Sir Lancelot (pricey but lots of food!)
  2. For Sale Pub (unique, interesting, tasty)
  3. City Park (huge!)
  4. Buda Castle (must!)
  5. Vapiano (Italian food with style!)
  6. Gellert Bath (one of the best baths around)
  7. Yellow Metro Line (the oldest in Europe)
  8. Fatal Etterem (low prices, lots of food!)
  9. Aquaworld (biggest indoor park in Europe!)
  10. Caving (interesting)
  11. River Ride (Bus in a river. What’s not to like?)

Till we meet again Budapest! 😉

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