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…
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?
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…
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!
- Sir Lancelot (pricey but lots of food!)
- For Sale Pub (unique, interesting, tasty)
- City Park (huge!)
- Buda Castle (must!)
- Vapiano (Italian food with style!)
- Gellert Bath (one of the best baths around)
- Yellow Metro Line (the oldest in Europe)
- Fatal Etterem (low prices, lots of food!)
- Aquaworld (biggest indoor park in Europe!)
- Caving (interesting)
- River Ride (Bus in a river. What’s not to like?)
Till we meet again Budapest! 😉