Next day we were on the way to BUDAPEST for a two-night stop. We managed to see great views of the city and some amazing landscapes. We decided to utilise our free day and tagged along to a free walking tour to learn more about the history and general info of the city. Walking tours have been SO worthwhile when coming to a new place to get a good idea of what there is to see, places to go and food to eat. So at the end we picked the brains of our guides for worthwhile sights and excellent clubs.
Budapest is well known for the thermal baths and remained a priority for a lot of the girls on our trip. As I had gotten a lot of value out of my hammam massage in Marrakech I didn't feel compelled to experience more spas and instead decided to tag along with Ash, a history major, to see the synagogue and national museum. I'm so glad I did! The history of the places was amazing. The synagogue was part of the ghetto that had been blocked off in the Second World War. For seven weeks the people were not allowed in or out and were under the worst conditions. Because the cemeteries were all outside the ghetto the bodies were placed in the courtyard of the synagogue and when the ghetto was liberated they dug mass graves to bury the bodies. Those that could be identified had plaques places around and the rest were buried in 2 of the graves in the courtyard. It had actually become a gorgeous sight as they had added trees and vines to create a haven. We then learnt about the memorials that had been placed there and of the people who has housed Jews from the Nazis. I have learnt so much that I never even considered before on this trip! I was never much interested in history at school and we were only ever taught about the history of Australia and our impact on the indigenous people. Thanks to my history teacher Ashley I pretty much know everything that ever happened in history! Nah jokes, but at least know a little more.
Next, we went to the National museum where they refused to give us any kind of discount whatsoever and had a walk through the visual history of Budapest while my history lesson continued. We met up with the others at the markets that turned out to be a bit of a let down. We expertly made our way back to our hostel to inform the others of our proposed plan for the night. Being a Wednesday in Budapest we were hoping to find awesome clubs everyone would enjoy.
We all met in the hostel bar for pre drinks and being the stinges we are we had purchased our vodka separately and were just using the bar for their glass and ice supplies. So while I was waiting in the long line just for ice this Hungarian man started talking at me! Apparently he was a DJ but was staying the hostel and was clearly by himself. He then asked what we were doing and if he could come along… Weird. I said we were just doing a group thing and then he offered to get me a drink so I took the opportunity to make HIM wait for the ice and went to join my friends. Luckily we did make friends with this guy because I only had a vague idea of the places we were planning on going and he managed to direct us there perfectly whilst hitting on any girl that looked remotely in his direction. Buuuut you win some you lose some haha.
So the first place we went to was this cool bar that was really alternative and had weird rooms with old TVs and graffiti all through it and out the back was an outdoor courtyard. So we all went around investigating the terraces and spiral staircases and suspended motorbikes.. Super random. At one point this guy with a clearly European accent told me he was from America. So obviously I turned on MY American accent (which I had perfected listening to the girls on tour say 'seriously' NON stop and telling me I had a 'cute top') and started doubting whether he was even FROM America like I was. Haha.
So we left that bar and made our way to a club that resembled more a car park on one floor with extra techno music. But upstairs was an awesome rooftop bar with tables set up and big comfy chairs and fairy lights. We met these cool people from England who we automatically renamed into aussies- Dazza!!! One forgot my name and called me Veronica! Which then stemmed my crazy alter ego Ronnie, who was known for just being wild. Think that my usual self can be a little alarming to some new people and they kept exclaiming that they had never met anyone so crazy, when really I was just talking crap.
It was getting late, hitting the wee hours of the morning and my mates decided to go home so I gave them very specific directions home (first left, left, right, left and the hostel will be on the right) and I was to stay. Then I realised none of my tour people were left so two minutes after my friends departed I went to chase them down the road turning left, left, and right calling their names! And I was actually sprinting, I'm surprised I didn't catch up to them! Then I saw this woman and a man walking a dog so I asked if they'd seen anyone walking in that direction- which they hadn't… I was a little confused and flustered so luckily they looked up where I was going on the map. WHICH turned out to be in the complete opposite direction to where I was going!!! Can you imagine if I had just kept running?! Catastrophe. Turns out that we exited the other side of the building so the directions I gave would have been right from the entrance but wrong from the exit! Thankfully my new friends walked me back home safely and I made it back ok. PANIC over!
So next morning we were on the bus heading towards Vienna. We never really get much time when we are only staying in places one night. So by the time we get in in the afternoon we really just see everything on our bus tour of the city and then get a couple of hours. My mate Tori and I went along to a Gustav Klimt exhibit and saw his amazing works including the famous kiss. We raced around to that before the others went off to a schnapps distillery and I took a nap before our dinner and orchestra performance that night. We were treated to an AMAZING traditional Austrian meal before a two-hour performance of classical orchestra and opera. The best way to spend one night in classical music capital of the world.