I’ve finished the CELTA! We finished friday, in a somewhat anticlimatic style, nonetheless it was both a relief and sad!
Here we are, all looking exhausted! We did a mini Oscars award ceremony too, here’s my award:
“The award for ‘Feline Friendship’ goes to Emma for her ability to befriend a cat on every corner of Budapest.” Screw my degree, this is my greatest achievement to date.
We went out that night with some of our students to a pub, then we met our tutors at a kert and then went a very odd but entertaining Janis Joplin themed Irish karaoke bar! We stayed til 4.30am and by the end basically had the entire bar and karaoke choice to ourselves, between the 10 or so of us that stayed out we must have managed at least 15 songs.
My favourite was this rendition of ‘total eclipse of the heart’. Pure passion.
That friday my friend Louella also moved into our flat for a week, I paid to stay an extra week but she’s staying too so we halved it. Guille also moved in for one night because her rent ran out too, so, we had 4 of us in our little 2 bed flat which was fun.
On Saturday we went on a full sightseeing day. We started at Vaci Ut, a famous shopping street with lots of markets, restaurants and basically a load of touristy rubbish. It was OK, but it was full of Americans and English people (I didn’t come to Hungary to see that!) and brimming with tacky tourist stalls all selling the same thing. At the end of this street there’s the ‘Great Market Hall’ which was slightly disappointing to be honest, I was expecting a genuine Hungarian market, but it was also just full of tourist stalls and overpriced food. After this (we’d been walking for a while) we walked across the bridge to Gellert Hill
The market hall from the outside.
Gellert Hill is a HUGE MOUNTAIN, well, a massive treck of a hill with a very famous monument at the top that overlooks the whole of Budapest and memorialises the liberation of Budapest in 1945 by the Red Army (little did they know…). The hill looked absolutely massive so before we started off we stopped at a cute coffee shop for cake and coffee:
Except I don’t like coffee so I had this delicious strawberry white chocolate hot chocolate thingy! So good! Also, check out the amazing cake thing!
So, with full bellies and more energy we started the trek. It was only about half hour walk but it was so steep! The views on the walk up were beautiful. And here’s the top, somewhat obscured by trees, it was more impressive than it looks I promise:
After resting at the top and taking some photos we rolled back down. Not literally rolled, although that would’ve been nice.
That evening we went to a strange pirate themed restaurant near our flat. It was so awful! For a start, it tried to be really posh and upmarket (it was ridiculously expensive for Hungary, for tiny portions as well), Yet it was still pirate themed, what sort of customers did they expect to attract? Anyway, the food was really bad, I had some mushroom thing, the mushrooms were icy cold! They then told me they were supposed to be this way! Frosty mushrooms? So disgusting! So, that was a mistake. But we were all knackered from our busy day so we went home (via the shop for some snacks as we were still starving after the stupid restaurant) and watched a film.
Sunday was another full day. We started off by taking the famous cog wheel rail way up the hills into the Buda valleys. We decided to visit the ‘children’s railway’ which was so creepy! It’s this famous railway run by some scouts and guides association, and it is literally staffed by kids. So so eery to see children in conductors and train uniforms! Check out this little man working behind the ticket desk:
and the ticket collector:
And then at every stop they had kids saluting the train! It was really really creepy! I wonder if they get paid?
Eventually we got off this railway and took another trek up some huge hills to a chair lift at the peak.
We took it all the way back down to the bottom, which incidentally ended up being a five minute walk from our flat and we’d never realised! After this Louella and Jenny went to the Jewish District, but I’d already been so I went for a walk around Margit Island. Then we met up again and went to this incredible tea rooms place. It was just on a highstreet in a book shop, just like your average Waterstones. But you went upstairs, through a door and there was this:
It was so ornate and intricate and grandiose. There was even a pianist. I had some very odd lemony hot chocolate thing that I think I probably ordered by accident, it was like warm advocat. Nice nonetheless though.
So, that was my last weekend in Budapest. Next stop Vienna on Saturday. Then back to the UK on Tuesday, and then, eventually, hopefully, Hanoi!