Last Thursday myself and 23 other people went on a trip to Budapest to celebrate the Senior Section Spectacular.
We left Gatwick at 9:45 where we went to armadillo for breakfast, I had a chocolate and Chorizo Benedict, and arrived in Budapest around 12:45. Our transfers picked us up and took us to our accommodation. We stayed in the Maverick City Lodge which was like an upmarket Youth Hostel. The rooms were lovely and the staff were really helpful telling us how to get to things and where we could find things to do in the four days we were staying.
Once we had settled into the hotel on the Thursday evening we went for a wander around the local area, we found a street food market where we had dinner, we found a Tesco where we stocked up on water for the rest of our stay and we found the Ruin Pubs. For dinner I had the most delicious Four cheese pasta. We then headed back to the Lodge where they had a Goulash tasting evening, which is a traditional Hungarian dish. It was so delicious!
On the Friday we got up bright and early for breakfast, which was slightly minimal and there wasn’t really much variety. We then went on a wander and found a sightseeing bus tour which went around the city, we saw St Steven’s Basilica which was a gorgeous building and the first stop on the bus tour, we also went over the Elizabeth Bridge and the Chain Bridge to the Statue of Liberty and the Citadel which is the highest viewing point in Budapest. On the tour we also went past the most Gorgeous synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the City. We got off of the bus at stop 22 to go and claim our free pizza from the voucher booklet we got from the bus company.
On the Friday afternoon we then visited the Szechenyi thermal bath, passing Hero’s Square on the walk. The baths were incredible and so relaxing after a long day on the bus! We spent three hours at the baths and then went for a wander to find some food for dinner. We ended up going back to Fat Mama which was the restaurant attached to our hostel. The food was delicious. After dinner we tried Palinka, a Hungarian shot, and then four of us visited the Ruin Pubs for a cocktail.
On Saturday we went to the biggest market in Budapest with over three hundred stalls. The atmosphere was incredible and the smell of fresh fruit it you as soon as you waked in through the doors. At the market I found presents for my family back at home. We then had a Picnic in the gardens outside the market.
After lunch we found a bus to go up to the Castle. The bus didn’t go all of the way up to the castle and we had to go up on the Funicular Railway which provided gorgeous views. It was a beautiful building with a museum on its doorstep and some cafes and shops the other side. Victoria and I went for a look around the shops and then sat on the grass outside the castle and were lucky enough to the see the changing of the guards not once but twice.
That evening we went on a dinner river cruise which was a wonderful experience. On arrival you were given even a glass of Champagne or a soft drink. The food was buffet style and there was so much to choose from. Within the price you also got a glass of wine or a soft drink and a bottle of water. There was live entertainment throughout the evening from a String trio, two violins and a cello.
After the river cruise we then all headed to the ice bar where the over 18s got one cocktail and the under 18s got two non-alcoholic drinks within the entry fee.
Sunday was meant to be our last day so we got the bus to Margaret Island, where we had lunch, paddled in the fountain and went on a failure of a bike ride as there were four of us on one bike, two people would pedal and two would sit in the front. We did crash a few times but for beginners I would say we were quite good.
We then got the bus back to the hostel where we went back to the street market for dinner. This time I chose another traditional Hungarian dish Langos, which is like a flat doughnut with sour cream, cheese and meat stew. I really enjoyed it. We then headed back to the hostel to collect our transfers to the airport.
After waiting for three hours at the airport for our delayed flight home we were then notified that our flight had been cancelled. This led to us then sitting in an airport until half past four in the morning whilst EasyJet tried to find a way to get the 24 of us home.
We were put in the Mercure hotel in Buda until Tuesday when we were meant to start our journey home.
On the Monday we all slept in late. In the afternoon some of us visited the stunning Opera house and went on a tour which finished with an incredible five minute Aria. Before our tour at 5pm we visited the Opera café were we could have a drink and either Opera cake or Chocolate torte. The Opera house was amazing with the auditorium decorated in 24 carat gold. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside unless we paid extra money, but I would highly recommend that you visit this place if ever you go to Budapest.
After the Opera house we went on a quick shop to find knickers, as most people had run out, and then headed back to the Hotel for dinner. EasyJet had given us a set some of money for dinner but it was not enough for a meal and a drink so the leaders ended up subsidising our meal and told us that we could have three courses and a drink. I had a glass of white wine. To start I had Consumme with Chicken wrapped in cabbage leaves, for a main I had seafood pasta and for pudding I had Chocolate Soufflé.
On the Tuesday morning six people of our group , me included, who were meant to be flying to Basel and then from Basel to home, were ready to be collected by the transfers that EasyJet had organised. The transfers were late and then would not leave the hotel until all 24 people were in the cars, meaning we were all late to the airport and 18 people would be sitting around until 17:30 waiting for their flight.
On arriving at the airport one of the girls who was a minor in a wheelchair was separated from our group and checked in and then rushed to the gate, four of us were not booked onto the correct flight and one was not booked onto any flight at all! We then had to rush around to find the other five people who were on the flight, luckily there were two over 18s on the fight, and send them to the gate. One girl missed the flight as security would not let her through quick enough, I did not get on the flight and I was not on the flight I was meant to be on.
This then meant that we had to make sure the 18 girls that were left were on the flight to Berlin and then flying to Gatwick from Berlin the following morning. One girl who was meant to be on the Basel flight had run out of insulin, we had to take a leader off of the Berlin flight and leave her in Budapest so that the girl who missed her flight could fly home and we had to put the leader who had no flight onto a flight.
We finally made it to Berlin where we stayed in the intercity hotel overnight, it was a five minute walk to the airport. At half past four on the Wednesday morning we walked to the airport so that three girls and the leader could check in. One girl went to check in and EasyJet had taken her off of the flight so we then had to wait half an hour for her to be put back on the flight.We got all the way to the boarding gate and I handed my boarding pass in only to find I had not been put on the boarding list. This caused another half an hour delay and I was finally put on the flight.
I absolutely loved Budapest and really enjoyed meeting loads of new people but one thing I have learnt from this trip is that I will never use EasyJet again!!!
Blog you later