Well the day started early, I had to pack, pick up my camera and be at the airport by midday. I’m damn glad that I have a habit of leaving slightly too much time, as it took me a nerve wracking half an hour to find my passport.
Other than that the morning went suspiciously smoothly. I met up with the guys at the airport at exactly 12, they in turn had left at exactly 8, got to Matt’s at exactly 9, and arrived at airport parking at exactly 11. All according to plan. It seemed to be too good to be true. Turned out that it was. The flight was delayed. Not by long I’ll admit but it was still a mar on our perfect record of time keeping.
Greig also got searched going through the metal detector at departures, something that would become a theme of the holiday. We all got searched by customs coming into Budapest, but then a group of four likely looking lads have got to expect that!
We had to wait about half an hour for the minibus to take us to the hotel but that all went smoothly.
After plonking our stuff in the rooms and possibly checking out how many of the TV channels were in English, the matter of food quickly became an urgent one.
The receptionist at the desk provided us with a map and the advice that the nearest metro station was a 15-20 minute walk and we could get into the centre of town from there.
Now the problem with something like an underground transport network in a foreign country is the complete confusion that foreign language signs can produce. By a sheer stroke of luck, an American lady tried to ask Matt a question in Hungarian (also a theme of the holiday). She very kindly told us how the system worked, where to get off and the location of some likely eateries.
This put us in good stead.
Seeing as it was our first night in a country where we didn’t know one word of the language, it took us a little while to get into it, so we ate at an American theme bar.
One of the waiters there provided us with a map and info on a local beer festival that was taking part on a bridge and some good areas to goto for bars and general night merriment.
Things were going well!!!
By the time we got to the festival it was basically packing up, so we got a beer from one of the few remaining stalls and considered our options. We eventually decided to go to a late club called the ‘Citadella’ (I think). What we didn’t quite realise at that point was that the citadel was at the top of a steep 140m hill. After some very nervous climbing on dimly lit paths we finally made it to the top.
Knackered as we were, it was certainly worth it, the views over Budapest at night from the Citadel were absolutely stunning (and I imagine they still are).
The Citadella turned out to be an outside club with a DJ and a live saxophonist and guitarist. Very very cool.
Eventually get decided that waiting for the metro to open again in the early morning was a very bad idea and got a taxi back. Was only 4000 Forints (roughly £12).
First day was a cracker!! What too look forwards to tomorrow?