Wednesday 8 January 2014

Budapest, Hungary: 8-hours trip turned 4-hours

No trip to Europe is complete without experiencing a train delay, well I experienced TWO in one day. My day trip to Budapest turned out to be a disaster or an adventure if you like. I woke up at 6.30am to buy the day trip train pass for 39 euros instead of booking a bus online because the train had an earlier timing so I could spend more time at Budapest. I took a nap and woke up to find that we were in Bratislava. That's fine but I realised that the air conditioning seemed to be switched off and quite a few people were hanging around at the platform. I thought this was just a rest stop so I remained in the cabin and waited.. and waited and waited. More and more passengers got off the train because it getting so stuffy and hot and people were getting puzzled as to why we stopped for so long. Then I overheard someone saying that the engine was overheated so they had to let the engine cool down. Feeling bored, I popped over to Tesco and bought a whole ton of snacks. I was surprised to find that they use Euros here (apparently since 2009 oops) but that was good for me because I didn't have to look for a money changer. Then I went back to the cabin and stuffed my face. Sigh, new year resolution is to stop snacking!! After a longgggggg wait, we finally left the station and reached Budapest at 2.30pm when we were supposed to reach at 11am. I could have taken the bus which reached at the same time and was cheaper. :/ The train station was really pretty though!

After changing currency at the train station, I took the metro to the city centre just in time for a Jewish walking tour. But it was rather boring and I'd rather go see the river. So I ditched the tour after we saw the Dohány Street Synagogue which is the largest synagogue in Europe and the third largest in the world.

One reason why I love Europe - look!! Random buildings I saw along the way are this randomly beautiful.

Buda castle which rests on top of a hill. I didn't have time to go up due to the train delay asdfghjkl.

Hungarian Parliament Building looks more like a castle don't you think? I wouldn't mind coming to work here. In a frilly dress with a lace umbrella and a bonnet. HAHA. Or maybe a gothic dress suits this place more? Hmm..

Széchenyi Chain Bridge sadly isn't an entirely pedestrian bridge. I love having the whole bridge to myself so I don't have to squeeze with the crowd on the tiny walkway.

I have no idea what these building are but I thought the orange building is so beautiful! The patterns look kind of Russian but I wouldn't know since I've not been to Russia (yet).

I was only left with half an hour before the train departs at 7pm so I rushed to Heroes' Square and popped out of the metro for like 2 seconds to look at the surrounding and snap a few photos. It was crazy. I reached the train station at 7 on the dot and finally managed to exhale when I was seated on board. But I watched train after train pulling out of the station and we were still not moving! Asdtsaqgckirw we finally left Budapest at 8+pm.

Enjoyed a good view of the sunset on the train. I love sunsets/sunrises, they are so beautiful and never the same even at the same place. I fell asleep on the train and when I woke up, we were in.... yup you guessed it! Bratislava. It was already 11pm! I was supposed to be back in Vienna by 10pm and even with the 1 hour plus delay, I should be approaching Vienna and not sitting in Bratislava. I knew my friend back in Vienna would be worried so I tried to send a message but there was no signal. This lady saw that I was getting frustrated so she offered to let me use her phone. :') so I called my friend and said that I'm safe but stuck in Bratislava. Then I sat down and waited. We pulled into Vienna at 1am and metros/buses had all stopped. I was thinking of staying outside the train station until the bus starts at 5am but a guy approached me and asked if I wanted to go grab a drink while I wait.. I was like err no thanks. Then he asked if I have a boyfriend. ALWAYS say yes unless you're really interested but I wouldn't recommend. Luckily he left after that. Another thankful thing is that there was still wifi outside the train station so I used a journey planner and realised I could take a night bus! So I decided to try my luck. Waited for quite a while before the bus came. I dropped at the stop that the journey planner suggested but I was at a traffic junction and nothing around looked familiar. I crossed my fingers and took a random road. Saw a girl and approached her to ask if she knew the way. She said I was heading in the right direction but she wasn't sure of the exact way to go there. I thanked her and continued on my way then I saw a bus stop!!! With a map!!! I managed to orientate myself and figured out how to get back. Once again, a map saved me. I got back at about 3.30am and took a nice long hot shower. So my day trip of 8 hours turned 4 hours but I was really thankful I reached safe and sound more than anything.

P.S. I think metro and buses in Vienna operate 24 hours on Fridays and weekends.


  1. These are great pics. I may reconsider this part of Europe for a visit. Thanks.

    1. Thank you! Hope you spend a lot more time in Budapest than me, it's a beautiful city.

  2. What a shame you only had a few hours to spend in Budapest. I was born and raised there and would gladly help with a fitting itinerary if you are ever considering a return trip. I'd also suggest to visit other parts of Hungary, as there are amazing National Parks, charming little towns, picturesque wine regions and lakes. You can find more info here
    Thanks, Viktor

    1. Yes I know! I really wanted to spend more time in Budapest. I'll definitely be back to visit the rest of Hungary. :) Thanks for the link!