Thursday, December 13, 2007
We’re baaaack! We had an amazing time, Budapest is breathtakingly beautiful. For those who are as daft as me (probably not many of you, here’s some information about where we went.
I’m a bit of a nervous flyer – I wasn’t always so but when I was about 17 I developed some large cysts in my lungs and there was a danger of them popping (which many years later they did. Repeatedly). I was told at this point going up in an aeroplane may in fact make them pop and cause my lung to collapse, but that hopefully they were stable, and the only way to tell for sure was to fly. So that first flight (as I’d be damned if I was going to not go on holiday ever again due to something that may or may not happen) was a pretty scary one, and I think dented my confidence.
However the flight to Budapest was fine. I have to remember I have healthy lungs now that can cope with high altitude and cabin pressures, and after about the first 20 minutes I stopped saying “are we nearly there yet” with my eyes squeezed shut and began to relax. I even managed to doze, woohoo!
We arrived late afternoon so ditched our bags at the hotel and went straight into the centre. It was nightfall by now, and all the streets were decked in Christmas lights as we walked towards the square where the famous Christmas markets would be. We stopped at the first stall to grab a glass of mulled wine and wandered through the little Christmassy kingdom full of jostling crowds. The stalls were beautiful and so brightly coloured; candles of all different shapes sizes and colours piled high, hand made Christmas decorations of dried fruits and nut shells, painted, glittered and sparkling, scarves of every colour and pattern imaginable, large wooden huts with the most delicious smells coming from them as steaming bowls of soup were served to hungry shoppers.
Made a tad hungry by all the scents of food, we sought out a restaurant and found ourselves climbing down a winding staircase into a dark high-arched tunnel filled with candles to get to a restaurant in an old converted wine cellar. Hungarian food is very good – there’s loads of choice, a key speciality being of course the famous goulash which we had more than once. I may or may not have eaten far too much during our few days there.
We also ensured that we visited the Spas that Budapest is so famous for. The first one was my favourite as they had outdoor baths there, so you’d sit in steaming hot water with the icy wind whistling over your head. It was so surreal and rather magical, especially as dusk fell.
We saw all the main sights, sampled as much food and drink as we could (I even tried the local pear brandy which was pretty good, says she who knows absolutely nothing about what brandy should or should not taste like). I may have bought a few clothes too. Oops.
Whilst there I thought quite a bit about this time last year. A and I always try and get away for a few days around Christmas and over the years our destinations have got increasingly closer to home. In 2006 thanks to the Chloe Janet Ball trust I took A to a luxury hotel in London. It was such a different experience, we were overjoyed that I was merely well enough to “be” in the hotel, and spent pretty much all the time in the room, with me sleeping intermittently, trying constantly to catch my breath with my oxygen machine as high as it would go. It’s fantastic that we appreciated and enjoyed that small but significant break so much, and I think experiencing that end of things made this honeymoon even more special.
I realise I am now beginning to waffle therefore shall close with a few more pics. Enjoy!
The tunnel to the restaurant.
It's a Hungarian Tram behind me. I got a bit excited.