Day 1. Ice Skating At Heroes Square

January 4th 2020

Usually Mother Deer is there to show her kids where to go… But this time, Bambi has discovered his feet on ice for the first time.

Lauren and myself woke up at 5am. Unfortunately, for my Parents, they had to do the same as our chariot awaited to take us to Edinburgh airport. Waving them off at the security section was a bit obnoxious seeing as we will literally see them on Tuesday, however, we are a tight knitted family, so it is expected.

We got through security fairly easily, then headed into duty free – which is like entering paradise – to then walk into the stacked lounge. We decided it was a good time to fill our stomachs – Wetherspoons!

A can of Irn Bru and a Sausage butty went down nicely to start the city break off with a: “Mmm tasty”

Our Ryanair flight was supposed to depart at 9.15, but something delayed it to about 10.05! I guess, this was the best time to experience my plans falling apart with each passing late-moment…

Before the flight, I downloaded the latest edition of WWE SmackDown to watch, so that during the flight, I could be ‘Sports entertained’. It was actually a decent show to kick of the New Year, with; fun matches, returns and much more.

This flight felt like it was just up and down (even though it wasn’t). By the time I watched SmackDown and gobbled my caramel nibbles, we were getting ready to start descending. Landing into Budapest airport was foggy, over farmland and I guess far away from the actual city itself.

Getting through Budapest airport was actually not too shabby and we managed to work the ATM too. The currency is a bit confusing though, however, I’m sure we will figure it out over time.

We had already booked our airport transfer and once we managed to find the meeting area, I tackled 2 birds with 1 stone and picked up our Budapest passes. The cards that are helping us get into places for free and use public transport as we desire.

The drive to the city centre was quite scenic, with factory style buildings, churches, train-lines and much more. One thing I already realised from this journey was that the architecture here is beautiful. It is like the city was influenced from India or the Middle East but with a European twist.

Once we where placed in the big bad world. I put my hat and scarf on. The weather wasn’t too bad (time was around 3pm) but still needed to wrap up regardless.

This is supposed to be “Lost In Travel” however, perhaps it should be called “Lost No More In Travel” as we managed to guide ourselves past mosques, a university, churches, a sex shop and other various buildings to reach Aldi’s.

After grabbing snacks, breakfast and a big packet of cola in this low-costing store, we headed round the corner to find our hotel.

We are currently staying in Hotel Thomas. It seems to quite nice so far. The room isn’t luxury but it does what it is intended to do. We also have a fridge, so that was helpful for cooling our juice.

Once we were organised, we set off from the hotel – this time in the dark Winter’s evening. Before leaving the hotel, you have to hand over the key to reception (security reasons, I guess). You have a card that you show them upon returning to gain access to your room again.

This was quite the pleasant walk. I wasn’t expecting Christmas lights to still be covering the streets, so it was delightful to walk past Christmas trees and whatnot.

This walk took us through Andrassy Avenue. A long stretch with trees dotted up and down. It was a calming walk.

One thing that we have struggled with so far, is most signs are in full Hungarian without a single translation. Which doesn’t help that it is a difficult language with many letters in words and a whole load of dots above vowels like this: ‘ü’. The locals though, have spoken a good amount of English.

Andrassy Avenue was like a race track to the end goal of Heroes Square. The Square of Heroes was insanely beautiful with big monuments taking over the square itself. It was a great place to take a photo!

Beside the Square, was some markets, freshly lit due to the evening period in full sail, a European style castle and a massive ice rink. I was expecting the ice rink to be away for another year at this point, so I was thoroughly surprised to see it.

The ice had dozens of people on it and it begged to question: “Should we give it a go?”

We had a wander through the traditional markets, having a nose at everything on sale. Crafts, alcohol, BBQ food, chimney cake (which smelled delicious, so I can’t wait to try them on Monday!) This led us into that castle – which was actually a museum.

Our belly’s were rumbling at this time, after all, the previous time we ate was at Wetherspoons… at seven in the morning. So, we decided to grab a hot dog in the markets, which to our delight was a tasty grab.

We decided to try out the ice skating. I was all in for it, but Lauren was a bit nervous. We haven’t been ice skating for years. My experiences with rollerskating during Starlight Express time though, heightened my chances of success.

We rented the skates and then headed off. Walking in skates felt strange, but started to become natural after a while. Going onto the ice was a struggle, we were a big ball of nerves and mixed emotions, but once we got onto the ice the biggest iceberg was behind us.

I eventually picked it up. Wobbling a little but getting pretty good. Lauren was improving with each passing slide too, so overall a fun and successful night. Lauren only fell once! She was a bit overwhelmed afterwards, but she should be proud of herself. What she just did was no easy quest.

What made this experience more spectacular is that it snowed down on us. The scenery behind us was also incredible. It was like being inside a snow globe!

It was getting late by this time (9pm) but I wasn’t wanting to end off the day without seeing the parliament building.

So, we took the 30 minutes walk to the pier and were impressed with the physical architecture of this building. I just wished the rain didn’t pour down on us rapidly, as I would have enjoyed getting more photos of this gigantic building.

The walk back to the hotel was a treacherous 40 minute trek. The Danube river was choppy, however, we were choppier. We managed to see the other side all lit up in its beauty. Teasing us for what we will do on the next day.

Finally, back at the hotel, we had our showers, gave our feet a well deserved rest and video called the Parents. We walked 14 miles, saw some amazing Hungarian sights and survived our first day in Budapest.

Overall, a successful first day.

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