Category Archives: Hungary

On the outskirts of Budapest, about a half an hour drive from the centre, lies Memento Park. It is a memorial park where they’ve gathered different statues from the communist period. They come from all over the country and give you a peak into Hungary’s history. You can wander around the statues by yourself, or you can go on a guided tour. I opted for the all inclusive package. Every day at 11AM, a van leaves for the park from Deak square. I was greeted by our guide and found a spot on the van. We drove towards the Buda side, while listening to some information and communist songs. When we arrived, there was some free time until the tour started. Our guide took us around the park for 45 minutes, starting at the front, where a big tribune with two boots on it stood. The boots used to be…

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If it’s really too hot to dance, make it work! Instead of sweating in one of Budapest’s ruin clubs, I decided to try a Sparty, or a party in the famous Szechenyi bath. As four girls who had no clue what to expect and were somewhat embarrassed to dance in our bikinis, we went shopping for some clothes that were allowed to get wet. Then when we got there, nobody had that much clothes on, apart from the creepy guys wearing suits. Seriously, what are you doing in a pool party? So we went along with it and jumped into the pool with our drinks. Empty cups were floating around and people were smoking in the pool. It was a madhouse and I certainly hope they clean the water afterwards for all the families and elderly people that would come for a swim the next day. Whatever you think of these…

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Getting train tickets is always a bit of an adventure if you need more than a few. In Italy you easily wait two hours. In Poland you meet a lady who stares at you for a couple of minutes before she answers your request. In Hungary, train tickets are still old school. “Can I have 17 tickets for the night train to Krakow tomorrow?” I see a slight confusion in the ticket lady’s eyes. “17 people.” First she thinks I want to travel on the 17th. Then she gets it. She still looks confused. She punches away on her calculator and shows me the result, a question on her face. Do I want to pay all that money? “Yeah, that’s fine.” The lady looks at me in disbelief. The system might be old school, but the people are friendly. Immediately the long process starts. First she has to go through…

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Every now and then you get surprises on your trip. On Friday I took a train from Vienna to Budapest with 10 passengers in my group. When the train departs I notice there are 2 more groups from the same company! For weeks I’ve not seen any groups and suddenly I see them all on this one week trip. It is so refreshing and encouraging to talk to people who do the exact same job as you. It makes things so much easier, even if it is just a quick chat. Later that day I am doing an orientation walk through Budapest to introduce everyone to the city. As I exit the metro there is a strange noise that seems to come from the river. Suddenly I remember reading something about the red bull air race being in Budapest this weekend. The planes were doing their practise laps. Excited by…

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For my new job I’ve been reading a lot about the second world war and the holocaust. It’s a grim subject, but really interesting. There are so many countries and so many people involved. So much was happening all at the same time. I think I’ve never been interested in history this much. Of course I’m lucky because it’s not just books for me. I’m reading and researching places that I have the opportunity to visit. History immediately comes to life. Sometimes a bit too much so. Budapest has its beautiful river Danube flowing through the town. It’s a great place for a stroll in the sunshine. When you get closer to the parliament building, you can find a large, chaotic row of empty shoes standing just at the edge of the water. People have put candles, flowers and ribbons around them. If you don’t know what it is for, you…

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