Back in Budapest

Going back to Budapest marked my third time there; I thought that arriving from India I’d want somewhere to chill and wanted to be in Europe rather than Asia. Budapest it was. The hostel I stayed in is the best one I’ve ever stayed in, with 14 guests when it’s full.

I didn’t really do a lot – went to the Gellert Hill baths, did a street art walking tour, went to Szimpla with a couple of Australians who wanted to be in bed by midnight and not much else.

 

2016: A Round-Up

Almost eleven months ago, I boarded a one way flight from England to Malaga. Without a doubt, those five months turned into the best experience I’ve ever had.

I started off with the best country: Spain. I ate some food that stands out as some of the  best that I have ever eaten, I loved most places that I visited and I learnt a fair bit of the language that I’ve probably forgotten by now. Las Fallas Festival was well worth seeing, though I could quite happily not deal with the chaos for a while! I can see myself, once I’m finished with long-term trips, staying in Spain for a bit and trying to learn the language.

Italy was also a good one for the most part; whilst Rome wasn’t to my liking and Pompeii was alright, Venice and Florence I liked, and I definitely can’t forget Milan. I pressed the wrong button and ended up with a flight there instead of Venice, though I can’t moan after eating the best pizza I think I’m ever going to eat.

A few other places are worth a mention – Budapest, my favourite city in the world (so far). Liked it so much I went twice, loved the thermal baths, food, hostel and general feel of the city. I stayed in a great hostel in Prague, enjoyed re-visiting Berlin and exploring Porto. I’m pretty sure I’m still burning off the calories of the Franceschina that I ate. Oh, and I also saw Beyoncé.

I could go on for days about my trip to Europe. Next came Singapore, which gave me my first feel for Asia, and has left me wanting to see more. I did perhaps the most dangerous tour of a city that I could ever do, ate so much good food that it warranted two lunches and/or two dinners some days as well as seeing a culture that wasn’t too familiar to me.

What I was looking forward to the most about this year was Australia, and it’s been alright; besides the friends that I made,  nothing has really stood out compared to my other trips. The East Coast is almost over, then after a week long trip, I’ll be back in Australia working on a farm for my second year visa. I have a good feeling that after this week, the trip will pick up a bit and I’ll be very, very busy.

What will I be up to in 2017?  Firstly, I’ll be at the Australian Open in Melbourne, before going to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year… I’ve only mentioned it a few times! I’ll then be doing my farm work, and when it’s over I will put my feet up for a couple of weeks. Then, I’ll be back at work for up to six months, saving  up my money again for some more trips. Japan is definitely on the cards, and I may go somewhere else. I honestly don’t see myself finishing the two years in Australia, though my visa will expire in July 2018, so I’m expecting to spend the whole of 2017 down under.

I have a couple of goals for the next year: firstly, I’d like to find my own place to live rather than a hostel, although there is more chance of me becoming the next pope than trying to balance work, life and living in and hostel ever again. I’d also like to learn something that isn’t work-related, take another cookery class abroad (Japan, I’m looking at you), and eat something that most English people wouldn’t consider eating.

If you click the read more button, you’ll see some of my favourite pictures. I tried to narrow it down to 10, but that quite obviously wasn’t going to work out.

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Dublin – the last stop (for now)

I decided to go to Dublin mainly because there were very cheap flights from Oslo. Once again, I manged to get seats in row 1 on the plane as I found out how to alter the seats on the check in machine at the airport.

Once in Dublin, I stopped off for some breakfast – I had been up since 2.30am afer having around 3 hours sleep, then walked around to find the Jameson Distillery before having a cheeky nando’s. With my stomach lined properly, I went on the tour of the distillery which was really well done. It was interesting to hear how it’s made as well as the differences between whiskeys made in Scotland and the USA – and got to compare them. What made it better was that the woman running the tour seemed to really enjoy her job. The tour ended with a whiskey, ginger ale and lime drink which was bloody good.

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Norway in a Nutshell

I’m not usually the type to book anything as a package as it’s usually cheaper to do it yourself and you’re not stuck with people, but this time I figured that I’d book this as part of a package as it’s easier and won’t have the all day anxiety of worrying about all the transport being on time as I’m travelling across the county. It cost quite a bit of money to do, but then again I did pay almost £20 for a burrito.

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Bergen

I was supposed to arrive in Bergen via a 6.5 hour train, but my payment didn’t go through and I ended up having to pay extra to catch a flight. I guess it was worth it as it was far more comfortable, and I have a pretty good record when it comes to flying with Norwegian. The first flight I took with them, I had row 1 seats, second they showed cat videos and this time I had the emergency exit row with an empty seat next to me.

When I arrived here, I went to grab something to eat – a reindeer hot dog – then went up to the top of Fløyen which was around an hours walk. The view from the top was stunning and I could’ve taken another trail up further, but I had more walking to be done on Monday. And my legs hurt. I came back down at around 9pm, going back to the hostel.

It turned out that I picked the right day to go up Fløyen as it has just pissed it down all day. Going up in the cable car to the top of Mount Ukriken was going to be done, but I know in this weather I wouldn’t enjoy it which is a shame, especially considering the journey to get here. Instead, I started my day at a coffee place called Blom with an incredible coffee, one of the best I’ve ever had. I then went to the fish market, where it seems to be the place to buy overpriced fish, and then through Bryggen, looking through their tourist shops. There is one shop that sells stuff made from moose leather,  and another shop where you can buy a stuffed animal, starting from approximately £150 – I think that was for a squirrel. I spent a while in the shops, stopped off for a late lunch and then came back into the hostel for a cup of tea and sit down, before going out again for a walk until I decided that the weather wasn’t worth it.

I’m glad that I came to Bergen, but a shame about the weather. I’m definitely not in a rush to return as it’s a pretty small area, but one day I’d like to see the Northern Lights and I think Norway would be a pretty good choice for that. Tomorrow, I’m travelling across the country, not by plane this time, and later in the week I’m stopping off in Ireland because I can, then I’ll be returning to England on Saturday.

Stockholm

My flight to Stockholm not only had free wifi, but they also showed cat videos during the flight – I knew I picked the right airline. I arrived in the city mid-afternoon, and having only eaten a zinger tower burger for breakfast, I was keen to get out into the city and have something to eat. I ended up having a mandelbullar which was a cardamon and almond pastry, it tasted good but I felt as though I needed to brush my teeth straight after.

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Budapest (again)

I came back to Budapest to chill for a few days. I love the city and Budapest Bubble hostel is the best place I’ve stayed and incredibly chilled out. It took a good 8 hours to get here via bus, so the first night I did nothing.

Over the few days I went on a walking tour, ate some good food and went on a couple of nights out. I’m not really much of a partier but the nights were the highlight, the first was a standard piss up and the second I had agreed to go out for dinner and ended up at a craft beer festival until 2, and then went to a ruin bar for a bit.

I’ve been half tempted to just not even try and catch my flight out of Budapest and stay here for an extra few days, but I’m pretty sure 12 nights in the city over this trip has been more than enough.

Krakow

I arrived in Krakow after having a few cock-ups on the way. One of them being that I realised that I booked one night less than what I thought. After arriving, I had a walk around the old town, bought a bottle of vodka and saw the fire breathing dinosaur statue, having stopped for a zapiekanki the size of my forearm, and went back to the hostel.

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