My original plan after leaving Krakow was to spend 3 or 4 days in Budapest and then head further south towards Serbia, Montenegro and then Croatia. I am now into day 9 of my Budapest stay, and whilst I am enjoying my time here – my extra time spent is not particularly due to the enjoyment factor.
After week 14 of my Solo World Tour, I’m still having a blast but at the same time I am also starting to feel the effects of the constant drinking, partying and poor diet. With my first few days in Budapest being no different to my first days in most cities I have visited – which involves eating the local food (which I might add is extremely heavy and involves meat, more meat and even more meat), frequenting the local bars called Ruin Pubs and making new friends.
I did also manage to find time to take part in the free walking tours of Budapest – in fact 2 of them. I really enjoyed the free walking tours in Krakow and as soon as I heard about similar tours in Budapest I jumped at the chance. Both the general Budapest tour as well as the Jewish District tour were awesome and I would highly recommend them. It is a great way to quickly get your bearings, learn a lot of history and meet people all at the same time. The tours are also based on a tip system, so at the end you basically give what you think it was worth and what you can afford.
After making some new local friends, we took a boat cruise along the Danube River at night which was spectacular, the evening Budapest skyline looks absolutely stunning.
However not even 2 walking tours (2.5 hours) each were enough for me to shake off the ‘mid tour blues’. I have really been missing my gym and ‘clean eating’, hence I made the decision to do a detox / boot camp of sorts.
The hostel at which I am staying (Adam’s Apple) is awesome. Whilst it’s not a party hostel, it is only 6 weeks old with excellent kitchen facilities and great staff. I have also had my 7 bed dorm to myself for most of my stay which is pure bliss. This has provided a great foundation for me to rest, relax as well as cook some healthy meals.
After discovering the central market very early into my trip, I decided to load up on a heap of fresh vegetables, eggs and a few kilos of chicken breasts. I never thought brown rice and egg whites would ever taste so good, even after all the decadent food I have eaten to date.
On top of that I found a perfectly acceptable bodybuilding gym a few blocks down the road from where I am staying. Whilst it is not FitnessFirst, it has some good equipment and a casual visit rate of $4.
So for the past 7 days, I have not touched a drop of alcohol – I really feel like an alcoholic saying that 🙂 And I have also been cooking all my meals daily which is also something I have missed terribly. On top of that I have hit the gym really hard and getting a lot of early nights in as well. I really don’t feel like I’m on world tour now except for the fact I’m in a foreign country where english is not widely spoken. Most importantly though I feel great and love having some normality back into my life!
I’m not sure how much longer I’ll stick around Budapest. I guess the goal from here is a get some balance and moderation back into my world tour and not treat everyday like it is a Saturday night. The weather is starting to deteriorate quickly with a few rainy days and cooler temperatures but the positive side is that the tourist crowds are starting to dissipate as well.
I have about 2 weeks before I need to be in Düsseldorf to meet up with my friend Christian whom I met whilst I was in Krakow. Still on my list are Belgrade, Mostar, Zadar and Prague. I am also looking forward to catching up with my old pal ‘Boosh’ in Berlin early October who has travelled from Thailand to Berlin over land – a classic ‘east meets west’.
And how great it was to see the blueboys win last weekend, most people in my hostel had no idea what AFL was until they saw me going crazy in the common area. Let’s hope we are at least competitive against Sydney.
Finally, feel free to check out my small Budapest gallery if you want to see a small collection of this beautiful city.