Thursday was the Germany vs USA game. Although the US lost, it was a great time. We went to the Fanmeile (public viewing area) at the Brandenburg Gate again to watch the game. At one point we met a bunch of Americans, one of which happened to be a student at the same university as me. It was incredible to be reminded of how small the world is. We stayed for the full duration of the game but were greeted with some showers in the first half. By halftime, it was a downpour and hailing but we stuck through it! The experience was actually fun to be surrounded by so many people, in the rain, cheering for opposite sides but still having a great time.
Although we lost, our spirits were high because, at that point, the US had advanced past the group stage and beat out countries like England and Spain which is fantastic. On the way home, we were surprised to see how many US fans came out, still chanting despite the loss.
During the past weekend, a couple of friends and I went to Budapest from Saturday morning until Monday afternoon. Budapest was so great. It was not expensive but the conversion rate was difficult to comprehend. It is $1.4 for 1€, and 339 HUF for 1 euro. Since taking out 120€ worth of HUF gave us 38,000 HUF (there was a transfer fee), we felt like we were going to live like kings, but rather spent every last HUF.
When we arrived in Budapest at 8am, we got an authentic Hungarian breakfast and walked around the main street where we stayed, which had many bars and clubs. After we dropped our bags off at 11am at the Airbnb apartment that we rented, we bought our metro passes and went to the center of the city. The view was awesome!
We walked around and got a feel for the area but realized how exhausted we were and ended up going back home for a nap. After a nap, we decided to attend a bathhouse party that we had previously bought tickets for. We thought it would be a fun way to experience Budapest’s famous bathhouses without spending a lot of time during the day in order to experience them. The result was fantastic. Almost 300 people showed up and although it was a bit chaotic, it was really interesting to be in an authentically cultural setting and still be able to enjoy nightlife.
Budapest is the only Eastern European city that we have decided to go to. Eastern Europe seemingly has a more authentic and rural feel, which is really desirable in my opinion. I love the authenticity of places that I visit and dislike when places are overly touristy. Sure, Budapest geared their city center towards tourists but it was great to see the original architecture and style flourish.
The next day after the bathhouse party, we decided to spend the whole day sightseeing. First, we walked down the main fashion street, where we picked up a couple of trinkets and souvenirs. After, we went into the most famous bathhouse in Budapest just to look around—these bathhouses are really popular! We ventured along and decided to trek up a mountain to get a better view of the city. The view did NOT disappoint.
The hike up and over the mountain took about an hour and was pretty tough because I was wearing my boat shoes… but nevertheless it was worth it. There were a bunch of platforms and scenic spots to take pictures from. After the mountain view of the city, we followed the edge of the river and arrived at the old castle. There were a couple of nice views from there as well but mostly it just had cool architecture.
Our last stops were at the Parliament building and at the church near the outskirts of the city. Both of these buildings were pretty big and lavish. They were a great way to end the trip!
This upcoming weekend, we will be taking a trip to Majorca. This trip should be filled with a bunch of beach time which will be nice! I look forward to getting some sun and getting out of the city scene.