Back to my story at Belgrade station, it’s hot, it’s sticky and there are mosquitos flying around the station and on the train like you wouldn’t believe. Aircon? Forget about it, we had a small six seater cabin for the five of us and it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if we only had small boys but both Dean and Patto have some decent length to them. Our train departed at 10pm and was due to arrive in Budapest at approx 7am or so. We tried our best not to complain but the conditions on the train were far from comforting. We spent the next couple of hours playing cards waiting til it got a bit darker before trying to doze off. I think I was about the second last person to get to sleep only to wake up to some banging on the door, it was border security checking passports in Serbia. There we were all awoken left to try to get back asleep again, by this time I had woken up in a sweat and felt sticky only to find several mosquito bites on my legs and arms, not a pretty site at all. We eventually ended up falling asleep again to be awoke by some more knocking another hour or so later but this time by a ticket inspector checking for tickets. I thought this was some kind of dream only to realize this was reality. I’m pretty sure all the boys were on the same page as me but you could feel the discomfort in the air. Eventually once again we doze off to try and get some sleep ready for Budapest. Shortly after .. boom boom boom, you guessed it border security again this time it’s the border patrol on Hungary’s side. By this stage I was so annoyed all I wanted was to sleep for longer then two hours. I’m pretty chilled most of the time but at that moment I was losing it. Waking up and sleeping that many times ruined any last chance of me going back to sleep and shortly you could see the daylight breaking through. The only positive thing I got at that moment was some photos of the sunrise and it’s country side. We arrived at Budapest station at 7am pulled out some money and caught a taxi to the hostel, but because we were so early our beds weren’t ready because people hadn’t checked out. All I wanted at that stage was a bed and shower to get that sticky layer of sweat off. Now why am I going into so much detail about this train ride? Here is a lesson for you travelers out there now us boys we laugh and joke about the train ride but at the time you could feel the tension and no one was laughing. You will experience some rough moments in the trip but all you got to do is keep it together, it’s no ones fault and i guess adds to the adventure.
Now I had heard nothing but good things about Budapest and the hostel we were staying at the Retox Party Hostel. Remember that name people you will not experience a hostel like this, it’s a party hostel for a reason and the staff are super cool loose bunch that make you’re stay that much better. I was surprised how well run the hostel is despite the most the staff getting loose every single day. We were staying in a ten person mixed dorm for what would turn out to be four action packed nights. The rooms were surprisingly spacious with a shower and a toilet inside the room. Our roommates consisted of girls mainly from Manchester and London with a few Aussies in and out and an American who was studying Robotic Engineering. With the layout of the hostel all the beds are situated upstairs and down stairs is the bar. This bar is the meeting place of many hostels and since we were there for the world cup semi finals there was quite a crowd. Another thing with Retox is that every night of the week there is something good from pub crawls, boat parties or even the Alcohol Olympics. Now this hostel may not sound appealing to many people, expect noisy nights, some puking and a lot of people. Be sure to book in early because this place does pack out during Summer. Also with Retox this was the first time I seen this at a hostel, instead of giving people cards or keys to get into the dorms you get a watch. I thought this was pretty cool since you’ll always have it on you.
After a rough intro into Budapest it was time to for something relaxing and what better place to go first then the Szechenyi Baths’s. So imagine a place with spas and pools both insaide and outside all varying at different temperatures. The indoor section with saunas and even more spas and pools means that you will find a place that suits you. The Szechenyi Bath’s is the land of relaxation and just what the doctor ordered after out hectic train ride. We spent a good three solid hours relaxing until we eventually had enough then done the jet. I don’t know what it is exactly about spas and saunas but they make you very hungry and even more tired. I can’t remember exactly where we ate but the night was drawing closer and everybody was getting ready to begin the Budapest Nightlife. So staying in a room next door to us was Teddy, no not a teddy bear it was our Big ol black brother Nafiis. Now this guy straight out is the nicest cunt you’ll ever meet, he got the nickname Teddy for a reason. Our group grew very fond of him as he reminded us of a American version of ourselves and became one of us. We were to be re-united in the near future in our travels and spent most our time in Budapest together. We were lucky enough to be in Budapest whilst the semi finals of the World Cup were on as all the games were being played in the bar downstairs. It was standard procedure to get drunk at the bar and then head out, the good thing about Budapest is that all the bars and clubs are within reasonable walking distance from the hostel. I can’t even remember where we went or what happened the first night all that we got to sleep when the sun was up also another standard Budapest occurrence.
Day 2 it was time to shoot some guns. Now I had never shot a gun in my life but it is something I have wanted to do hence it being on my bucketlist and what better time then while we were in Budapest. So I think if you get twelve or so people you get the sessions for a cheaper price, we didn’t have to look far in the hostel to fill the numbers with a couple girls keen to blast a few off as well. I think we payed around $70 to shoot a few different types of guns, on the top of my head there was two pistols, rifle, AK-47, shotgun and a couple of the boys shot a magnum. We had a piece of paper with our target to take home and even though mine aim wasn’t to bad I wasn’t logging this A1 sized paper around with me for the next 2 months. I think I could have done much better but but I was more worried about the recoil smashing me in the face. After our call of duty session at the shooting range we made a stop at these markets right next to the Budapest sign on the ride home. Now I love love love markets for a few reasons. One of them was because we were bracelet hunting. Two is that markets usually have really cool shit especially since they are very different in every country and thirdly they have some good traditional food and let me tell you something Budapest did not disappoint. So when you think of some Hungarian cuisine what comes to mind? Yer I didn’t really know neither but I soon found out they are big on meat. There was a massive selection of Hungarian sausages and other meats that were delicious. Another traditional dish is Goulash perfect with rice in some cold weather, til this day I still think of good those sausages went down after shooting. We spent a couple hours there munching out and having a few beers then headed back to the hostel by that time it was late and the hostel was preparing for nights festivity the Alcohol Olympics. One of the things that makes Retox so good is that they get people involved in the activities there making things fun and when you add alcohol in the equation the night will always end in some interesting stories. Although I didn’t compete it was nice watching teams of three get wasted and more wasted. After that we headed out yet again, I couldn’t tell you where but I remember eating at Subway at like 5 in the morning with Patto and Teddy.
Now day three consisted of a music festival called Balaton Sound, without intention our stay crossed over with the 4 day Hungarian Festival and seeing as though we love our festivals we decided to go. We left at approximately midday in hope to not get there too late. Both Cheungi and Apost were overly hungover from the night before so they’re energy levels weren’t all there at the time. The festival was a 2 hour train ride and we didn’t have tickets for the fetival but we were hoping for the best. The train ride was full with many people on the same page and carriages were filling up slowly. Teddy and I had managed to score a train with some Norwegian blokes who were currently living in Hungary returning to this festival they had attended last year. We had a good chat about Trolltunga a mountain I was to climb when I was going to Norway. He had unsuccessfully climbed the same one three times due to poor weather conditions but showed me some really nice landscapes getting me excited for when I would finally be there. Our train ride arrived and we parted ways with out new friends as they were camping all three days. At that point the clouds were coming in, not something we wanted to see after traveling all that way and after finally making it to the gates and purchasing our ticket it started raining. It was a quick dash to the merchandise for some ponchos and hoodies for the boys to prepare for the unexpected weather. We spent most our time at the mainstage in the rain watching Nervo and Martin Garrix between both the weather and the atmosphere none of us could fully get into it so the group left to go home but Dean and I kicked on, I didnt come all that way to leave early and we got to the frontish to watch Alesso. We watched most of his set in the wet but left just over half way because we didn’t want to miss the last train back to Budapest the last thing we wanted to be was stranded. Even though the festival wasn’t as exciting as the events I’m usually use to I still love being at festivals because everybody is usually having a good time. We got back to the empty hostel as everyone was out had a feed and shower and it was bed time for us.
Now the fourth and final day was our only chance to actually see the city and if anyone of you know Apost he is sergeant baker and takes ages to get ready so we missed the walking tour. Not to worry we had a map and done some of our own exploring. Now there is a castle on the top of the hill that was top of the priority list so we headed there on foot. I don’t know what it is about site seeing in Europe but I manage to always work up a sweat even on cool days. At the top the view is pretty sweet you can see the Chain Bridge and all along the river. There was a mini archery range there so had a play around and a few market stalls and you could see the storm coming in, it was time to jet as we were walking across the bridge it started pouring, so much for the nice European weather hey. We made a quick jet to shelter to wait for it to finish and that was as far as our site seeing got for Budapest. The cold weather made us hungry and we had previously walked past this soup joint called Bors Gasztrobar and decided to find it again. It was well worth the walk and and went down a treat and is super cheap if anyone is heading then and wants a try. We also found this cool clothing store called BP clothing, we had seen one of the workers wear this BUDAFUKNPEST t-shirt and had to go chase it down. Now our final night in Budapest was my favorite night. It all started at the bar then the hostel had a pub crawl going and the first location started off pretty slow but the next one we went to had a place that had one euro shots. How quickly things escalate when shots of tequila get involved the next second things get ready loud I turn my head and Patto is arm wrestling some big ass Hungarian dude. The final stop was a lot of fun, I definitely think the Absynth helped and I haven’t had it in a while it tastes like hot fire a lot of fun haha. We all got pretty wasted and still there until late I can’t remember too much and I’m pretty sure that night ended in a kebab and a scratch marks on my neck by some crazy bitch.
The next morning it was time to get ready, pack our bags and leave Retox a place that really stole our heart. There was never a dull moment at our stay here and if we didn’t have plans already locked in we would have definitely love to stay for Retox’s 3rd birthday two days later. In terms of activities and nightlife there was still plenty we left without experiencing like the Friday night boat parties and Saturday Bath parties which I hear both get pretty wild. As for the activities if I were there a bit longer I would have like to do the Caving and even drive a tank! Yes you can drive a tank which I thought was pretty unique. Now I hope you didn’t mind reading this extra long post but Budapest had a lot more going on then any other place we had previously been. Anyone considering Budapest I couldn’t recommend it enough do it you seriously won’t regret it and make sure you stay at Retox it will enhance you’re experience times fifty!