Hungary was mind-blowingly beautiful. What started as a business trip unravelled into a spellbinding adventure for two of my closest friends, my other half, Han, and me. We swam in the Danube river, cycled to a castle in Nagymaros, conquered hills in historic Budapest and enjoyed some Tsaikovsky whilst eating pizza by the riverside.
The food was incredible, so full of flavour and colour; the architecture of Budapest was stunning and at night (even more captivating as castles and historic sites were lit up across the horizon, glimmering against the night sky) and local strangers warmed up to us as if they were our longtime friends.
We enjoyed what was possibly the most incredibly tasty pizza we've ever had (complete with some rich and full red wine) by the Danube. We had Blue Danube playing in the background, whilst watching the sun's glow slowly filter out into the sunset and listening to the rhythm of the water.
My colleagues and I did the typical touristy stuff in Budapest, but also partook in some luxurious highlights! We went on a lovely river cruise and dined at the Fisherman's Bastion. The Fisherman's Bastion is a must-see; it was something out of a fantasy novel, with stunning views and violin soloists littered around mysterious alleyways and spiralling staircases. No trip is complete without an evening in the Gellert Spa (renowned for that Swiss Re party, apparently!), complemented by some impressive Hungarian traditional dancing (with some awe-inducing acrobatics comprising of balancing a variety of objects on dancers' heads!).
This adorable couple and their gorgeous house brought us inside to see their garden, with hanging grape vines and roses creeping along every nook and cranny. They had a pet turtle that poked out from its little pond when called and beautiful little details hidden in different parts of their home. They told us of their luxurious double-life, living in the Canary Islands during the winter and enjoying their stay in Budapest during the summer. The husband of this pair is Hungarian, whilst his wife is German. It was so sweet to hear about their lives and how they brought their own little touches to their charming home in Hungary, which has been in the family for about a hundred years!
After a long day of cycling and conquering Nagymaros' hills, we took a lovely dip in the Danube. We swam right outside a medieval castle (far in the distance, which can be seen just on top of the hill!). It was something out of a fairytale.