Weekend Adventures: Budapest and Krakow
Since the last time I wrote, I have been traveling every weekend. It’s a bit exhausting, but it’s so fun to experience new places, people, food, and sights and I wouldn’t change anything.
Budapest was a beautiful city, and not too crowded. My friends and I decided to go caving on Saturday morning which was amazing but don’t do it if you’re the slightest bit claustrophobic. We were army crawling about 85% of the 3 hours we were in the cave. We got to wear these ridiculous jumpsuits with helmets and headlamps, we got nice and dirty (all the rocks were covered in clay), and we had the time of our lives. Afterwards we headed over to the Széchenyi thermal bath to relax. The warm water felt absolutely amazing on our tired muscles. The best way I can sum up our time at the baths is to say this: imagine fifty adults swimming in a giant whirlpool, laughing hysterically as the current whips them around in circles time and time again. That is what we did for about 2 hours and it was the best way I can think of to end our day. Also, Budapest is filled with bars made in old World War II ruins. We went to one called Szimpla Kert and it was such a cool place. Each room was unique and it had decorations similar to a hipster coffee house in most rooms. My favorite part was the projector playing videos of baby elephants running in the ocean while Russian rap music played in the background. It was one of the coolest places I’ve ever hung out in and if you ever find yourself in Budapest, it’s definitely worth paying a visit to.
The next weekend I went on a school trip to Krakow. The first thing we did was take a tour of Auschwitz and Auschwitz II-Birkenau, which was hard to see emotionally and psychologically, but at the same time was extremely powerful. I can’t really put into words what I felt as we walked around that morning, but it was definitely had a huge impact on me as we walked around. Then we got back on the bus and went to Krakow, where we had free time for the rest of the day. There was a guided walking tour of the city the next morning where we went to the Schindler Factory, the Jewish Quarters, the Wawel Castle and Cathedral, the Basilica of Saint Francis, and Saint Mary’s Basilica. Krakow was a small city but it was filled with all young people and students. The food was cheap and the pierogies were absolutely mouthwatering. My favorites were the ones filled with onions, potatoes, and cheese. I could’ve eaten them for every meal of the weekend. Experiencing a school sponsored trip was great too because our guide, Eva, was so great, I got to stay in a hotel with a really comfortable bed and delicious breakfast buffet, and I got to do activities I wouldn’t have been able to do or thought to do on my own (i.e. Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mine). Krakow was never a place I imagined I would visit, but I am so happy that I did; it was one of my favorite weekends of the semester.