Budapest, Hungary – Day One

So we arrived in Budapest mid-morning and this time, we took a cab from the train station to our lodging. We had rented an apartment near the Danube and Vaci Utta, which is the touristy shopping street in Budapest.

keys budapest

Negotiating the handing off of the apartment keys was a mess! The owner of the apartment is an Italian man, but I didn’t know he LIVES IN ITALY. Apparently, his mama is often in Budapest (remember, I told you the Moms handing over keys was a thing on this trip) and she manages things like this for him. She, however, doesn’t speak English or German so my Google translate skills weren’t going to work here. We tried a variation of writing things on slips of paper and hand gestures and even a phone call to the son in Italy but in the end, the mama’s friend in Budapest arrived and she did the multi-lingual translating for us. It was still a hilarious exchange. I toured the apartment, got the keys, and went back downstairs to get Steve who was drinking my glass of wine by the time I returned. We both went back upstairs because Italian mama was having some difficulty with the appliances in the apartment. Thanks to our translator, we discovered it was a problem with the hot water heater and the two women were bustling about the apartment making phone calls in various directions and diagnosing the problem. They finally turned to Steve and tentatively asked, “are you a little bit technical?”

bwa-hahahahahah! Have we got Mr.-Can-Fix-Anything right here in person.

He found the manual (really? I didn’t even know it was there) and read it and flipped open the panel and poof! it worked. Have you ever seen two cute little grandmotherly ladies squeal in happiness and rush to bear hug one rather-taller-than-they-are-guy?

Well, I have.

There were cries of Brava! Brava! and something else I can’t pronounce because it turns out I suck at Hungarian even with a translator tool. There were multiple group hugs all around and they showed us around the apartment, do you like the art? isn’t this bathroom delightful? there are two beds, did you know that? We’re just thinking they need to get a move on so we can start exploring, but that would be rude so we admired, and nodded and smiled and finally they put on their coats. After a couple more rounds of hugs with the two-cheek kissing from the Italian mama, they left.


We dropped our stuff, snapped a few photos, and hung up all the still-wet laundry because this apartment didn’t have a dryer either – just a drying rack.

The apartment was in an old building where the front doors and windows all face into an open atrium:

budapest apartment

The Italian mama is an artist and did all the furniture restoration, decorating and art:

budapest apartment

Our still wet clothes from Vienna proceed to take two days to fully dry:

budapest apartment drying rack

These are the snacks we picked up along the way:

budapest apartment kitchen table

And the bottle of wine we enjoyed that evening as Steve watched American football in a foreign language on the teeny-tiny television and I started posting the first blogs from Vienna:

budapest apartment wine

All in all, a good choice on apartments.


Next post … the Szechenyi thermal baths.

fourteenergirl Written by:

A mother, sister, wife, and daughter who writes, knits, hikes, and practices yoga on the west coast. Loves a zippy chardonnay or a tart margarita!

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