Despite being proactive and extra responsible by getting to Split’s airport three hours early, our travel day was long and a tad hectic. Our flight from Split had a one-hour layover in Hanover, Germany because obviously the north of Germany is the most logical route for us. Because we were flying each flight with a different cheapo airline, we had to go through customs and baggage claim in Germany and then go back through security again to board our flight. With that knowledge in mind, we were already a little nervous knowing that our first flight lands at 4:05 PM and our second flight to Budapest takes off at 5:20 PM.
It’s like our early-to-the-airport karma was worth nothing because we were delayed on the runway for an hour in Split and didn’t land in Germany until 5:05 PM. Accepting that we had missed our flight, we trudged through customs, picked up our bags from baggage claim (they were about 10 kg overweight, but thankfully we were not charged to check them) and took our time going to the bathroom. As we went up the escalator at about 5:30 PM, we saw that our “missed” flight was delayed until 6:05 PM! So, we sprinted around trying to find our gate, which of course was on the opposite end of the airport. We ran up to security. I threw open my backpack and suitcase and took out my laptop, iPad, camera and I kid you not four bags of liquids. We chugged our water bottles and impatiently waited for our bags on the other end.
My liquids get stopped. My suitcase gets stopped. It was 5:45 PM at this point. I told Derek to go ahead without me and to see if the gate agents will wait for me as I assume I will simply apologize for the small bag of liquids that I forgot to take out because of my frenzied rush and repack my bag as quickly as possible.
Wrong. Mister mean German airport security agent began to tell me that I have way too many liquids, even though they are all 100 ml. I told him I haven’t had any trouble so far and I am traveling for three weeks so I need all of them. He sternly tells me those are the rules. After five minutes of me explaining that I didn’t know you were only allowed to bring a total of 1 liter of liquids in a carry on and him scolding me and moving around the different liquids, he decides to throw out two of my shampoos.
He moves onto my suitcase and proceeds to thoroughly examine each packing cube, every inch of my suitcase and even my tampons. This whole time I am sweating, on the verge of tears and telling him my flight leaves in 5 minutes. By the time he was satisfied and had completely rearranged my entire suitcase, Derek was back to tell me people are still boarding and we’re okay. Too bad I was already crying at that point.
Traveling is emotional, OKAY!?
However frustrating that travel day was, we happily arrived in Hungary to rainy, chilly weather. We checked into our Airbnb that looked like it belongs in a Jason Bourne movie (interpret that how you will) and went out for some dinner. The next morning, we woke up ready for a full day of exploring. Monday was our only full day and night in Budapest and we tried to make the most of it. We walked to the famous Central Market, which is Budapest’s largest indoor market, where Derek bought some bananas and pastries that were recommended by his Hungarian best friend, Pete (the one who came to Madrid and our trip to Valencia).
Afterwards, we took the cutest tram to the Parliament of Budapest. We walked around the huge building and enjoyed all of the other amazing buildings and the view of the Danube River. On our way to the Danube, Derek was given a free bag of water from the Hungarian Water Aid, which was interesting and generous. We walked along the river until we reached the Shoes on the Danube Bank. It was a beautiful memorial and harsh reminder of the horrors of WWII. We then walked across the Chain Bridge that connects the western and eastern sides of Budapest to visit the Frida Kahlo exhibit in the Hungarian National Gallery and to enjoy the views of the city.
After the exhibit, we walked back across the bridge and into the center of the city for some lunch and more exploring. The city of Budapest is absolutely gorgeous and I honestly was not expecting to enjoy it so much. We planned to end our night with another Hungarian meal, but we were so stuffed from lunch we decided to skip dinner and rest up for our travels to Austria the next day.
More to come soon...