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Not Your Average Jane is a blog set up to give you ideas on not your average places to see, things to do, drink and eat all over the world. 

DISCOVERING BUDAPEST

DISCOVERING BUDAPEST

We spent a long weekend in Budapest at the end of February, with flights costing us around £40 each return, we decided it was an opportunity we couldn’t miss as I’d been wanting to go for years. The hostel we stayed in was very good value, at £80 for the two of us, for 3 nights in a private room with bathroom. 

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On our first full day in Budapest we headed up to Fisherman’s Bastion; a monument to celebrate the 1000th birthday of Hungary. We arrived at around 10am and enjoyed the spectacular views looking back over the city. However, walking up onto the castle walls felt like being crammed onto a Central Line rush hour train in London, it was so packed. We paid 1 Euro to climb one of the towers to get away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds. Since living in London I’ve gone off visiting busy tourist attractions and much prefer to go to less popular places that are a little more peaceful.

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With this in mind, we decided to leave after about 20 minutes of wandering around the walls. We headed up to the Zugliget Chairlift which we saw recommended on the TV programme, Travel Man. Choosing to walk the 5.2km there, it wasn’t the most picturesque route but we made it to the bottom of the chairlift in just under 1.5 hours, having got lost in some snowy woods. The Libego cost 1400HUF (approx £3.98) return for one person, which we thought was very reasonable. Once at the top we had a glass or two of mulled wine to warm us up, taking the opportunity to stroke the cat that was lying on the radiator! We then headed out into the snow covered winter wonderland for a walk through the woods and then up to the highest view point, the lookout tower on Janos Hill for a great view of the city. This was our favourite part of the trip; exploring nature in the snow with fewer people around. Going back down on the chairlfit we got another good view of the city in the distance. Considering the temperature was between -2⁰C and -12⁰C, it probably wasn’t the most sensible idea to walk back down from Zugliget and all the way to our hostel, 7.8km away as I ended up getting very cold and feeling quite ill!

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Once at the top we had a glass or two of mulled wine to warm us up, taking the opportunity to stroke the cat that was lying on the radiator! We then headed out into the snow covered winter wonderland for a walk through the woods and then up to the highest view point, the lookout tower on Janos Hill for a great view of the city. This was our favourite part of the trip; exploring nature in the snow with fewer people around. Going back down on the chairlfit we got another good view of the city in the distance. Considering the temperature was between -2⁰C and -12⁰C, it probably wasn’t the most sensible idea to walk back down from Zugliget and all the way to our hostel, 7.8km away as I ended up getting very cold and feeling quite ill!

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After a full day of exploring in the freezing cold, we decided to treat ourselves to an evening at The New York Cafe, which has to be the grandest cafe/restuarant in Budapest. We really enjoyed eating New York chocolate cake and sipping on Testarossa (champagne with strawberry syrup), in the most sophisticated surroundings. The food and drink was very reasonably priced (Cake and glass of Champagne 5700HUF, approx £15.95) to if you were dining in a similar place in London but in comparison to what we paid for food and drink in Budapest over the rest of our trip, this was very expensive but well worth it. The building was constructed in 1894 as a head office for an insurance company - I wish my offices looked like this! In early 2000 it was bought by an Italian hotel chain and totally renovated. The vast restaurant is decorated in the Italian Renaissance style, with the ceilings covered in fresco paintings. A decadent interior with the gold plated, ornately carved columns all shimmering in the light from the venetian lampshades completes the look. A must see on your visit to this Hungarian city.

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The vast restaurant is decorated in the Italian Renaissance style, with the ceilings covered in fresco paintings. A decadent interior with the gold plated, ornately carved columns all shimmering in the light from the venetian lampshades completes the look. A must see on your visit to this Hungarian city.

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WANDERING AROUND COPENHAGEN

WANDERING AROUND COPENHAGEN

LET'S GET SPIRITUAL

LET'S GET SPIRITUAL