Kylie Babez was so excited the entire trip to the airport (I booked a Travelodge in Dunfermline because “Edinburgh Airport Travelodge” for the night was a bit of a giveaway) and we were like little kids all the way to Budapest!
nerds athletes in us actually had a marathon paced tempo run to do that day and, being quite the planner, I also picked our hotel based on running routes. We were less than 2 miles from Margaret Island: an island that had a 5.5km RUBBER running track surrounding it! It was a runner’s paradise!!
The session was 5 miles at marathon pace, but I got carried away trying to keep up with Kyle in the distance so I averaged 6.24 pace (don’t get excited, people – I would be happy with 6.44 pace in a marathon) to his 5.20 pace (that is not a typo. He is THAT fast. And that was his ACTUAL predicted marathon pace!)
Our hotel was in Buda (the old town), right on the Danube and we had the best views from our room! After a quick shower and change, we headed straight over the bridge (the sun was setting about 3.30pm – it was gorgeous!) to Pest to explore and there were Christmas markets everywhere!
We watched children ice skating, took in a light show ON St Stephen’s Cathedral, drank mulled red, white AND rose wine and walked for ages taking everything in! It’s so cheesy but it was actually magical!
(If I knew how to show you videos I would – this light show was spectacular!)
(This is probably the best thing we ate – a cinnamon “chimney”!)
It was one of those nights where you think you have only been out for an hour but actually we had been out since 3 and got home about 11pm! We were feeling so festive!
The following day was Kyle’s actual birthday! He chose to run the 3 miles to City Park, which holds Europe’s largest outdoor ice rink, as well as the Szechenyi Baths which we were really keen to go to! We ran with our swimming bag packed (he carried it!), hoping to dump it in the “private cabin” we booked and run longer around the park, but they didn’t let us leave once we were in. I wanted Kyle to get a proper run in as opposed to hauling an uncomfortable bag full of my makeup and our winter clothes for after, so I manned up and took over bag duty for a 45 minute run around the park! I even have the chaffage to prove it (TMI?)!
We finished our run in Gundel, a famous and delicious patisserie where we had hot chocolates, scones, swiss rolls and the 2014 winning Hungarian cake…I can’t remember the name 😦
Then it was on to the baths:
The baths were thermal and they went up to 38 degrees I think AND they were stunning!
We walked back through the city, stopping again for roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and more market browsing before we went on a champagne cruise down the Danube for his actual birthday treat!
I hope it was a good birthday, oldie!?
Saturday called for another run session. This time 4×1 mile, 8 hill reps, 4×1 mile. This was a toughy! We did it back at Margaret Island (I could run there every day!) and other runners were so nice – if they know you are working hard they cheer for you and everything!
After a long shower, we headed to the back of our hotel and up a wee hill to real old town Buda. Castles, churches, monuments – the views were incredible!
We even popped some bubbly at the top of the hill (people love drinking outside there, so we followed suit… “when in Rome”)
We toured Buda and headed over the river again to Pest to find a chocolate shop and pay a visit to the Ice Bar!
And the night ended with a Ferris Wheel ride (romantic, until we reached the top and thunder and lightning hit. We were terrified)
(view from the top)
Then came the final day 😦 We ran up to Gellert Hill and over the bridges we hadn’t done yet! It was super windy though (I didn’t realise this until we turned around so shorts and tshirt = couldn’t-feel-my-limbs type of run
All in all I think it’s safe to say a) he had a nice birthday, b) we left feeling festive, and c) we ❤ Budapest!