It is funny to think that a single step off a plane has transported you to a completely different world. The ideal European vacation can often be classified by stunning rivieras, delicate foods, and couture hotels and fashion. You may not guess that some of the most beautiful locations and sights come from even the smallest town and countries that make up the European region. Still, I am here to convince you to take a chance, go off the beaten path of a traditional European vacation and explore the Romanian and Hungarian countrysides and cities.
Romania’s sight is not commonly seen; the confusion may begin rather quickly as the sign and words form a cluster of only letters in one brain. The fascination for tinny cars and drivers who are twice the size of a traditional Romanian car will be sure to give you a laugh. None the less, you will hope in the tiny car with a not so tiny man and be on your way! The Romanian countryside is crisp, wide open, and a pure vision of fantasy; you may not recognize the countryside or even be in a state to compare the landscape to anything but that of a page in a fairytale book. A deep dark green covers the entire landscape, with only red specks poking from the hills, eventually forming their shape as homes. Unconventional is the best word of description for the small towns in Romanian. You will quickly learn that this mystical location has no sense of time or reality; the place roars with enjoyment and relaxation as people pass by with no purpose to their walk, no shame in saying hello, and not a sense of tension in the air. The country roads are lined with the most authentic foods Romania has to offer; you look at the window from your back seat to see the men coming from the salt mines across the road to enjoy delicious shawarma. The smells of freshly squeezed lemon and ground-up sage float through the air and straight past your nose, leaving you with a dangerous hungry for anything in sight.
To continue on an unconventional road, location means simply nothing to Romanian business owners; if there are people, there is a business. The fantastic thing about such a mindset is some of the best restaurants in Romanian reside in a small town with fascinating views. Remember this, if nothing else, the American dollar is worth much more than Romanian dollars or leu, meaning this vacation spot is not only beautiful but a penny saver. Many restaurants reside in random and unconventional places, however, do not be turned away by this because once you have entered into any of the Romanians restaurants, you will not be disappointed. Your first impression of a Romanian style restaurant will remind you of your latest Pinterest scroll; you may wonder how a restaurant is so clean and shiny. You may also take some of your first pictures of an actual restaurant and quickly be disappointed that these local spots aren’t in your backyard. Each meal is prepared with fresh ingredients oftentimes entire ingredients like whole fish or whole vegetables, in my experience, every plate of food I have consumed has been immaculate flavors and a freshness I have never experienced before; however, my advice to you dear friends, know what you order! 😉
A city venture is always best accomplished in a city, of course! The many Romanian cities are quite quaint and have a lot to offer however some of the best city lights reside only a few hours from Romanian. Budapest, Hungary, a diverse, fast pace and thrilling place for all ages of travelers. You may have heard the phrase “don’t go off the beaten path”; however, it is encouraged in Budapest. The city is crawling with stunning locations, delicious cuisine from all over the world. A quick ride on the trolley over the Chain Bridge and you are in the heart of the action; the trolly can be difficult to navigate as many signs and streets are in Hungarian; however, English maps and pamphlets will ease this stress! Your toes touch a solid ground of shapes, and artistic design, with much going on, your first stop mind as well be the busiest street of all, Váci utca. The Váci is the most popular shopping street in Budapest, filled with unique trinkets and artwork. A strong scent of sugar draws you into a tiny shop in the Váci; you select a giant scoop of gelato and quickly snag your self made reservation on a bench. You share the tables with a nun who is out and about on her day off but clearly enjoying it. The city is known for the most beautiful thermal springs built during the 1900s for self-healing. We cannot be certain the Roman and french builders have that under guarantee, but the location is stunning non the less.
The days come to an end rather quickly, but that doesn’t mean these immaculate sights have to. After a long day exploring the city, it is time to sit back, relax and take a boat ride. This boat ride isn’t just any ride but one of the most amazing experiences that Budapest has to offer. There is not much to say about the experiences as it is one you must experience independently. The city offers many tours, dates, and times for a boat ride down the beautiful Danube river that flows through the city, passing some of the sites that can only be seen from the river.