Sczia from Budapest, Hungary! (not Turkey, often confusing the two as they are both food-related)
Blessed by Mother Nature, Budapest is one of the most extraordinarily beautiful European cities. Brimming with lush green parks and gardens, you will feel alive and connected when surrounded by your Earth. It’s invigorating.
My initial intention in traveling to Budapest was to meet my health&wellness mentor, Sally, who just happened to be abroad for a workshop. As she had to spend the majority of the day in class, I was able to explore, learning the metro routes, discovering Heroes Square and experiencing the Budapest Zoo.
With an abounding amount of animals from all over the globe that you could actually interact with, the Budapest Zoo left me speechless. Enjoying the sunny day were Kangaroos from Australia, Tamarins (squirrel monkeys) from Central America, Tapirs and Elephants from Africa, Cranes from Asia, Camels from Morocco and a jungle of other wondrous creatures.
Later, I met with Sally and told her of a gypsy festival called the Athe Sam Roma Culture Festival (click the link to check it out) happening in city central. I barely finished my sentence before she was ready to go. We ventured off to Godor Klub and found ourselves in a lively celebration with an excellent declaration, “Athe Sam!” or “We are Here!”
Listening to gypsy music fused with electro sounds and dancing amongst the crowd, Sal and I were entertained throughout the evening. While we drank Hungarian beer we met Nora, a lovely student and local. After chatting with her for a time, her brother and his girlfriend joined us and we discussed gypsy culture, our life philosophies and worldwide travels.
Of gypsy culture we learned that they are traditionally regarded as outcasts by modern society due to their alternative lifestyle. In Budapest, gypsies are segregated and live in the 8thdistrict which is thought of as an unsafe area. It amazes me to what extent gypsies have been persecuted throughout history. This understanding made the celebration even more memorable. As the night dwindled, Sal and I craved dinner and Nora recommended a spot around the way called Castro Bistro.
Castro’s was a truly charming spot with funky art, quirky vintage furniture and an old world vibe. There we enjoyed sweet chicken curry with apples, jasmine rice and Indian bread with grilled vegetables (heaven). Followed by elderflower & rose tea.
The following day involved an incredible cruise tour along the scenic Danube River where I learned that Budapest actually consists of two places: Buda on one side of the river and Pest on the other. With glorious views and a glass of wine, I felt tranquil and happy. Our cruise took us to Margaret Island. Once a religious arena, the royal family transformed the island into a serene oasis of exquisite gardens and therapeutic springs. The Japanese garden featuring a lotus pond and enchanting sculptures allowed me a feeling of euphoria. Lotus blossoms both symbolically and physically represent the essence of beauty and this was the first time I had viewed these blossoms in person.
On my final day in Budapest, I woke with Sally to attend one of her classes. There, a specialist in homeopathy and Chinese medicine spoke about the yin&yang organs, how they are affected and what they mean in terms of our emotions. We saw the extent to which our mental, emotional and physical selves are interrelated.
After class, I met a new friend at the Szechenyi Baths, the most famous thermal outdoor/indoor spas and pools in Budapest. Essentially an adult water park, Szechenyi houses three gorgeous outdoor pools with differing temperatures. One centred on a whirlpool spun you around and around, leaving you giddy with laughter. Indoors there were many baths with healing mineral waters to dip into. There were also saunas with fabulously fragrant scents such as peppermint, bamboo reeds and jasmine. After thorough indoor indulgence, we ventured back outside to sunbathe in absolute bliss. As you looked up, you could see the colourful yellow walls, bright aqua waters and wonderful sunlit skies. Here people of all shapes and sizes enjoyed their Sunday with family and friends.
Thank you Budapest for such an earthly escapade (click to see more photos)!