Turns out, there’s not a whole lot to do in Balatonfüred in the off- season. Aka now. After some research the night before, I found a little train that goes through the city with history and commentary on what you’re seeing. This train was like the Christmas train that rides around Redmond Town Center so it could go all over the city which was neat. I think I saw pretty much all of the sites on this little 30-minute journey so that should give you an idea of how small the city is. And I had the whole train to myself! It was 4 or 5 cars long and I was the only one lol after the train ride I walked to the actual train station to buy my ticket back to Budapest for the next day. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have to stay in Balatonfüred any longer than was necessary lol then I went to the marina and tried to find a boat cruise. The first company I found required 10 people to sail and I was the only one interested with like 15 minutes until sailing time. I figured it would be pretty hard to find 9 new friends that quickly, so I tried another company. They appeared to have no limit and said I could buy my ticket on the boat so I boarded with a young family of 3 and an older couple. The cruise was an hour long and sailed along the coast to the middle of the lake. There was no commentary so I wasn’t exactly sure what I was seeing, and it was really cold on the lake, but it was worth it to see just how big the lake actually is- hint: it’s huge! After the boat cruise I got some lunch- a Caesar salad with chicken (I know, I know, not really Hungarian, but it was delicious). After lunch I walked around a little and then headed back to the hotel to start to pack up and research Novi Sad (my next destination) some more. Then I headed out to dinner at the Astoria Hotel that I had heard was one of the best restaurants in town. While my food was really good, there was only one other couple there so I can’t imagine it’s as famous as I had read. I had grilled cheese (cheese that is grilled, like baked brie- not the sandwich) with grilled vegetables and a “rich chicken soup” (basically chicken noodle soup). After dinner I walked back to the hotel, finished packing and watched some of the Championship’s League and NBA finals on TV in Hungarian.
I got up, showered, handed in my keys and walked to the train station to catch my train back to Budapest. It was an easy walk again but it was pretty warm and I had my sweatshirt on so I was sweating by the time I got to the train station. Luckily I was pretty early so I got to sit and cool off for a bit. My train was to leave at 11:08 so I headed up to the platform. The list of departures said I would be platform 5 and as I was sitting there a train pulled up on platform 4 that said Tapolca (a town West of Balatonfüred) –> Szekesfehervar which is where I was supposed to change trains. I sat and waited until about 11:05 and no train had arrived at platform 5 so I attempted to ask the conductor if the train on platform 4 was the one I was supposed to take. He didn’t speak English but gestured like I was to get on, so I did. I figured since it said it was going to Szekesfehervar and was traveling in the right direction, I should at least make it to the right spot, even if it was the wrong train. Well at about 11:12, while I was on the train at platform 4, a train arrived on platform 5 heading the wrong direction, so I guess it was a good thing I got on this train! I was supposed to arrive in Szekesfehervar at 12:40 and catch the 12:46 train to Budapest. I arrived at Szekesfehervar at that time and according to the reader board I was to go to platform 6 (although I wasn’t that convinced). As I was walking up the stairs to platform 6, a woman who had been on my train from Balatonfüred was coming down the stairs and told me that that wasn’t the right train, that it had just come from Budapest and that we wanted the train on platform 7. Since the reader boards haven’t exactly been correct, I trusted her. We got on the train at platform 7, but I could see the sign on the other train said it was going to Budapest- Deli which is where I wanted to go (I checked though, my train said that too!), so I think that one would have been fine too. When I was searching the timetables, there was one train that got into Budapest at 1:28 and one that got in at 1:58, which is what time I arrived so I think I just took a different train then I had intended. But I ended up in the right spot and only a little behind schedule so it all worked out. It was nice of the woman to try to help though.
Once in Budapest, I checked into my new hostel. It’s a weird one! My room has 2 beds on the bottom floor and then up a really creaky staircase there are 4 more beds. Of course, I was up top, but there was only 1 other guy so it was nice. I went and got lunch after at the Hummus Bar and had some delicious Mediterranean food. Then I walked around some more, got some snacks for the train tomorrow as it’s a 7-hour ride, changed some Euros into Serbian Dinar so I’d have some local currency when I got in tomorrow and then went to the hostel to make sure I was ready to go. Then, as it was Cinco de Mayo, I found some Mexican food for dinner! I had chips and salsa (chips were a bit stale and the salsa wasn’t very good), a Margarita and a chicken burrito (delicious). This meal left me with only 5 Forint cent left (which is like 0.0002 cent American) so that was good I wouldn’t be carrying around useless money. Then I went back to the hostel, showered and went to bed as my train leaves at 8:05am tomorrow!
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