Budapest – Part 1


I had always intended to update this blog as I travelled but once I started my Celta course there was just no time. So here are some updates, retrospectively.

First week in Budapest
 Anna's Cafe - Budapest

Coffee time

I arrived in Budapest on Tuesday 25 August after flying out of a rainy Gatwick airport. I few with Easyjet and it took about 2.5 hours. When we landed it was 30deg so a welcome change from back home. Summer in the UK this year was non existent.

For the first 5 nights I stayed in a studio flat that I rented from Airbnb. It was my first experience using the site but it all seemed pretty good. The Hungarian toilet was a bit strange at first, the U bend is at the front!  It’s known by expats as the ‘shit shelf’. Not a very nice image but it’s a pretty good way to describe it.

I spent the first week getting to know the city to familiarise myself with the local area.


I walked a lot, got lost a couple of times and saw some wonderful architecture. Chain bridge offered lovely views over the clear water of the Danube.

Hungarian Parliament Guards

Changing of the guard – Hungarian style

The Hungarian Parliament is also a very impressive building and thanks to Chloe, who I met on the course, became known as ‘The Big Building.’ She doesn’t get out much, bless her.

What struck me most about Budapest was how safe it felt and how friendly the people were. I usually associate cities with rude people, rushing around, always stressed out.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Also the public transport network is both clean and reliable.

Language awareness course

Being a native English speaker, I know bugger all about grammar and this is one of the areas I wanted to improve in.

Celta language awareness course

Pre-Celta victims

So on the 1st Thursday and Friday I attended the pre-celta language awareness course. It gave me an insight into the kind of things we might encounter on the course.

It was also a good chance to meet some of my fellow trainees; Andrew, Chloe, Sarah, Jen and Iulia. A really nice group from varied backgrounds and experiences.


We did a bit of sightseeing together, taking in the Big Building and a few other places. Then some of us went for dinner at the Gerbeaud restaurant, which is apparently famous.

Ronald Reagan - Budapest

Jen, myself and Chloe – Posing with Ronald Reagan

City Park - Budapest

Fairytale castle – City Park

Then it was early to bed on Sunday night ready to start the Celta course 9am Monday morning…

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