Travelling is all about experiencing new things. Cultures, customs, traditions, food, and lifestyle. In my case, during my first visit to Budapest, I got to experience winter.
Like everyone else, I associate snow with Christmas, Santa Claus, reindeers, decorative lights, and fresh-baked cookies. But during my time in Budapest in mid-January 2017, I got to feel for the first-time cold winter and heavy snowfall.
In my home country, although it does snow, it lasts only for a small period, and you can only experience it up in the mountains. So, I only had the chance to play in the snow a handful of times. When in Budapest it was the first time, I saw so much snow. It was everywhere. For the first time, the expression of white Christmas that often appears in songs and movies felt real.
Even though everything felt cold and wet, I fell in love with this beautiful city. The beautiful and graphic buildings of the old Budapest and the enormous authoritarian image of the castle overlooking the Danube felt magical. In combination with the freezing river and the white streets, I felt as if I was the protagonist of a romantic Christmas movie.
While walking on the streets that were covered with white fluffy snow, there were markets with bright lights. And then at every corner, you could see a snowman waving at you as if inviting you for a warm cup of mulled wine. But what felt most astonishing was the people who were walking around not bothered by the cold at all. Coming from an almost-all-year-around-summer island, I just couldn’t get how they couldn’t feel the cold.
I only stayed in Budapest for three days since it was a spontaneous trip, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was freezing, but that did not stop me from exploring and discovering the best places for enjoying stunning views. It seriously felt like Christmas.
Usually, back at home, we only get snow around Christmas time, and all the bright lights are already gone by early-January. Furthermore, my country, in general, doesn’t celebrate winter. Therefore, the festive atmosphere that I experienced in Budapest was extremely foreign. For people who are more used to warmer climates the moment they feel a bit cold, they immediately close themselves in their homes with the heat already on. For this reason, almost no people are wandering around during cold times. Hence my surprise with the people walking as if there was no snow around them.
My trip to Budapest taught me to expect the unexpected and enjoy everything to the fullest. Whether you go to a country to seek adventure, romance, or relaxation, just go for it and don’t let anything stop you. I could easily just say it’s cold and only enjoy a good glass of wine in a pub. But if I did that, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you how my hands froze while trying to take the perfect picture of a frozen Danube.
Therefore, even if something is unfamiliar or strange, don’t let it bother you, just do your best to get the best results out of anything.
Until today Budapest is my favourite capital city in Europe, and to show my love for the city, here is a photo journey of my first snow-filled adventure.