I always enter competitions and I'm never normally lucky but July was definitely my lucky month last year.
In this month I won a Wonder Woman bundle prize, tickets to a comedy show and the most amazing prize yet a trip to Budapest for the Sziget 25th anniversary festival courtesy of Eurolines and National Express.
When I received the email I was in work and I couldn't hold back my excitement as I announced it to an office full of my colleagues as they looked at me slightly bemused as to what was going on.
I really couldn't believe it. I must've read that email about ten times before it finally sunk in and after I'd confirmed acceptance of my prize I refreshed my emails probably at least every five minutes waiting for a reply!
It was finally confirmed then that yes we were indeed the lucky winners and we would be travelling in August.
August! Omg it wasn't far away and I had so much to do. Get a passport for one thing! I mean I did have a passport but it just so happened to expire at the end of July! I booked a one day rush appointment at the passport office phew got it in time. Next we needed to exchange our currency and pack.
The prize didn't include any accommodation, but it did include transport by coach and a seven day pass to the festival. We could bring our own tent and camp on the island of the festival for free though, which we did intend to do. But after buying a tent, sleeping bags and everything else we needed it was just too much to carry and having checked the temperate in Budapest it was around 35 degrees we didn't really fancy camping in a hot tent. So we booked a hotel, The Ibis Styles Budapest Centre hotel. This would allow us our own shower and plenty of time to also visit the sights.
The departure day arrived quickly. We headed to our local coach station where we would get a coach to London and from there we would head to Hungary via France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Slovakia! A journey that took around 28 hours in total I think.
The journey was long and tiring but the views we saw along the way certainly made up for it and we got to stop off in every country along the way.
We finally arrived in Budapest. Now we had to find our way to the hotel. We didn't really fancy trying to figure out the local transport we just wanted to get there quickly after all we had been travelling a long time.
We decided to take a taxi. This was easier although I have some advice! Make sure the taxi driver turns on the meter! Ours didn't and decided to charge us almost £15 for a £7 ride!
We booked the Ibis Styles hotel in the centre of Budapest, it really is in a great location for sightseeing and local transport links. Anyway once at our hotel we settled in and then decided to go for a walk to check out the local area. We strolled along the road strewn with shops everywhere until we came to the river. Wow it really was amazing! I knew then that we couldn't leave without taking a boat ride along the Danube river!
We decided as we would probably never get the chance to visit Budapest again we wanted to make the most of our stay by seeing as many of the attractions as we could.
I have to say the transport system in Budapest is amazing. Every runs every few minutes so there really is no waiting around although trying to find the right stops wasn't easy. Luckily we found a transport app that told us exactly what tram, metro etc to take to get us to where we wanted to go.
First we wanted to see Fishermans Bastion and the church
Next we went to the castle district and then headed to the Hospital On The Rock for a tour.
While you are in this area you must also take a trip on the funiculars! They give you an amazing view over Budapest.
The next day we visited Parliament although we missed the English tour (be sure to book in advance!) it's still a pretty amazing building to visit! We headed down to the river to await our boat tour I'd highly recommend doing this!
We did get quite lost again when we were trying to find the zoo but we did find it eventually.
The next day then we headed over to the festival. We crossed over the colourful bridge and into a real life Alice in wonderland filled with an array of sights including entertainers, stalls, games and so much more. Seeing the acts live on stage in this beautiful City and in an amazing atmosphere truly was incredible!
We will forever remember this trip as the best we have had!