Out of everywhere on our trip, I was most excited about Zermatt and Budapest. It was also where we finally caught up with David and Sylvie - a week was a long time without seeing her little smushy baby face and Viv and I were both so excited to catch up with them.
Vivienne and I arrived in Budapest first, about 4pm, and checked into our AirBnb which was really central and had a 24 hour shop across the road for us to stock up on crisps and beers for when Dav arrived. We met them off the bus from the airport in the evening and luckily Sylvie had slept for the entire flight and Dav wasn't too frazzled - I think he'd been anticipating how it would go but it ended up being pretty straightforward. We dumped our things, turned around and went straight out to dinner to catch up.
The next day we packed up the buggy and walked straight through the city to cross the river and climb up to a good vantage point to see the view. One of our favourite things to do in a new place is to explore by foot, and Budapest is quite sprawling but small enough to walk around from point to point too.. We walked up towards the Citadella, and hung out at the kids' park for a bit, then walked along the river towards Budapest Castle, where we got the funicular up to the top. The views over the city were amazing, so pretty and just what you'd imagine - the parliament buildings in particular look so iconic on the skyline.
From there we crossed back over the river, and there was a Spring festival happening, where we sat and ate some amazing Hungarian street food, had a few beers, and looked around the craft market. It was so colourful, and there was a park nearby with a sunken bar area - the girls hung out on the grass and we took it easy for the afternoon - all tired and needing to relax after travelling in the days before. We decided to take the rest of that first day easily, and hung out back at our accommodation before heading out for tapas on the night (which, it's worth mentioning, was so, so cheap and so good - about £35 for three of us including wine and beers..).
I was so glad that I booked Budapest for three nights, as it meant we had two and a half days to explore, and we could take it all at our own pace. We were really keen to go to a spa but we were a little limited in our options as some places were adult only, and some wouldn't allow babies. We eventually found one on Margaret Island - Palatinus Strand Baths - which had indoor and outdoor pools, thermal saunas and baths, hot and cold pools, a kids' pool.. it was perfect, and we spend a few hours there (I could have stayed there all day, but it's a little less relaxing with the kids!).
The walk back from Margaret Island into the centre was past the Parliament Buildings - even better close up - and we decided to head to the Jewish Quarter. Honestly, I immediately wanted to come back without the girls. The ruin bars are really something else.. So bizarre and amazing. Viv loved exploring them too, but with Sylvie being a toddler and kicking up a fuss we couldn't stay for long. The Jewish Quarter, with all it's bars and restaurants, is amazing, and you could easily kill half a day here wandering around. We stopped for some lunch, before talking a slow walk back, stopping to look at graffiti and take photos too.
We had a few hours to kill on our last day, and decided to head to Városliget Park, where there was plenty to explore and see. We stopped near the old ice skating rink for food, and let the kids blow off some steam at the play area ahead of our flight. It was such a pretty place, and had Castle Vajdahunyad Vára Castle, museums and a zoo as well as the famous Széchenyi Thermal Baths to visit too.
We all had the most wonderful time in Budapest, and loved exploring and being reunited, but I think by this point we were ready for some home comforts too - there's nowhere like your own bed, is there? The flight went well, Sylvie slept all the way home (thank goodness), and Dav drove us back from the airport while I slept (sorry for being shit company).
A few days after being home I was itching to head away again.. the travel bug/Wanderlust is real. I'm hoping to get away just me and the girls in the Summer for another adventure.. this really has been magical memory-making stuff.