I just got back from a mini-break partying, sightseeing, and gorging on meat across some of Europe’s most exciting capital cities (and the Irish countryside). Here’s how the vibes went down and why I won’t be returning anytime soon.
I’m a little late to write this, as I wanted to let my feelings settle down and reflect once I’d had time to digest my experiences.
This was also a relatively short trip compared to my previous expeditions. I’ve mentioned before how I’ve sort of grown out of long, backpacking style trips. These days I prefer short bursts or pre-planned adventure travel.
Here’s my 15-day itinerary breakdown.
5-8th October: Budapest, Hungary
Budapest had been on my radar for a long time, so I was excited to finally visit.
I can’t say I was AS impressed as some people make it out to be. I mean, it’s a gorgeous city, aesthetically speaking – but it’s not this vibrant behemoth with pulsating energy.
The food is ok. The prices are average (It’s certainly not as cheap as some make it out to be). And the Hungarians aren’t the most joyful people to be around.
That being said, the nightlife in Budapest was definitely impressive. I’m a massive techno fan, and my Israeli friend Hagai had already hunted out the best venues in the city which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Nothing particularly crazy went down during my time in Budapest. I did get obscenely drunk on the Thursday and rummage around for a McDonald’s at 4 am in the morning, but that aside, the 2 nights passed without anything of note. There was no MDMA to be seen anywhere.
8-13th October: Vienna, Austria
Since Hagai is studying in Vienna, we made our way back on the Saturday for round 3. He assured me there was a huge underground techno party happening and he was involved with the event organisers, so we took a BlaBlaCar with a cool Romanian couple who were heading back to Italy to work. The car was ridiculously squashed as they were dropping off an older Romanian gentleman on the Austrian border, but it beat taking the bus, I guess.
After being harassed by gipsies crossing the border for spare change, we made it to Vienna around 6 pm. I met Hagai’s Israeli friends, and then we proceeded where we left off drinking cheap gin from Aldi (they’re students, unfortunately).
After a few hours inside the club (which was cool, admittedly, albeit a bit too hipsterish for me), I left with one of Hagai’s friends to check out a more mainstream club. There my body collapsed and begged me to take it home to sleep – I’m getting too old for this shit.
The rest of the time in Vienna was spent exploring the sights, catching up on a bit of work, and eating copious amounts of meat with Hagai’s mates, which the Austrians do pretty damn well, to be fair. Can’t say I was too impressed with the schnitzel, however…
October 14th: Bratislava, Slovakia
I had a flight to catch to Dublin and Ryanair were doing a sweet deal just across the border.
Unfortunately, due to the retardedness of the bus company, I ended up on my bus nearly 2 hours later than scheduled, so by the time I arrived in Bratislava darkness was descending on the city.
That being said, the Slovakians at the hostel I stayed at (last time, ever), told me that there wasn’t much to the city regardless, and a brief walk around the Old Town was enough. They really aren’t the most patriotic bunch, I’ll tell ya that much…
October 15th-18th: Dublin & Glendalough, Ireland
I headed to Dublin to catch up with some friends and also because it’s easy to get back to Liverpool from there.
I love Dublin, and this was my third visit. I have special memories of this place due to it being somewhere me and my father visited before he passed away, and I’m very fond of the Irish sense of humour. It resonates with us Northerners, and especially Liverpudlians. They’re absolutely grotesque at times with their boundaries – just the type of wickedness I like engaging with 🙂
I stayed with a girl I met last time in Dublin which was nice. Haven’t really spoken since, however, so I’m a little curious if my performance wasn’t up to scratch. LOL.
Glendalough was gorgeous (see pics below). I’d love to take an RV all over the Irish countryside, but first I’ve got to do that all over England, Scotland and Wales!
Thoughts Now I’m Home
This will certainly be the last time I do more than a week in Central/Western Europe for a while. You can read why I don’t find Europe so fun anymore here (I wrote this article based on my observations throughout this trip).
Now I’m back in Liverpool searching for an apartment to base myself out of. To be honest, with the stress of this in the back of my mind, it was difficult to fully enjoy this trip knowing I was going to have to sort accommodation out when I got back. It really hammered home the fact that this perpetual nomadic lifestyle isn’t something I want in the long-term, and a base back home is where my heart is pushing me towards, especially with my nephew being such a cutie.
What do you think of the places I visited if you’ve been there before? And do you feel as uninspired as I do to travel Western/Central Europe, or am I being overly harsh on this part of the world? Let me know in the comments below.