Before you judge me for what you’re about to read please consider I was travelling very early in the morning.
After spending €40 on a taxi to Rome Fiumicino airport I stumbled hazily into the departure lounge excited (but also very tired) to head to Hungary. Sadly it quickly transpired that my flight was actually departing from Rome Ciampino airport. Now, it’s a good thing that I left with plenty of time otherwise I’d have been stuffed. MyTaxi in this instance was the true hero, providing me with a cab within 5 minutes. Sadly, this meant I was another €40 down.
Rome Ciampino is a little like Fiumicino’s younger brother. I.e. Smaller, very annoying and gets all the crap jobs. For some reason the ticket gates didn’t open until around 4:40am, and being in Italy, most of the locals were already queuing. This meant a stampede through security, resulting in me being hurried along as I attempted to unpack every single electrical item in my hand luggage. Fortunately it seems that most airports in the world (apart from UK and USA airports) aren’t quite as strict when it comes to security, which means while you won’t smuggle a bomb through, you won’t be persecuted for accidentally leaving your beard shaver in your bad.
We left Rome at around 6:50. After catching some Zs and ignoring the temptation to buy aftershave and scratchcards, we landed at around 8:20. The flight was fine, although the landing was a little bumpy. Leaving the plane it hit me straight away how bitterly cold Hungary was during winter, although I expect the snow drifting through Europe at the moment has something to do with that. After a quick passport check (my first while travelling through the Schengen area), I was in Hungary.
The first thing that bemused me is the currency denominations. The Hungarian Forint is split much like most currencies, but the price of things is much higher. For example, the flat white I bought at the airport was 950 ft. Which, while sounding crazy, is about €3. The general rule of thumb is to divide by 100 and then by 3 to get the price in Euros. From there I purchased my ticket into town, the 100 bus from the airport (which is fantastic), for 900 ft. Just remember to buy your ticket before you ride.
From there I had a walk around before checking into my apartment for the rest of the week. It’s a nice and cosy studio with separate bathroom, much better than the quality of hotels I’ve stayed in, with the added benefit of a kitchen. Now I’m about to head out, grab a few beers and check out Budapest for the first time. So, until next time, viszontlátásra.