Written by: 
Tajana Mohnacki Tuesday, 5 June, 2018 - 23:40

#MobilityIsMyLifestyle: Budapest and Barcelona

Follow the adventures of the winners of #MobilityIsMyLifestyle competition on their trip to five European cities in a span of two weeks and rediscover the curious traveller in you!

Welcome back to the third and ultimate edition of Gabriela’s and Isabelle’s adventures across five European cities! In case you’re new here, you can access the article’s one and two by clicking on the links.

As soon as they landed in Hungary, they were faced with two problems - they received a fine because they didn’t validate their metro ticket, and they had no idea how forints actually work. Fortunately, they figured it out fairly quickly and proceeded to buy magnets!

When they finally reached their hostel, YHA Aventura Boutique Hostel, provided by our partner Hostelling International, they had some time to relax there after they checked-in and left their luggage in their room.

“It was a nicely decorated place. We felt  at home there, it was cosy and welcoming. The staff was friendly and interested to find out more about our trip. They made everything so perfect and we would like to take this opportunity to tell them how amazing they are!”

Later in the day, an ESN member picked them up and took them to a bar and some other places where they had a chance to meet other ESN members and their Erasmus students. They were especially fascinated by Budapest’s ruin bar! They have also tried kürtős kalács, a famous Hungarian treat. Of course, being in a foreign country means relishing in its culture and comparing it to yours, so their experience was no exception.

“Since Gabriela comes from the neighbouring country, it was interesting experience for me to see their similarities and difference in traditions, but also language.”

The next day, an ESN member picked them up again and provided them with a day-long guided tour around the city! They saw the Parliament, a memorial statue of Archangel Michael dedicated to the victims of the World War II, the Basilica of Saint Stephan which is unbelievably imposing, as well as beautiful!

“We also saw something we never expected to see - a bus running in water! Both of us were astonished, and very confused!”

After a delicious lunch at an affordable Turkish restaurant, they left Pest and moved to Buda where they visited the castle and the church on the hill from where they had an amazing view of the entire city.

“Balázs has made sure we had a full sized tour of his city! We can’t thank him enough for the dedication and kindness he put into welcoming us and showing us around. Without his help, we wouldn’t have seen as much of Budapest in two days as we did.”

This only proves how far ESN members are ready to go to provide mobility lovers with the best experience possible!

When they came back to the hostel, they discovered that the amazing YHA Aventura Boutique Hostel will lend them bikes to explore the city for free! There was only one problem - Gabriela had never learned how to ride a bike.

“Having Isabella close to me as my main advisor and knowing that the sympathetic Dr. Walter will cover my insurance in any case, I took up the challenge!” - Gabriela

With Isabella’s help, Gabriela managed to ride her bike and they spent some amazing last moments in Budapest before it was time to leave for their last stop - Barcelona!

Palm trees, tapas and the seaside in Barcelona made them feel like the summer had already started. They arrived at the Twentytu Hostel pretty late and were greeted by wonderful staff who made their stay as relaxing as possible.

When the sun rose in the morning, it was time to explore the beautiful city of Barcelona! They met up with Claudia, an ESN member, in front of the beautiful and impressive Sagrada Familia. The church’s construction is planned to be finished in around 10 years from now - it’s amazing how different styles can coexist in such a harmonious manner that it’s hard to say which one came first.

Their guide told them a bit about Antoni Gaudi, a man who had made Barcelona as pretty and as famous as we know it today. When faced with his work, the girls were left speechless.

“It’s such  unique architecture where details are largely inspired by sea creatures and underwater life.” - Isabella

In the afternoon, they were invited to an Erasmus BBQ, held only 2 or 3 times per year - score! Surrounded by more than 80 Erasmus students and ESN members, they had a chance to make new friends and have a chill time during a sunny day in Barcelona while enjoying the sound of music and some team games! They also had a chance to try a Catalan dish called calçot which is a type of onion eaten with a special sauce - delicious food which requires conquering the fear of getting messy.

To sum up their thoughts of this adventure, it was a colourful experience which led them to live, feel, smell, see, witness and be astonished by so many places attached to people’s culture. Individuals they met along the way, that opened up their hearts and showed them around or made them laugh, taught them about their culture or listened to their stories made this experience ten times more fulfilling and enriching for them.

“I have to say Isabella is one of the reasons why this trip was so beautiful! She is a funny, creative person with a cheerful attitude and an amazing sense of humour! I truly hope we will meet each other again one day!” - Gabriela

“It was such a pleasure to meet Gabriela and welcome her in my heart. She truly is an amazing person that will make you laugh or come up with incredibly crazy thoughts. A poetic being that has her own way of seeing life!” - Isabella

A big thank you to our partners Ryanair, Dr. Walter and Hostelling International for making this trip possible! Also, a big thank you to the entire Mov’in Europe team for coordinating all of this, and to Gabriela and Isabelle for participating!

Would you like to travel around Europe, discover new places and cultures, meet new people and make a friend for life? Then follow us on our social media channels and keep your eyes peeled for future competitions!

Feeling like belonging to a local community is out of your reach? Being on Erasmus is not always a piece of cake. Especially when you don’t know the language of the country where you’re going. Here are some tips that can change that!
Enjoying a city’s nightlife is one of the key factors of studying abroad for many people, so finding the best student bars in your new city should be high on your Erasmus bucket list.
Post-Erasmus Depression is something that is not talked about as much as it should be. Going on (or coming back from) exchange is terrifying, but even now there are ways to see the benefits of it and how you’ve grown as a human being!
I was looking for a movie that represented both romance and the mobility aspect, so when I stumbled upon this masterpiece, I knew I had to write about it. It is a film about taking a chance and embracing life as it is - as an adventure.
The UK government’s decision to abandon the Erasmus+ programme is disappointing news for many people, but even ignoring the emotional aspect, it still strikes me as an odd, illogical choice.
They say that if it did not work out, it is a lesson learned. Considering how many things did not work out, there is a lot to learn.