Budapest is a lot more artsy and open-minded than we thought – Interview with Roxanne and Maartje
Roxanne and Maartje have traveled around the world together. Commemorating their amazing trips in a blog as well as on a video channel, the lovely couple thrives on travel. When they visited Budapest, they were dazzled by the sunrise seen from the Fisherman’s Bastion. Let’s get to know them a bit better!
How was your life before visiting Budapest?
Before visiting Budapest we had already traveled around the globe – from Asia to North America and back to Europe. During an interrail trip to Eastern Europe, we decided to visit Budapest.
Could you tell us a bit about your hometowns?
Roxanne is from a small village in the exact center of the Netherlands called Eemnes. That’s actually very near to the “Beverly Hills” of the Netherlands – it’s where a number of famous Dutch people (e. g. actors and singers) live. I am from a city one hour north of Amsterdam, Heerhugowaard. It’s next to the cheese city of Alkmaar – a must-visit if you want to see more of the Netherlands than just Amsterdam.
What did you guys know about Hungary before coming here?
We actually have a good friend who is Hungarian! She lives in Amsterdam and visits her family every summer. She always talks about the good food (haha). We also know a bit about Hungary since Sziget Festival is popular among Dutch people.
What brought you to Budapest?
A train adventure! We decided to interrail through Eastern Europe, visiting as many castles as possible. We have heard before that Budapest is a magical, beautiful, and charming city and found out that to be very true. It’s definitely a must-visit in Europe.
What are your favorite things here?
We loved seeing the Fisherman’s Bastion during a sunrise. There are so many tourists at sunset, but it’s completely empty by sunrise! It’s so peaceful and magical. We like the ruin bars a lot, too. And we have yet to try out the thermal baths.
What are the things that you don’t really like in Budapest?
That there are too many tourists at the Fisherman’s Bastion during the day (haha). No, we really enjoyed our time there. We did get bed bugs from a cheap hostel though, that was not so great. Always make sure to check the reviews before you book accommodation – we learned it the hard (and itchy) way.
Have you had any cultural shock?
We did not have a huge cultural shock, as we have traveled to many places. We always try to choose destinations that are more open-minded. The ruin bars were a very pleasant surprise here. Budapest is a lot more artsy and open -minded than we thought.
What do you think is the main difference compared to your home country?
We think there’s a distinctive difference between Western and Eastern Europe, yet it isn’t as big as people make it out to be. We noticed everything is a lot cheaper than in the Netherlands and where Amsterdam is a crazy busy city – with all the bicycles – Budapest feels a lot more laid-back, yet hipster.
What do you think of the LGBTQ+ life in Budapest? Have you had any interesting experiences?
We didn’t, actually! We tried searching for a lesbian bar, but couldn’t find one. And although we usually meet with locals during our trips, our Budapest visit was a little too short this time. We would love to discover more on our next trip. We did feel very comfortable walking hand in hand on the streets – we couldn’t do that everywhere, so that was amazing.
How is queer life back in your hometown or in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, and they recently officially added Pride Amsterdam to the Intangible Heritage Inventory of the Netherlands. Even in the Netherlands there is homophobia and anti-LGBT violence – but it’s officially one of the best places in the world to be LGBTQ+.
What kind of hobbies do you have?
We love traveling (obviously) and photography.
What do you think of Hungarian girls?
Honestly, we only have eyes for each other.
Any message you would like to share with the newcomers who are just arriving to Budapest?
Have fun! Come open-minded and be ready to have fun!
Kocsis G. János