"If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person."
- Fred Rogers
Our second apartment in Budapest was only three blocks from the Danube where we could walk along the water into town in about 30 minutes. We ended up getting only one of those walks because on our second day in this apartment I suddenly came down with a horrible head cold. I was sick the entire first week and then my son got the same cold and was sick the second week. The only sightseeing or outings we had while in this apartment, apart from our walk the first day, were trips to the corner grocery for food supplies and kleenex. A lot of kleenex. Colds really shut you down, especially when you get a particularly bad or lengthy one but I was grateful that if we had to be stuck inside, at least we had a lovely apartment to recuperate in.
With so much time indoors, we got to know our apartment very well and I can say from experience that if you find yourself coming to Budapest, this is a great place to stay. It feels like your own home when you are here. It is in a neighborhood not overrun by tourists but still conveniently close to any site you may want to see. You are a part of the ‘family’ when staying here. To give you an example, one morning we awoke to no water in our apartment. First thing, I emailed the property owner and manager to let them know. Then, because I had heard workers and hammers shortly before waking, I got dressed and went to see if I could locate the workers and ask them when they thought the water might be back on in our apartment. It turned out I never needed to do this because when I opened my front door to leave, one of my neighbors happened to be walking by, a beautiful lady, I would guess well into her eighties. I had already typed the question for the workers onto my google translate screen so when she waited, holding the door to the stairwell for me, I showed her my question about the water. The moment she saw it, she let go of the door and came back toward my apartment. She knew a tiny bit of english and was able to understand me saying no water, no toilet. She said, pointing to her apartment, I have water!
She took her cell phone out of her purse (how did we ever live without mobile phones?!) and called someone who knew what was causing our apartment to be without water. It was all in Hungarian so I could not tell the exact exchange but afterward she said, "In about an hour or two, water." Then she held up her finger to gesture for me to wait a moment. She went to her apartment and a few minutes later came back with a bucket full of gray water and a pitcher full of drinking water. What a sweetheart. She then headed out to wherever she was going in the first place before the interruption. Later that afternoon, she knocked on our door to make sure we had water.
I took her a bouquet of flowers the next day. At first, she hesitated to accept them in the kind of expression and gesture that said it was not necessary to buy her flowers. She said in her best english, "We are good neighbors here." I said, "Yes, you are, but that level of kindness has not always been present from others in our travels and I want you to know how much it means to us." She looked at the flowers again, smiled a big, beautiful smile and then gave me a hug and a kiss on each cheek. What a precious soul and a perfect example of what I mean by really feeling a part of the neighborhood when staying in this apartment.
The apartment has a balcony with a small table and chairs overlooking the neighborhood and a beautiful cathedral right across the street.
The rooms are large and spacious with high ceilings, it has a great kitchen, and a long, expansive dining room table with enough space to have many guests or, in our case, leave your laptops out and still have plenty of room for dinner at the other end. We also loved the wood floors, the very roomy shower, and towels that felt luxurious. The very important necessities of a longer stay were provided...washer, dryer, dishwasher, and a very comfortable bed and sofa bed. No kidding on the sofa bed. I slept on it for over two weeks and I slept great every single night. It is a very unusual bed setup in all the best ways...super easy to fold out and very supportive without being too firm. I have never been on a truly comfortable sofa bed until now. It would be great for people who live in studios because it is comfortable enough to sleep on full time and during the day it is a gorgeous, modern leather sofa.
If you're interested, you can read what some others thought of Apartment Andrei here. Even more important than apartment features, in my mind, is the kindness of others we experienced, from the sweet neighbor lady to others we met and spoke with, to the outstanding way we were treated by the property owner who runs the class act known as Budapest Vacation Rentals, which you can read about in my previous post about our first apartment in Budapest.
Mr. Fred Rogers (1928-2003), quoted above, was the creator and host of Mister Roger's Neighborhood, a children's television program that ran for almost 40 years. He was all about love, peace, understanding and his messages are timeless. He was a gift to all of us, of any age.