I love my job for so many reasons. One of the bigger ones is my employer sending me around the world.
This time I visited a place, I would never go to on my own, which would have been a colossal mistake.
Budapest, or Hungary as a whole, gets a lot of bad press caused by statements of their prime minister and his supporters.
Somehow it put me into a mindset that I didn’t want to go there, but I should know better since I had visited Istanbul.
I’m not even sure what I expected. Considering some speeches of their PM with all of his animosity against the EU, it would only be consequent if they had denied EU funding, so I guess I expected to see decay everywhere. And after arrival, while sitting in the taxi driving towards Budapest Center, I saw a decline – but only in the outskirts.
The closer I got to the center, the more interesting it looked. So, right after checking into my usual Marriott, I started walking around.
My first destination was the Central Market Hall. It’s huge, the picture shows the right half only:
They sell exciting street food:
Shortly after, I crossed the Danube river and discovered a roadside cemetery. Weird location, but I guess the graveyard came first, and the road later! It has actual graves.
I kept on walking, and after a while, I rented one of these electric scooters and drove along the Danube until I saw a hill with a monastery on top of it. I climbed it and enjoyed spectacular views:
And I just had to turn around to discover other things:
I kept walking on the hill, towards a castle in the back.
I had to queue to take a picture of the fountain. Loads of tourists, and I was one of them!
The huts will host the Budapest Wine Festival. It starts two days after I leave…what a shame!
On my way back, I found the Houdini museum, but I didn’t go inside as I was supposed to meet with colleagues for dinner.
We met in a traditional Hungarian restaurant. My starter was an original Goulash soup:
But, unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of my main course. It was so delicious that I instantly started eating after it got served.
It’s called Chicken Paprikash, and I’ll recook it one day, and take pictures, I promise!
On the next day, our event took place in this small cafe on a peninsula in the middle of the river:
It was so relaxing; I didn’t even want to work! An oasis in the middle of the city.
Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep well, as I was at war with the air conditioning in my hotel room. It was either too warm or too cold and always too loud. So, instead of meeting with my colleagues again, I went to the hotel restaurant and sorted my “burger in each city” out. While all the food I ate so far was excellent, the burger wasn’t.
From looking at the beef patty alone you know it’s going to be a poor experience.
I slept much better this night, and I turned off my alarm for the following day. I took a taxi to the airport around 10:00 in the morning, which would give me plenty of time before departure, which was scheduled for 13:15, and I planned to spend some time in one of the lounges to do a little work.
But just after security, something weird happened.
All the shops suddenly closed. They stopped letting people into the airport, and boarding was paused.
A minute later, police were everywhere and asked people to move away from the main area. It was quite a concerning experience, as no one knew what it was about.
Ten minutes later, the gates opened again, and the police left. I have no idea what happened; maybe just training.
Well, this was a nice trip, and I will be back to visit this city on a private journey and bring Veronica, as she will enjoy it, too.
Until then, Budapest!
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