Friday, June 4, 2010

Buda to the Pest

My first knowledge of Hungary came through making a new friend, Dory. We met in the land of samba and sun, while cruising on a bus full of international students exploring the coast.  I was intrigued by her passion and zeal for life and always knew that someday I would get to see her country that she spoke so fondly of.  As plans for Eastern Europe unfolded it seemed we would be passing through.  A few facebook messages were sent and plans were kept to meet. Dory kindly opened her doors to us 3 traveling friends. We spent close to a week living and learning about Hungary though her and her beautiful city.

Budapest, like so many other large European cities is cut through the middle by a river. The Danube or in Hungarian Duna was her name.  Buda and Pest used to be two separate cities but eventually they became one. We wandered on both sides of the river, and even lived in between on an island. I liked to believe that we were on the island of peace, one that sat in the middle, one that took no sides.

Rain and wind threatened to ruin our trip and discovery of the city but we didn’t let it dampen our spirits. Instead cheap tourist umbrellas were purchased and much goulash soup devoured. Hours were spent sitting in cafes conversing over cappuccinos.  We even met good friends in the middle of the Liberty Bridge, which felt as though it would blow away. Even though the wind and rain was a nuisance it gave a feeling of being alive, the blood flowing to your cheeks, the numb setting into the fingertips, the wind thrashing our hair every which way.  

Budapest holds magic; there is something special that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Like so many other cities on this trip I feel as though I just skimmed the top of everything. The culture, the food, the music,  the people, what makes this place tick… it would take years.

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