I was asked about favorite cities before. In places where you would want to learn a bit of the local language in advance, my favorites would be Paris and Rome. Let me add BUDAPEST in Hungary. There is so much to see and do; it is easy to get around and it’s a pretty city.
Budapest has the appearance of being a bit stuffy and pretentious, but it is definitely neither of those. My first night started at the stately State Opera House where ballet was on offer—an all male review followed by a Scottish fairytale. The next night was an organ concert at St. Stephen’s Basilica. Then an evening performance at Magyar Nagycirkusz, billed as Europe’s only permanent big top circus. Along with the clowns, I watched amazing tightrope acts done with no net and no wires.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is really not my thing, but I kind of loved it.”—Quentin Tarantino
The metro was so well mapped that even I didn’t get lost on it. I wandered about snacking on cottage cheese and dill crepes and cherry croissants. The mix of old baths, art museums and folk dance kept me happy. Running in the rain, I ducked into a shop for cover; my cappuccino came with sprinkled powdered chocolate in the shape of a heart. Very comforting.
“Budapest is a prime site for dreams: the East’s exuberant vision of the West, the West’s uneasy hallucination of the East.—M. John Harrison
I highly recommend a walking tour of Budapest. It’s a great way to get your bearings or review where you’ve been. With so much on offer, you’re bound to discover something you’ve missed on your own.
For history buffs, there is the Budapest Historical Museum, the House of Terror (former Headquarters of AVH Secret Police with stories of inmates and those sent to Siberia), and the Hungarian National Museum (with ancient Roman grave markers).
A boat ride is an excellent way to view the Parliament Building and the shoes set out on the Danube pier. The many empty shoes represent those deported to concentration camps in World War II. My walking tour guide said St. Stephen’s crown is kept in the Parliament Building to show Parliament has authority to govern.
If you are there in the warm weather, Budapest parks are great places for a picnic. If you are like me and don’t fully understand what you are ordering at the deli, don’t open the bag until you are ready to eat. Surprise.
TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb…GET the audio book (7 hours, 13 minutes) at Barnes and Noble or Google Play or Chirpbooks or Kobo or AudiobooksNow or Downpour or The Podcast App or Scribd or Overdrive. On iTunes, click on audiobooks and search by author. GET the paperback (232 pages) or e-book at Barnes and Noble, at Apple Books or at Amazon. The ebook is also at Smashwords.
Buy it. Read it. (Or listen to it.) Let me know what you think. –TMLL