"To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom....Since our office is with moments, let us husband them."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Buda or Pest?

That is the question if you are living in this gorgeous Eastern European country on the Danube. And for my gracious hosts, the answer was and is central Pest. Liza met me at the train station around 1:00pm – 3 hours later than expected – and took me back to the flat she is sharing with two other Carls, Haggai and David. After getting the first food since dinner the night before, and getting a chance to throw some of my dirty clothes in the wash, Liza showed me around her new home city.

Budapest is definitely Eastern Europe – possibly even more so than any other city that I have traveled to thus far, or will travel to on this trip as well. However, it is absolutely gorgeous as well. We walked by St. Peter’s Basilica, which is absolutely enormous and its grandeur matches its size as well, and then walked across the Danube into Buda where we strolled along the river getting stunning views of Budapest Castle and Palace, another cool church, and perhaps most spectacular, the Hungarian Parliament, which might be the most magnificent building that I have ever seen in my life. But don’t trust me – form your own opinion:

We then met back up with Haggai, David, and Liza’s new boyfriend Dan at their apartment and went down the street to one of Liza’s favorite local spots for dinner. Almost all of us had a scrumptious gypsy steak, which was a heavily peppered cut of pork, with the much needed garnishment of fat from somewhere on the pig on top. Post dinner Liza and I hung out at one of her favorite bars, where unfortunately there was not any traditional gypsy music. Evidently, on Tuesday nights there is a band that plays absolutely amazing music. We were only entertained by some odd religious a capella.

The next morning, with the little time I had left in Budapest, I was busy finishing laundry and getting packed and all set for a week in Italy, which was slightly disappointing, as I would have enjoyed having some more time to explore Budapest and be a tourist there. Nonetheless, the warmer weather of Italy is/was quite inviting.

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