Budapest! To me the name rings with exotic chimes of mystery. It is a place only seen in spy thrillers or read about in adventure stories.
Even as we drove in, our taxi driver proudly reamed off the names of the various sights I had only seen in pictures. The lyrical way he said the words were so different from the poor halting phonetical way I had tried to sound them out.
Budapest spans the Danube. In fact, it used to be two cities, Buda and Pest, until the famous chain bridge united them in 1849.
We have a lovely apartment on the Buda side, near Gellért Hill, overlooking the Liberty Bridge. It is a busy area with so much of the hustle and bustle of any big city, but, in my opinion, more than its fair share of sirens! We have been told Budapest is one of the safest cities in the world, and certainly we have seen nothing to make us feel nervous, but with all those police cars whipping past, you have to wonder!
My first impression of Budapest? Spicy! No, not the people, the food, especially the sausages! And they are everywhere! I have long said that you can tell a lot about what a culture holds dear by the things on the shelves in the local grocery store. Near us is a little-larger-than-corner-store grocery and it carries the usual fare.
What is unusual is that, as small as the store is, there is a special counter just for sausages, and a special employee to slice them. Mind you, it makes sense, it is rather warm here! September and the temperature is still up to 30° Centigrade (about 85° Farenheit). So the people would have had to invent ways to perserve their meat.
And speaking of food, if you like your meals hearty and robust, this is the place to be! Pork, chicken, veal and dumplings in all manner of stews and soups and, of course, paprika!
Budapest is a wonderful place to explore. I have loved the views from Castle Hill and was blown away by the beauty of the Parliament Buildings. I can’t wait to explore more of the city!