Monday, December 29, 2008
Budapest: Day 1
We arrive in the great city of Budapest with much excitement. From the airport, we take the minibus to our hotel in central Pest. After getting settled in and resting for a bit, we decide to take a late night stroll within our immediate area, near the Blaha Lujza tér and Astoria stations. The architecture is beautiful yet tells of a destressed past and constant transformation, like any Eastern European city. A lovely pastel-colored building abuts a raw facade of a former glory, chipped away stucco that exposes her brick bones. A few more steps and we're stunned by the grandeur of the New York Palace Hotel. After stopping for a quick meal consisting of donor kebabs and heavily seasoned rice, with Coca-Cola to wash it all down, we jump on the next metro train to bring us closer to the Danube. We stop at one of the city's many landmarks, Parliament, for a visual tease of what's in store for tomorrow and call it a day.