I’m Hungary!!!

When I woke up the morning of my departure I was greeted with an email alert from United informing me that my flight has been delayed 3 hours. This meant that there was no way I would make my connection in Frankfurt to Budapest. Fortunately, I remember this Louis CK bit and that fact I lead a fairly lucky and priveledged life so I shined it on, made a few calls, secured an alternate connection and embraced the beginning of a typical European Adventure. Chris was already in Budapest, working hard for the man. My folks kindly drove me to SFO and after a breezy entrance and exit through security, I was settled into the terminal, anxiously eyeing the dude on my left in the the restaurant who was inhaling a plate of refried beans. Thank God, I didn’t see him on my flight.

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This about sums up this leg of the trip.

The flight was fairly uneventful. Sadly, due to my first world problem of the flight delay and thus change in aircraft, I was booked on a United plane and not a Lufthansa craft. This meant that I didn’t get my own tv monitor. However, there was a much better alternative outside my window.

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Flying over my hometown with Lake Chabot prominently featured.

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Even at our elevation, we couldn’t avoid the haze and smoke of the fires near Yosemite.

P1020574 We arrived promptly on time at Frankfurt and I spent a good 3 hours at a bar in the terminal with two women who were about to begin a “Bucket List” adventure of a Mediterranean Cruise. They were both from the Bay Area as well and the three of us enjoyed swapping stories about our gastronomical adventures abroad.

Nearly 20 hours after I set off, I finally touched down in Budapest and promptly secured a taxi to the hotel that Barra secured for Chris.  This is easily the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at. Thank you, MSCI!!!

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It’s pretty much nicer than my own bathroom.

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Whew. That’s C’s toiletry bag. Evidence that I indeed have the right room.

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I would later be embarrassed about eating all three of those myself when Chris comes home to inform me that these refershments are provided at check in only. And I ate all of them. With out him. He chose it! He married it! ;)

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I may or may not have jumped ont he bed…

P1020578 P1020576Not even 20 minutes after I arrived, my hard working husband came home took me on a stroll down Vaci Utca.

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Fairly certain the play on words is supposed to be “Represent” but I like to think that this is a store that specializes in re-gifting unwanted gifts.

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Have you ever had “chicken essence”?

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Enjoying a cocktail as we decide were to grab a late night bite.

  The next morning, Chris had to get to work which meant I had the day to myself to explore this gorgeous city. We shared a delicious and expansive breakfast in our hotel (I will write a separate post about this later) and joined him in his commute to learn the logistics of the subway system and get my bearings on the city lay-out. I also got more time with my beloved. ;)   Budapest is divided by the Danube into Buda (eastside of the Danube) and Pest (the westside). We are camped out in Pest which is more of the modern/finanical hub of this captial city.

Thirty minutes later I was once more a Solo Traveler and strolling along the Danube towards my first stop, Budapests Market Hall. But first:

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The Castle in Buda from Pest.

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The Chain Bridge

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I’m definitely coming back for this, but I need my Thanksgiving Pants.

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Main entrance.

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Some bad-ass honey.

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If your’e a tourist like me, and you feel like you’re missing out on the experience due to lack of a kitchen, never fear! There are delicious food vendors on the top floor to satisfy any craving. Due to the aforementioned breakfast, I was sated.

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After a few pics of the picturesque structures on the hill, I made my way down the promenade of the Danube to the market. But, then became easily tempted…    P1020590    Where ever I go, I love to visit the local market. As a food lover and a dietitian in training, I’m fascinated with the link between food and culture and agricultur, health and economy. The ways people farm, sell and prepare food is intrinsic to local culture and customs and often provides a unique lens on a city, country or people.  The Market is located at the very end of Vaci Utca and from the outside resembles a huge Industrial building that is very reminscient of a 20th century train station. Inside, stall after stall is overflowing with fresh produce, newly butchered meat, smoked meats, cheeses of all cultures, and textiles and wares to satisfy and tourists souvineer needs.  P1020598 P1020599 P1020600 P1020601 P1020602 P1020603 P1020604 P1020605 P1020606 P1020607 P1020608 P1020609 P1020610 P1020611 P1020612 P1020613 P1020615 P1020616 P1020617 P1020618 P1020619 P1020620 P1020621 P1020622 P1020623 P1020624 P1020625 P1020626 P1020627 P1020629 P1020630 P1020631 P1020632 P1020633      After about an hour of wandering up and down stalls of goods, food and wares, it was time to switch gears and head towards the Basilica.  Roughly a 25 minute stroll back up the Vaci Utca I entered the square which is home to St. Istvan’s Basilica.   Per Rick Steves, the baslica was designed by three architects over the course of over 50 years. This explains the hodgepodge of neo-gothic, neo-classical, and neo-rennaisance influences. P1020647  P1020649 P1020650 P1020652 P1020653 P1020654 P1020655 P1020656 P1020657 P1020658 P1020659 P1020660 P1020661 P1020662 P1020663 P1020664  P1020666 P1020667 P1020668 P1020669 P1020670 P1020671 P1020672 P1020673 P1020674 P1020675 P1020676 P1020677 P1020678 P1020679 P1020680 P1020681 P1020682 P1020683 P1020684 P1020685 P1020686 P1020687  P1020689 P1020690 P1020691 P1020692 P1020693 P1020694 P1020695 P1020696 P1020697 P1020699 P1020700 P1020702 P1020704   P1020707 P1020708 P1020709 A small chapel to the left of the sanctuary is home to the patron saint’s mummified hand. More impressive to me, are the gorgeous stained glass windows depicting saints of local import and reverence.  P1020713  P1020715 P1020716 P1020717 P1020718 P1020719 P1020720   At this point, my jet lag had completely set in and it was time to head back to the hotel for a brief nap. Chris was home and after a quick respite we were off to a restaurant that was suggested by one of his colleagues. Delicious! IMG_2832 IMG_2834 IMG_2835

We finished our evening out with a beer at an Irish Pub reminiscent of our first date. Also called Beckett’s, we enjoyed (yes, that’s Chris enjoying himself) a few rounds and the warmth of an evening in Budapest. IMG_2837But once again, the bed and sleep beckoned and since tomorrow as Saturday, Chris was free to partake in siteseeing with yours truly!

And with that, Day 1 down and so much more to follow up on. Stay tuned.

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