Saturday, July 18, 2009

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, straddles the Danube River with hilly Buda on one side and flat Pest on the opposite side. The city is renowned for its history (as one of the major cities of the Austrian-Hungarian empire), thermal baths and goulash.

I visited Budapest during its hottest week--38°C and high humidity. The conditions were quite unbearable and thus I did not visit the thermal baths (I’ll have to come back in the winter for that). However, I did walk around, primarily staying close to the Danube. My highlights include the views of the neo-Gothic Parliament and Danube from Castle Hill; the neo-Romanesque Fisherman’s Bastion and the Cave Church below Gellert Hill.

I also got a chance to experience authentic Hungarian goulash. Goulash is found in many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, but the Hungarian version is a soup rather than a stew. However, it is still a hearty soup, filled with beef, potatoes, carrots and paprika.

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