31 DAYS – a writing challenge – 18th day
It was a compromise. A holiday I didn’t want to go to, as the original plan was to have an European tour, to see 7-8 countries, including France. Including my beloved Paris. Oh, how I dreamed of Paris! But some friends changed their mind, others realised they didn’t quite afford it and give up, so in the end, to still be able to go as a group, we agreed with Budapest.
What was there to see in Budapest, thought I. Hungary joined EU 2 years before us, so their infrastructure and buildings must be the same as ours. Plus they didn’t have palm trees either. Why visit then? What’s so special for us to go there? This were my thoughts while crossing Romania, for my first trip outside our country in 2007. Little did I knew then about how amazing that holiday was going to be.
I snapped thousands of pictures in awe with all the beautiful things that surrounded us. From Gilbert hill, where we went to visit the Citadel fortress, the view is spectacular. The Budapest is at your feet, with its Danube river that cuts Budapest in two halves, with lots of imposing buildings, and palaces, and the hungarian parliament as the jewel of the crown among them. I was charmed by their bridges. Our guide told us amazing stories about the reasons they were built. I also liked their Heroes Square, the huge mall, Fishermen’s Bastion, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Jewish Quarter, the baroque architecture, which is also my favorite, but the memory I treasure the most is the Danubian cruise. It was breathtaking to see all those marvelous palaces from the Danube as well, illuminated at dusk.
It was also a new experience in getting to meet people from other continents. I never saw a Chinese or a black person before but only in TV. It was fascinating. The only thing I didn’t like too much was their food. But that’s alright. All the rest was too unbelievable wonderful for anything else to matter.