Inside the Hungarian Parliament. All of our mouths dropped open when we walked in. And this was about the point when John Shea bolted down the roped-off hall, laughing hysterically, with Cam and one of the guards after him.
I asked these guards if I could take their photo and they both nodded yes as they continued marching. They even gave me a few smiles!
The view of Pest from the Buda side of the Danube, with St. Stephen’s Basilica towering above the skyline.
The Metropolitan Library in Budapest looks like a normal library from the outside and even when you go in.
But… when you take the elevator to the fourth floor, you are transported to opulent rooms covered in gold, huge chandeliers, spiral staircases and grand entrances. I think that was one of the coolest parts about Budapest: inside unsuspecting buildings are hidden gems from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Budapest was amazing to see! We really enjoyed our time together there. People were friendly and warm, we tried Hungarian goulash, chicken paprika and the famous cakes from Ruszwurm that has been around since 1827 (I stopped in and bought the kremes and marzipan cakes to take back to our hotel room with us; they were incredible!), and we also got to meet up with some of our friends who are fellow Olmsted scholars. Budapest is a really fascinating place… especially when you look at it through the lens of it’s history. A lot of the Hungarians we interacted with had lived and survived behind the Iron Curtain, through the brutality of communism and of the secret police– known for vanishing people. Their first free election was in 1990! Their warmth made that much more of an impression on us. Living and traveling in Eastern Europe is giving our children (and Cam and I, too) a daily hands-on world history lesson. They don’t understand it now, and will probably only have vague memories of all that we’re getting to do, but we’re setting a base to teach them in the future and that is something we are really excited about.