Monday, July 2, 2012

A Hot Time in Bupapest

Greetings from Budapest, Hungary.  We have been in this beautiful city on the Danube River for four days now, in the midst of a sweltering heat wave.  We were told that on Sunday, a record was set for this time of year, because the mercury never went below 24 celcius (75 fahrenheit) during the night (of course, it was much hotter, in the 90s, during the daytime.)

Our Budapest highlights included: walking on the grounds of Buda castle near dusk, admiring the sweeping views of the city below, including boats on the Danube and the massive yet intricate Parliament building; soaking in the city's famous Gellert thermal pools; bicycling around shady Margaret Island, and watching the locals try to stay cool; and cheering on Spain in the European championship game at an open air cafe in the very touristy, but lively, Vorosmarty Square in central Pest.

Also, meeting some very nice American ex-pats at a Fourth of July picnic, held in a beer garden in City Park, a sprawling recreational and cultural oasis in the northeast quadrant of the city.  The party was held in the shadow of the park's George Washington statue, a fitting location.

Along the way, we became experts on using Budapest's excellent public transportation system, including the Metro, buses and electric street cars.  And lots of walking.

Now it's off to Zagreb, Croatia, by train.

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