My bike bag has finally arrived. I stopped by the pick-up location yesterday at 10:00AM, but the package still hadn’t arrived. The lady at the store told me to come back in an hour or so when the delivery driver would be back. I stopped at Café Lang - My Best Espresso for a cappuccino. After returning home and sending out a few emails, I got a notification that the bike bag finally arrived. I sprinted over. The lady told me that the package was too big and that I can’t order packages that big for her store again. I told her I’d remember for the future 😄. I’ll have some fun building this in the next few days.
I have now officially travelled to the farthest point east in Europe for the first time in my life. I’ve never travelled around eastern Europe, but it’s something that I hope to do at least once in my life (barring any major geo-political escalations / invasions). A few weeks ago, I was asked to join a work trip to Budapest, and I immediately jumped on the opportunity and said yes. It was one of the cities originally on my list of places to visit when I first arrived in Germany, so I’m glad I have the chance to visit before I head back to Sunnyvale.
Flying from Stuttgart by way of Frankfurt, I was surprised when I wasn’t asked for my passport a single time. It was as if I jumped onto a domestic flight from SF to LA. Overall, it was a really easy transit process. I’m not sure if it’s as straightforward on the way back.
I mis-read my boarding time, and thought the flight was taking off 45 minutes earlier than scheduled. When I got to the airport, I realized that I had about an hour to kill, so I decided to have lunch. I had a Weißwurst mit Brezel (translation: white sausage with pretzel) with a brownie for dessert. I absolutely love Weißwurst, especially when eating it for breakfast or lunch (or even dinner, to be honest) with Bavarian sweet mustard. That mustard takes the meal to a new level 👌🏾.
After smoothly landing in Budapest, we made our way over to the hotel via shuttle bus. We admired the Hungarian language via signs inside the airport and signage on buildings and for traffic. With strong ties to German culture and heritage, a number of German words are directly used within the Hungarian language. I found it so interesting to understand the pronunciation of Hungarian words, which feels and sounds so much different than other languages I’ve heard to date.
The city of Budapest is amazingly beautiful. Split by the Danube river, the regions of Buda and Pest straddle the river-side and have some of the most iconic views in Europe. After we arrived at our hotel, we took a short walk through the Jewish Quarter. The weather here is not as humid as Stuttgart, which is nice, but it’s just as warm with a nice breeze through the city. I regret taking a jacket with me to dinner.
For dinner, we ate at Twentysix° Budapest. This is an indoor bar and restaurant with a large full-roof skylight which covers a courtyard where the restaurant is with workshops and offices lining it. There are plants hanging everywhere. The cuisine is predominantly Mediterranean-influenced. I liked the food a lot, particularly the Mezze plates. I had a Ribeye steak as my main, which was solid.
After dinner, we walked around the downtown area, which of course includes large shopping lanes and malls. It was interesting to see so many dominating US brands have a presence here. We eventually made our way over to the famous Danube River, the second-longest river in Europe that actually starts in Baden-Württemberg at the Black Forest. Unfortunately, the castle on the hill was not lit up at night. We’ll have a chance to see it tomorrow. After taking a bunch of pictures, we made our way back to the hotel, stopping by and admiring various buildings and their unique architectural styles. I don’t have the time unfortunately, but from what I learned, Hungary has a very diverse and mixed history with many influences, which manifests in its language, culture and architecture.
I definitely need to come back here and spend a longer time exploring this unforgettable city.
Béke és szeretet ❤️ (translation: peace and love)