Jessie, a friend from college who’s studying in Venice this semester, arrived on Friday evening for a 36-stay in Budapest on the last leg of her midsemester European tour. As I’ve said before, I like having guests in town to liven things up a bit, so this was a nice visit that came at a fairly good time for me exam-wise.
Since Jessie basically only had today, Saturday (really Saturday this time!), to see Budapest, we made a list of must-see places and headed out early. It was my first time doing all these touristy things, too! First, we took the tram to Margit Island, which was nice, but kind of empty this time of year. I bet it’s a fun place to picnic and relax in the warmer months, though. Then, we reboarded the tram and took it the end of the line in Buda, and walked up the steep hill to Buda Castle and Matthias Church. I am not used to being out in the cold, and I don’t like it! Even the ~50° temperatures felt frigid. That, on top of bumping along the cobblestone streets in my wheelchair detracted from my experience of the Castle District a bit. Objectively speaking, though, it is a quaint, decidedly European touristy area with spectacular views of the city. There was fog obscuring the buildings in the distance, and the sky was a perfect gray canvas, which gave it all a melancholic beauty. I’m looking forward to visiting again during different times of the year and showing other friends/family around.
My favorite part of our excursion was going to the Hungarian National Gallery. The 1st floor has paintings and sculptures dedicated to narrating the history of Europe leading to the sovereign state of Hungary. The 2nd floor collection has Modernist works, and currently, an exhibit of political sketches and cartoons. Though the artists are probably famous in their own right, and it’s just my ignorance speaking, it was interesting to go to an art museum without any preconceived notions. I’ll definitely be returning!
I came home by early afternoon to recharge my batteries (literally and figuratively), while Jessie went on to explore the Parliament and other parts of Pest. It wasn’t even that long of a day, but I was tired by sundown, which nowadays happens around 5pm. Tomorrow, the last day of our extended weekend, I’m looking forward to staying in pajamas all day, studying anatomy, and catching up with Jarkie!
“Pictures, or it didn’t happen!” you say?! Well … I am a reluctant photographer, and even if I had brought my camera, my fingers would’ve been too cold to use it! However, Jessie assiduously documented the day, so I’ll post photos when she uploads them.