Budapest, Hungary, was the last stop on my trip to Europe this past summer. I really didn’t know much about the country or the city prior to our arrival, except that it was supposedly very beautiful and interesting. Both things ended up being true, except I discovered pretty quickly there is a lot of complexity to Hungary’s history and culture.
You can read some of that history here, but the most recent events that stand out for me included the deportation and terrorization of Jewish citizens during World War II, the fighting between Nazis and Russian soldiers on Hungarian soil, the brutal occupation by Russia after World War II, and the failed revolution of the citizens against the Soviet empire in 1956.
If anything, I became a lot more grateful to be an American after learning about what has gone on here. Lest I get too political, I’ll turn the conversation back to travel and food and say that Alan and I ended our river boat cruise here and stayed an extra 3 days, so we really got to experience a lot of what Budapest has to offer. And, since today is another “What I Ate Wednesday,” I’m also sharing some of the foods I ate. I won’t bore you with breakfast pics, since I literally ate the same thing for all 15 days on the boat (see here).
We got an early start on our first day in Budapest, going on a tour called “Do as the Locals Do” where we took public transportation and visited local markets. I’m sure you’ve heard about Hungarian paprika, and it is a big deal here, along with fresh peppers:
Fermented foods are also everywhere:
I think I saw just about every type of vegetable pickled and stuffed with sauerkraut:
For the kids, ha:
There are quite a few gorgeous remnants of Budapest’s golden age at the end of the 19th century, including this cafe:
After the morning tour, I did a little Googling and found a vegan cafe with gluten-free options for lunch. We were a bit skeptical going down the stairs into an old coal-storage area:
But it ended up being cozy and fine for a basic beans-and-rice meal:
I found a nearby organic place for dairy- and gluten-free dessert (this was a coconut pie). I also had tea, not pictured:
I didn’t end up having any goulash during my stay in Budapest, but I did try some fish with paprika sauce that was delicious. On our last day on the river boat, I had an American-style dinner with salad, roast beef (unpictured), and fruit:
I left Budapest and Europe feeling an immense respect for the experience of learning about other cultures and meeting some very special people, not to mention immense joy to be headed back home. Here’s one of my favorite pictures from the whole trip, the gorgeous Parliament building in Budapest beautifully lit up at night:
I hope you liked this post!
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