One month!? After three and a half years in Central Europe, it’s hard to imagine our time here is nearly over. I look back to that first night in Bratislava; an Italian dinner on the Danube, a restless night at the Marrol Hotel, and then each of us dragging two massive suitcases clickety-clack over the cobblestone streets to our apartment.
We ran upstairs and double locked our door. The graffiti, a massive block housing complex, Petrazalka, scarring a mile long swath across the river; Bratislava just seemed so foreign. No, intimidating.
We have changed since then. Grown, I hope. Fortunately, I started this blog shortly after we arrived. Some day, Pat and I will walk this blog from end to end; our own digital memory lane. But not yet. This month, we are focused on the present. I am not ready to relegate Central Europe to our past.
It’s hard to imagine how much we haven’t done. I scribbled a list of places to visit – both in Budapest and further afield in Hungary. And, of course, we will include one last weekend in Bratislava.
March 2nd, we head back to the United States, destination still vague (after all, my employer has a bit to say about this). But for now, let’s stay in the present, keep our feet planted in Hungary. Here’s our Hungarian bucket list:
- Another meal at Hungarikum Bistro and Zeller Bistro. Both are at the top of the Tripadvisor list – and for good reason.
- A couple of visits to Trattoria Toscana. This restaurant is linked to our history with this city. We have to drop in to say goodbye, maybe twice.
- Dinner at Gundel. We have never tried this dining option associated with visiting heads of states and the ubiquitous crepe dessert, the Gundel pancake. But we will now.
- Perhaps a cake at one or two of the famed coffee shops in town – Frohlich and Auguszt spring to mind.
- The Applied Science Museum with its incredible Zsolnay tile roof
- Rudas Thermal Bath
- The Hall of Art on Heroes Square
- The Glass Factory, Budapest’s answer to Schindler’s factor
- The town of Kecskemét and the The Hungarian Museum of Photography
- The town of Győr – both a short listed city and the site of a handball game versus France. This is a 2fer. Handball is huge here, and we have never seen a match.
When we are not dashing about, I have a list of 15 or more blog topics in the backlog; biking the Austrian countryside, tasting wine in Villany, The Goat Church in Sopron, and Christmas markets (it’s never too late for a Christmas market blog, right?)
Today, I am off to a Hungarian cooking class. It ended up being a private class taught in a couple’s apartment a bit up in Buda. We will start at the main market hall to shop, then off we go to cook and eat. Chicken paprikash, anyone?
Cooking is one of my greatest sources of pleasure. As a new resolution, I plan to master one classic dish each place we live. I am researching cooking classes in Paris. Baguette making? I’m in.
My goal is to be caught up on the blog within a month of returning to the United States. This site serves as my journal. I can’t leave with gaping holes in our story.
Fortunately, our landlord agreed to buy our furniture, so we do not have to deal with that. We do have a lot of packing and shipping in front of us – or maybe sorting and purging, dumping and burning, heaving and tossing off the deck. The closer we get to zero days remaining, the less inclined we are to keep anything.
And that’s fine. I refuse to let chores stand in the way of our list. One lesson that will stand out above all others from these last 42 months, in the battle of experiences versus stuff, always, always go to the handball game.
Categories: Insiders Budapest