InterNations team member Amelie paid a visit to our Budapest Community last week – here are some impressions from her trip:
With banner, name tags and ambassador pin in my luggage, I start my journey on Thursday afternoon. Destination: Budapest. I am off to pay a community visit to the Hungarian capital. This in itself should be interesting enough, since I have never been to Hungary before. Once I checked in and dropped off my luggage, I make my way through security: Ready for take-off. I’m in a good mood and looking forward to the event that night. Even the announcement from the cockpit about “misty skies” “potential rain” and “temperatures below 0” cannot lower my expectations! Budapest, here I come!
Having landed in Budapest Ferihegy, I quickly navigate to the exit. It’s already 4.30 pm – the event is due to start in one and a half hours. I hurry to the bus counter, buy my ticket and board the minibus, which takes me directly to my hotel close to Kalvin Ter, in the very heart of Budapest. Time only allows me to drop off of my bag and I soon find myself in the middle of the InterNations crowd. I am warmly welcomed by our local ambassador, George Kegl, who has organised the February Get-Together in Legends Sport Bar right by the river Danube. Over 60 members from 29 different nationalities mix and mingle while enjoying one of the wines offered by our generous host, Robert. The highlight of the night is a raffle with a wellness hotel voucher. Our lucky winners are Orkhan & Sevil from Baku, two very faithful members of the community.
The following day, I meet up with George for lunch. While relishing Hungarian Goulash, we talk about the very positive development of the community and even foray into the future. George also provides me with suggestions and tips for my weekend. I want to make good use of my time here and spend the weekend exploring the history and culture of the city. I then take the yellow subway line, apparently the second oldest metro line in the world, up to “Heroes Square”. The tiny carts, the charming tiled subway stations and a welcome bell at every station transport me back into the past. Still full from our Hungarian lunch, I decide to skip dinner and pay a visit to one of the famous thermal baths, Rudas. There is a special event going on that night, with a DJ and atmospheric lighting to set the mood for a truly unique experience.
On Saturday, one of our Hungarian members, Emőke, kindly offers to show me around the city. In the morning hours, I do some window shopping strolling down Andrássy Avenue, one of the beautiful boulevards of Budapest. I meet up with Emőke and together with another visitor from Switzerland we set off on our guided tour through the “castle district”. We enjoy the sunset with beautiful vistas from Fisherman’s Bastion down to the city. Welcoming and friendly as the Hungarians are, they invite me for a house party that night – my first Palinka experience!
The next morning, I still have some sightseeing on my to-do list, so I take a stroll down the riverside past the neo-Gothic Parliament and other impressive buildings. The skies have cleared up and I enjoy the sunshine on the banks of the Danube. Time passes quickly and it is soon time to say goodbye – what a memorable stay!