Budapest brings it: day 2

I’m usually a thrifty traveler, but sometimes a little room service hits the spot – especially when it’s cold outside and the hotel sheets are crisp and soft at the same time. Worried that we’re not experiencing enough of the local cuisine? Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to get a gyro or two later.

The best way to plan a trip is to map out a few activities you absolutely want to do, and spend the rest of your time wandering. We walk over to the Hungarian State Opera House to buy tickets for the evening production of Don Quijote, and the afternoon is spent meandering. We cross Chain Bridge on foot and take the cable car ride to the top of Castle Hill where the view of Pest from Buda is breathtaking.

Meeting Don.

At the Opera House, be sure to bring cash for the coat check because the establishment doesn’t allow top coats in the seating arena. I recommend buying inexpensive tickets for seats located in a lower level box. The stage view is good and the box provides a bit of privacy (read: bring your own wine).

The Don Quijote ballet and symphony performances, together, are in perfect harmony. If I never see another ballet, I’m sure glad to have this experience.

The show has concluded, but the night is just beginning! A fancy bar catches the eye, and we pop in for a nightcap. Soon we are laughing with our new Irish friends. How different yet similar we all are.

To depart or not to depart?

The morning after a fantastic night out in Europe is bittersweet. On this particular morning, I debate: must we leave today? Is there a later flight? Can we extend the stay? If I decide to abandon D.C., can I find a job here?

In the end, responsibility gets the best of fantasies. We head to the airport for a long day of travel back to the U.S. I look over my shoulder for a final glance and think to myself, “Goodbye friend, I’ll be back.”


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