Chacos tan lines and dancing with presidents

Trip Start Jun 29, 2013
Trip End Jul 28, 2013

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Flag of Hungary  ,
Saturday, July 20, 2013

We took two free walking tours - one on the Buda side of the river, and the other on the Pest side.  The Buda side is much more hilly, so that's where the fortress is situated.  At the fortress, we saw the changing of the guard at the presidential palace.  The changing of the guard is a long-standing Hungarian tradition that they have been doing for the past two years to entertain tourist.  Oh well.

At the end of the tour, we had a great view of the Hungarian parliament on the Pest side of the river.  They have over 400 member of Parliament for a population of only 10 million people.  We actually had 5 members of the Hungarian Parliament come speak to our business strategy class in Tulsa last semester.  I wondered how low on the Parliamentary food chain you have to be to end up in the Tulsa delegation.  

The second portion of the tour covered the path between the Basilica of St. Stephan and Parliament on the Pest side of the river.  We went past the US Embassy which has been outfitted with a horrific metal fence last fall, along with the rest of the American Embassies in the world, presumably in response to the attack on Benghazi.  The guide told us about the cardinal Josef Mindszenty who was offered asylum from the Soviets inside the US embassy.  He lived there for 15 years under constant threat of being arrested if he stepped outside.  Right in front of the embassy is a huge monument from the Soviet era.  It is one of only two monuments that are still standing from the Soviet era within the city limits.  The rest have been moved to a park where tourists can look at them, but very few Hungarians feel nostalgia toward them.  Check out the picture of the second Soviet monument.  See if you can guess what it is.  It's not something dirty.  

Unfortunately, we weren't able to stay the night in Budapest, so we missed out on experiencing the ruins bars.  I've heard that if you have a night to spend there, you definitely shouldn't miss the bars in the Jewish district of the city.  

Leave a comment if you want to make a guess about that Soviet monument.  Maybe I'll bring back some Mozartkugeln for you if you get it right.   

And yes...I have a rather impressive Chacos tan line after the long day in the sun.
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