Trip Start Sep 30, 2007
Trip End Jan 08, 2008

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Flag of Hungary  ,
Thursday, November 1, 2007

Budapest is made up of two cities, Buda and Pest before uniting to be called Budapest.  Two cities are separated by Danube River.  West side of the river is Buda and the east side is Pest.  While I didn't know what to expect out of Budapest, this city had so much to offer.  I was pleasantly shocked to see how beautiful this city was. 
First day was spent doing the walking tour, learning about the history of Hungary and the city.  Hungary was on the Nazi side during the WW II and after the war, Soviets decided to "liberate" the country from the Germans.  Not much better since under the communist regime, the country suffered severe poverty.  Our guide shared her story when the first McDonald opened in Hungary, she and hundred others lined up to get a taste of not just Big Mac but America and conceivably democracy, serving de facto freedom fries.
Budapest also has a castle up on a hill where you can get a fantastic view of the city.  I was blown away by the panoramic view of the city and tried to soak in the moment as much as possible.  Surrounded by mystical ambience of the castle and the city lights tranquilly setting on the river, this moment was one to remember and the most striking view since I've been in Europe.  

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