So, instead of flying straight to Vienna, I touched down in Budapest, for two nights, before catching the train up to my main destination. ( I also have a two weeks on the other side of the conference to do a bit more travelling on my way home.)
The reasoning behind this went – Oh my god, Budapest is so close to Vienna, I want to go, I want to go, and I could get over my jet lag there and it would be very relaxing, blah, blah, blah.
A long plane trip is a great time to do your work – so I worked on my conference presentation on the plane and again on the train to Vienna – now it is pretty much done and I can just enjoy this free time.
Aside from not remotely getting over my jet lag – Budapest was a great choice. The Szechenyi baths were amazing, and very relaxing, even though I got in trouble for breaking the rules a few times. Jet lag came in handy here as I was up and out of the baths before all the other tourists were even out of bed.
On my back from the baths I found a castle. And then spent the rest of the day walking, walking, walking…
I found great food, and one of most favourite things that we don’t have in Australia – Bumble Bees!!!!!!
Before I left home, a workmate told me when walking around Budapest it is important to look up. At street level it is often very modern and tidy. But, if you look up can see some of the damage from the WWII still on the buildings. I didn’t need to look up.
This was the house across the street from where I was staying, with the bullet holes clearly visible in the wall – particularly around the windows. A very visceral reminder of the history of this city, and also of the fact that life goes on.
Thanks Budapest – After two too-short days I took the train to Vienna – where the conference will begin tomorrow.