Three flight delays from Greenville, a close call in Washington DC, an uneventful overnight flight to Munich, a much-loved pretzel during a Munich layover, a short flight to Budapest, a visit to passport control, and DJ has her first ever passport stamp. Currency exchanged (dollars to fornits), train tickets purchased, subway passes bought, and a 15 minute walk with luggage in the 100 degree (no lie) heat, we’ve arrived at our first stop.
I’m always nervous booking places on line. Now for me, my expectations are pretty low, and whatever the place looks like, as long as there are no visible bugs or drug needles, I’m generally OK with it. DJ’s standards were a bit higher. Luckily, my first guest house was a winner…two beds, and in-room bathroom, and a central location. What’s missing is air-condition. Now, while I expected this, I did not expect it to be 100 degrees. DJ is dying; I’m surviving but only just barely. Thank God for the fan inside our room.
For our first meal in Budapest, DJ wants to go to…McDonald’s. No street food for that girl. No sidewalk pizza will do. A plain cheeseburger. We traveled 6000 miles for McDonald’s. Luckily, I have been here before. I know there are multiple McDonald’s in Budapest, including one just a five minutes walk away, but that’s not the one I suggest we go to. Budapest has quite possible the world’s nicest McDonald’s (or at least the nicest one I’ve ever seen) inside the Nyugati train station. I discovered this gem when I was in Budapest in January 2013 freezing my ass off. [Irony first visit I nearly froze to death; this visit I may die of heat stroke] I was just looking for some heat when I happened upon this mirage inside the train station.
DJ agrees. And it has air condition. I am a hero… At least for a little while.