Our first stop in Central Europe was Budapest, Hungary!
A few weeks prior, our friends Jon and Paul—two of Patrick’s roommates from Notre Dame—were both in Europe for different reasons. Paul was assigned for work in Germany and had the long holiday weekend off (it was Labor Day weekend in this part of the world). Jon just finished medical school and had a break before orthopedic residency starts in June at Vanderbilt! He was on a Euro trip and was able to come meet us for the weekend. It was so much fun that this came together in the last few weeks and all worked out!
Budapest is a big city! It is a fun one, too. The city has some wild history, amazing sites, and great food. We learned a lot about the Habsburgs, the Austria-Hungary Empire, and the impacts of both World Wars. Hungary was on the wrong side of both wars and they are not proud of it. But they still remember the ones who suffered and acknowledge their troubled past. It was fascinating to learn about World War I & II from their perspective.
Buda & Pest are the two sides of this city separated by the Danube River. We were shocked at how different they are. Pest is the flat, crowded city center. Buda is the hilly, green suburbs. Here is what we did on each side…
Margaret Island is also a beautiful park in the middle of the Danube River that separate Buda & Pest. It used to be a hunting ground for Hungarian nobility and it is now filled with gardens, trails, biergartens, and pools. It reminded us of Central Park in the summer. We had fun walking and biking around the park!
Paul Mickan & Jon Savakus