Budapest was awesome! When I came to europe, I had no intentions of visiting, but I am so very glad I made it there. After spending a calm relaxing morning in the hostel with a guy from Alaska, we both go chocolate hunting. We took a long leisurely walk around the city, spending a large chunk of time at the Christmas Market. It consists of a series of stalls selling food, and crafts. This sounds a bit underwhelming, but the one in Budapest is the best I’ve seen yet. The artwork is amazing; jewelry, pottery, glass, ceramics, metal — all gorgeous, handmade, and really cheap (compared to how much it would sell at home). I drooled over everything and would have bought the entire market had I not had reasonable reservations about the transport of all the items. I also would rather spend money on travel than things. I fell in love with the ‘ironwork table’ where they sold pieces of the same style as Amy’s tea candle tree. As much as I tried to rationalize a beautiful leather and fur $100 purse (a I’m-going-hunting-in-the-woods, time period costume piece) that I know I could not find/afford at home, it just wasn’t practical. Ack! Why am I such a materialist?
So my wonderful experience in Budapest was not entirely determined by the things for sale. The feel of the city is much more tranquil than that of Milan. The people don’t stare and everyone smiles. I went to a spa the day before and saw a group of old men playing chess in the pool. SOo cute! Not to mention that the hot springs were heaven. I received a much need massage from a large Hungarian man and it felt like it lasted for hours. In addition, spending the following day with someone like Hunter was just what I needed. I asked him so many stupid questions about Alaska and he answered them all seriously and wasn’t offended. He was really sweet. We talked a lot about environmental policy and politics. We had hot wine and yummy pastries. BTW, does anyone know how to make this wine? I loved it.