Friday, October 24, 2014
This afternoon I set out from my apartment intent on enjoying the lovely fall weather; I feel I should clarify by stating that it's been a very steady, blustery 40 degrees for the past few days, so any proper girl from South Georgia would most definitely place this temperature into the "winter" column. Umbrella, hat, scarf, jacket, wool socks, boots. The rain dripped a steady beat on my umbrella and piles of burnished leaves squelched under the feet of those intent on discovering the city no matter the weather.
I walked and walked- turning down side streets yet unexplored, buying túrós táska (sweet cheese pastry) and meggyes rétes (sour cherry strudel) from a newfound bakery, and admiring all of the handcrafted leather boots that have taken over store window displays. And I'm sure that people kept wondering why this odd girl kept twirling her umbrella and smiling and splashing through puddles. But how can a person not smile when confronted with all of the beauty that is this city. I know I've said a million times how magical and lovely and brilliant Budapest is, but man oh man, sometimes when I'm out wandering it just punches me right in the chest. This place is beyond any pictures I could take or words I could write. It's more than the monuments that gleam on the Danube at night, like a myriad of lighthouses beckoning wandering souls to come and explore. And it's more than the little ivy-covered church tucked away in the heart of Budapest's labyrinthine streets. More than the restaurant that you can't help but return to because the smells and tastes contained within are the epitome of comfort. Budapest is not defined solely by her architecture and cuisine. She is a city exemplified by her people- individuals that played parts in a history which is equal parts tragedy and triumph.
So when I catch my breath at some new wonder discovered, it's with the realization that this incredible city has persevered. That despite everything and everyone who tried to shatter the very soul of this place- Budapest is a city that has stayed the course. While streets and buildings may change, the true history of Budapest is written in the hearts of all those- past and present- who have lived and loved and fought for their beloved city.