Do you know who calls the shots in the European Union? This week it was: Kenneth and Susann and a group of 16-year-olds!
The capital of Hungary, Budapest is a powerhouse of commerce, finance, R&D, art, fashion, education and entertainment… It is also one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Susann and Kenneth had a wonderful native guide in the photographer Norbert Lepsik and a programme created by their Instagram followers.
Since all three are interested in visuals, the first thing to do was of course to decide on the best backdrop for some awesome selfies. Which of the two would make for the most impressive photographs, the Hungarian Parliament Building or St. Stephen’s Basilica?
Built over more than half a century, the Basilica is a jewel of neoclassical architecture. The name refers to the first king of Hungary, Stephen, whose right arm is preserved in the reliquary (or that’s what they say). The Basilica is home to many talented musicians and has a terrace that offers a stunning 360 degree view of the city.
The impartial Norbert gave the travellers some advice on how to capture any building at its best. But the winner was the Parliament, a gorgeous building inaugurated in 1896 to celebrate Hungary’s 1000th anniversary. It overlooks the Danube and is also the country’s largest building. It even has enough space for two parliament halls: one is used for politics, and the other for guided tours!
Then it was already time for lunch. Norbert recommended the cosy Central Café and taught the hungry travellers some Hungarian moves along the way. But what should they eat? Goulash, or a paprikash dish?
The origins of goulash, Hungary’s perhaps best known dish, go back to the 9th century. Shepherds would use the sun to dry meat they had cooked and flavoured, and then pack it in bags made of sheep stomach. An easily transportable ready-to-eat stew, only needing a bit of water! Chicken paprikash, on the other hand, is dish made using lots of, yes, paprika, a spice the Hungarians are particularly fond of.
The vote was 50/50, so a coin flip decided – for paprikash. And it was delicious! Susann even went so far as to lick the plate.
After a ride on the Budapest Metro – the oldest on the continent – it was time to decide on how best to relax. The setting was the boating lake in the City Park, but the question was whether to take a canoe or a party boat? The party boat comes with a plastic palm tree and a sofa, so Kenneth was really hoping for it to win. And it did! Poor Norbert, he had to do most of the work.
Thank you Norbert and thank you Budapest, it was a really lovely day!