48 hours in Budapest

Last weekend (the first weekend of September), Marius and I were invited to join REN (Marius' old employer) on their annual trip. Previous trips that we were both included in were St. Petersburg, Paris, and Rome. This year was Budapest, and it happened about a week after the refugees and migrants made their way into Hungary. It was definitely adding a different perspective to the trip while we stayed in a 5-star hotel and ate a 5-course dinner.

Pancho spent the weekend with one of my colleagues who also has a dog. It isn't too hard to find puppy-sitters right now since I work with animal lovers. And who doesn't love puppies?

So Marius and I got in on Friday night and took a cab to the hotel with another couple on the trip. The European Cup soccer qualifier was that night, so our driver tried to go around the soccer hooligans and the possible chaos at the train station, but it was pretty quiet. We ended up driving by the train station a couple of times, but it wasn't as wild by then as the media was portraying it. By then, many of the people had made it out of Hungary, but there were still two Nazis standing outside with a flag in protest. Very strange to witness in person. The city still felt very safe.

Saturday morning Marius and I enjoyed the breakfast - I was in breakfast heaven with the amount of choices and fresh made french toast! and right after eating we headed out on a 6 mile run. The run took us through the city center and to the Danube river which has an island in the middle (Margit Island) that had a running track around it. One of the best morning runs ever!

Side note: Budapest is divided in two parts by the Danube. The western part is called Buda, and the eastern part is Pest. Thus, together they are Budapest. We were mainly on the Pest side.

The rest of Marius' former colleagues joined us on Saturday and we began the afternoon with a boat cruise and lunch on the Danube followed by a short bus tour through the city. I would really like to visit Budapest again because the people there were so friendly and we didn't get to go inside any of the buildings, but they were beautiful from the outside.

On Sunday we did a day trip to a small town called Szentendre. Today it is more of a tourist attraction than a residential area, and it is not a typical Hungarian town due to the number of artists in the past who settled there. A cute town none the less. While we were there we had wine tasting in a 200 year old cellar. It was a nice little finish to my short weekend in Budapest. Marius and I will have to go back again.

Now we are enjoying a quiet weekend at home. I have one week until the Oslo Marathon and I'm not feeling prepared at all! We'll drive over to Oslo on Friday with Pancho, and hope that he doesn't get car sick. Since he doesn't sleep as hard as when he was younger, every trip in the car makes him sick. I hope he grows out of it soon! Pancho and I take three walks a day and he is so well behaved for his age - so we have been told. So we won't sign up for a puppy obedience course, but will look into the obedience course for older dogs. We meet lots of other dogs and he is so friendly with everyone and is just a great companion. Now he is alone the whole work day, but he manages just fine. The weather is beautiful today, so I'm looking forward to a walk along ridge behind our place today.

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