Grilled last night. It felt good to cook. I am trying to cook in as many countries as possible! Went to the market with Gyula and we bought fresh ingredients. I was on salad duty–made a nice mixed chopped veggie salad, with Hungarian cucumbers and peppers. Made a vinaigrette with oil, vinegar, and some Hungarian spices. Add feta cheese and mushrooms…it was good. Along with grilled chicken and sausage, we had a great night.

Today we went into Budapest proper. Went to the Great Synagogue, which is the largest synagogue in the world outside of New York. Built in the mid-1800s, it was renovated in the 1990s with financial help from Tony Curtis (the actor, of Hungarian Jewish heritage). The synagogue is spectacular, and rivals cathedrals in its splendor. Its courtyard, however, is a sobering reminder of the second World War. A chunk of the Budapest Ghetto wall remains. There is also a monument to Raoul Wallenberg, and memorials to the more than 600,000 Jews who were imprisoned and murdered by the Nazis.

The city is beautiful, though in need of a power washing. Gorgeous, grand buildings line wide boulevards. We drove around, and I loved the city sights. The top of Buda features Castle Hill, where an old fortress overlooks the Danube. I went into the Gothic-style Mattias Church, an impressive, cavernous place. Afterwards Gyula and I had lemonade on the castle plaza overlooking the river.

A great day. Budapest is a city that I look forward to visiting again. We’ll likely return tomorrow, and Wednesday morning. There are some markets I want to check out.

Tonight, going out for Hungarian stew. Then to Gyula’s friend’s bar. Until soon…

(Wow, this keyboard layout is killing me!! See this: ??ß?úöüó)


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