My first impression of Hungary was not a good one. As I drove down the littered road from the Ferihegy Airport into Budapest, the buildings were run-down, the fences were crumbling, the bumpy road felt like Indiana Jones’ wild adventure ride at Disneyland. I asked the driver if she had a helmet.
It’s been said that Budapest is the type of place that grows on you. And when it does, the city will squirt divine soda water into your blood. Well, I know exactly when that divine Budapest soda bottle blasted my aortas. It was the moment I first beheld the movie-set panorama where Buda meets Pest. All at once, my eyes popped, my eyebrows rose, and nose smushed against the glass as I tried to take it all in: a castle, a river, a waterfall, statues, spires, bridges, boats. There was only one word to describe it: breathtaking.
After ten years of living in this Magyar metropolis, that magnificent Danube view never ceases to take my breath away. Whenever I drive across a bridge or walk along the river, I still get tingles. Those tingles – merely divine soda bubbles.