November 26, 2010-present weight loss

2012 weight loss

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back From Budapest

K and I are trying to make the most of our time living abroad and do our best to travel whenever we have an excuse (frequently a bank holiday).  We had never been to Hungary before, and I wasn't really sure what to expect in Budapest.  This city has dealt with Ottoman occupation, when Christians fled and the Turks turned Budapest into a Muslim town; German occupation during WWII, in which the city's Jews were systematically murdered, and the resulting Soviet occupation to get rid of the Germans.  It has survived US/UK air raids and has had its bridges destroyed by the Germans.  I'd heard that Budapest was beautiful but was still worried that it would look too post-Soviet... ugly square buildings with way-too-small windows.
I was really surprised by how picturesque the city is!  The buildings are ornate, and parts of the city look a lot like Paris (with the exception of Parliament, which was designed to look like that of London). 
One of the more interesting buildings was the Great Synagogue.  It is the largest synagogue in Europe, and its history was clearly shaped by WWII. 
Inside of the synagogue

Mass grave next to synagogue.  Jewish tradition does not allow cemeteries next to houses of prayer.  An exception was made here due to tragic events.
Holocaust Memorial resembles a weeping willow.  The tree has 600,000 leaves, which bear the names of the Hungarian Jews who died during the Holocaust.
The city is very walkable, now a plus in my book.  We stayed in Pest, on the east side of the Danube, and crossed the Chain Bridge to visit Buda.  The only form of transportation we took once in Budapest was the funicular that brought us from the base of Buda up the hill to Buda Castle.  Trips like this really validate my decision to have WLS.  I am so much more active and able to do what I want.  I would have hated all of the walking last year and would have done everything in my power to take taxis, find excuses not to go to the sights that required climbing, walking. etc.  Now K asks me if I want to grab a taxi, and I always prefer to walk.  What a change!
Chain Bridge
While the food in Budapest was much better than I had expected, it was way too heavy.  With the exception of local river fish (pike perch and trout), these people eat meat.  Think steak, duck, goose, foie gras, and pork (all eaten with potato of course).  I ate fish for lunch, but some of our dinner restaurants didn't even offer fish.  I had filet mignon with foie gras and croquettes on the first night, fried pork on the second (the menu didn't say it was fried, promise) and a grilled sirloin on the last night.  After three nights of meat, all I want is a piece of cod and some nice veggies.  Vegetables are almost unheard of, unless one considers a few slices of carrot to be sufficient in the veg department.  I do wonder how the residents', um, how do I say, internal plumbing withstands life without vegetables.  
On the weight front, I am down to 258.4... only .6 up from last week's low. 
Happy short week:)


Catherine55 said...

Beautiful photos! So glad that you and K had a great time!! And, congrats on the scale victory! :)

Bandita Senorita said...

Awesome that you were able to walk most of Budapest! It looks beautiful!

Liz said...

I am dying to go to Budapest! Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

Melissa Wolf said...

Fabulous post! I am Hungarian and Jewish so it resonated with me big time. My great grandfather was a cantor in the synagogue. I was there as a child but don't remember and hope to visit in the next few years. How wonderful that your weight loss success has made trips like this more comfortable and fun!

Sandy Lee said...

I'm going to Budapest at the end of October. I had WLS for the same reason-being able to walk a lot while travelling. I remember how bad my feet hurt when visiting London (England) two years ago and vowed to lose weight and get in shape. Can't wait to walk in Budapest (start of a trip which will also take us down the Danube). Thanks for posting the pics. I am getting excited to see all the sites.