Before coming to Hungary, I was told that by the third week I would be exhausted. I continuously denied that I would let that happen to me. But as I write this blog post it is far to say that I am exhausted. But not the drained, I need to nap for four-days straight type of exhausted, but rather that type of exhausted that when I lay my head to rest each night my muscles tingle with the satisfaction of knowing they had a full day of exploration and adventurer. The type of exhausted where I never felt more deserving of a full night sleep and carbo-loaded breakfast. So why do I feel so wonderfully exhausted?
For starters, this past week was my first week of official classes, and with these classes means some great mental stimulation. I am currently enrolled in 6 courses: mobile software development, combinatorial optimization, algorithms, combinatorics over finite fields, quantum probability, and Budapest studies. Though some of the class names might seem daunting the material is extremely thought-provoking. Each class is 2 hours, so the professors works hard to keep us engaged throughout the class and continuously provides us with thought provoking questions (some of which I hope to share with you later on this blog).
Between classes, I have been trying to stay active and go for runs throughout Budapest. I have always wanted to become a stronger runner, and I figured that I could use my desire to explore Budapest as my motivation to run. Luckily, there are more motivated runners in my program, so I am trying to pair up with them and explore the city at a slow-paced jog.
This weekend though was about climbing to new heights. As I shared before, Budapest is actually two cities, Buda and Pest, that are divided by the Danube river. The Pest side is know for being flat while the Buda side is known for its sprawling hills and mountains. My goal was to reach the highest points of Budapest to view all the beauty of Budapest.
There a couple great views of the city. The first is climbing to the top of St. Stephan’s Basilica. St. Stephan’s Basilica, along with the Parliament building, are the two tallest buildings in Budapest which both stand at 96 meters. No building in Budapest can stand higher than 96 meters because 96 represents the founding of a settlement in Budapest in 896.
The other great spot to view the city is on top of a the highest Buda hill that holds their statue of liberty. Originally, this statue was a memorial for army pilots after WWII and the woman held up a propellor of a plane. However, when Hungary was taken over by the Soviet Union the exchanged the propellor with a palm leaf as a sign of peace in hopes the Soviet Union would not demolish the memorial.
Traveling to these exciting heights to view the city was a wonderful way for me to explore the city and just see how beautiful the city really is. At both locations I spent a couple minutes just spending time in thanks for having this opportunity to live in this amazing city.