Two more things to love as we head into a four-day weekend (during which I still intend to be posting…) here in Budapest!
5. The green spaces. Apparently there are only 10 square meters of green space per Budapest resident, half the European average and way below Vienna’s 124 (that has to be a mistake, don’t you think?). Whatever the numbers say, I think there’s plenty of green. You just need to find it. In Pest, there’s the huge Városliget (City Park) of course – my kids are partial to the “Kresz park” or mini-driving course for kids on bikes, blades or skateboards, and the trampolines near the duck pond. Szent István Park is definitely worth a visit for its great shady playground. And Margaret Island? Frankly, I think it’s even cooler than Central Park, including BOTH of the kitschy musical fountains. In Buda, I have to say Kopaszi Gát is an amazing development, a gorgeous privately owned public park next to the Danube. Check it out! www.obol.hu. And I’d have to do a whole post on Budakeszi, which is technically outside the city limits, but let’s just have you start at Normafa and take a long walk in the woods…
6. Hungarians love kids. This manifests itself in strange ways. Old ladies may peek into your stroller and scold you for not putting a hat on your baby, or for not taking it off the minute you arrive indoors. I took offense at this for a while, but now I’ve decided it means they really do care about kids here. In fact, a cute baby is one of the few things that can put a smile on a stranger’s face in this country. People sometimes even stop to pinch cheeks and speak baby talk in Hungarian to your little one.
Hungarians love kids so much they’ve invented two absolutely essential tools to a happy childhood-parenthood… the plastic “motorcycle” known simply as a “motor,” and the, uh, to translate it literally, the nose-sucker. I mean, the nasal aspirator that solves nasal congestion in kids of all ages by attaching it to a vacuum cleaner.
I didn’t actually intend to end on that topic, but anyway, I hope you have a runny-nose-free long weekend full of green spaces and fresh spring air!