A week in Budapest

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It is study tour week for DIS Stockholm! On Monday my class traveled to Budapest, which is where I am writing this blog from. But before I get into the marvels of academic and travel life in Hungary, I want to make sure I talk about this past weekend in Sweden, which was equally amazing.

Sweden is an incredible place to spend the summer- the weather could not be more perfect. I had a weekend of sunny and sixty-degree (fahrenheit) weather, with Saturday partly cloudy and Sunday all blue skies. On Saturday, my friends and I went to Djurgården, which is an island in central Stockholm. We saw the Nordiska Museet and the Vasa Museet, and I walked around the Royal Djurgården to see Skansen and some other beautiful sights.

On Sunday, my friend and I went to a delicious brunch in Södermalm, another island off central Stockholm that is close to our housing. After doing our laundry & packing for Budapest (student life has to be a priority too!) I traveled back to Södermalm to walk Monteliusvagen. Monteliusvagen is a beautiful trail along the cliffs of Södermalm, which overlooks Gamla Stan (Old Town) and the archipelago. I walked the whole thing, stopping also at Mariaberget (a famous scenic overlook). It was the perfect day to explore new places and see the sights, and I am so glad I had a moment to get outside before the Hungarian heat.

My alarm rang at 3:30am on Monday- it was time to go to Budapest! We have had a whirlwind of a week here- on Monday, after hopping off the plane, we took our first walking tour. Dinner was at an incredible rooftop restaurant, which gave us a spectacular view of the sunset on our first night. My friends and I even went on a late-night castle walk to Fisherman’s Bastion to see the city lit up!

Tuesday we took a second walking tour, focusing on Jewish history and modern politics. We were also able to visit Bibó István College for Advanced Studies, where we had two seminars and interacted with local Hungarian students. That night, many of us explored the Jewish Quarter, which is famous for its nightlife!

Wednesday we got the morning to ourselves- it was lovely to see the Budapest rooftops when I woke up. The European heatwave hit hard- fortunately, we had another seminar that afternoon with a member of the opposition party (a very difficult position to be in right now in Hungary) and then toured the Parliament building, which was spectacular. After our tour, some friends and I went to the Central Market and walked around before a group dinner!

Finally, on Thursday (today) we had an amazing excursion out of Budapest. We went to Szigliget Castle in Southwestern Hungary, took a dip in Lake Balaton, had a wine tasting at the Németh Pince winery, and had dinner overlooking the lake & the beautiful vineyards of Veszprém. It was lovely to get out of the city, especially in the heat (it was over a hundred degrees fahrenheit in Budapest today) and to see the Hungarian countryside after how much we had learned this week.

I knew from past experience how wonderful DIS study tours are, but this one has been truly incredible. I feel as though I got to learn so much more about a city I thought I had known, and had countless adventures and amazing experiences along the way. The learning we were able to accomplish in such a short time complemented our class so well, and the time together brought my class so much closer. I am sad to say that I do not have much time left this summer at DIS, but I am so grateful for this week and all the experiences it brought me. Hamarosan találkozunk!