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I never really mention it much on here that I grew up in Hungary. I guess usually there’s not much reason to talk about it, unless I visit, which is about twice a year. Even then though, mostly it’s just a long weekend with family so there’s very little to share…

When D joins me however, I really make an effort to visit new places with him. This year saw us watch the August 20th celebrations in the capital Budapest, then head down to Lake Balaton for a couple of days for quaint lakeside Hungarian delights and a spot of wine tasting, and finally to attend the country wedding of one of my besties from primary school.

Overall, the trip was a success, although I did get back to Bristol more exhausted than I left… this was partly due to constant over-eating, partly to eight days of coping with family, and partly because there was so much moving around involved!

The 20th of August is National Day in Hungary, marked by a long weekend, massive fireworks, drinking and general revelry across the country, and most of all in Budapest.

This time of the year the whole city is decked out, to last lamp post, tram and bus, with proud flying flags.

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The rich watch the fireworks from boats on the river. The rest of the 1.2 million city observes it squashed up and stuck together in a great solidified mass of sweat and cigarette smoke, from the banks of the Danube or from one of its many bridges. Neither of those options are too pleasant.

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I have my (kind of) secret place to watch this spectacle from though. A wide grassy slope that each year I share with no more than a hundred other peeps who are also in the know. Stretching out on the turf, cracking beers open, waiting for night to fall until the pops and booms begin. Then halfway through the show a blood-red Moon rises above the rooftops. It doesn’t get more local than this.

aug20-budapest-latkepI feel like I bagged many new beautiful memories of sunsets and warm summer nights, and came home feeling like cooking and baking tasty over-the-top Hungarian dishes again.

More importantly though (in blog terms), I finally found some time to take and edit photos. Over the next few weeks I’ll share a few places I can recommend visiting, if you want to go off the beaten path a little and discover some less known parts of Hungary.

Check back in a week if you’re keen!

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