Budapest was very, very, very cold. It was also very bright. Cleaner, shinier than I ever expected. Old and new seamlessly blended. Ornate and simultaneously minimal – white stone buildings, big open space.
I had a sense that there were many layers to this city and that I had only barely seen its surface.
The bastion, a wedding cake, a fairy tale castle. Gellért, intricate. Colorful. Moving from pool to pool as it became dark outside, visible through the sky roof. Széchenyi, floating in a smoky haze, steam giving a sense of space. The temperature board flickered between zero and one. Soft chatter, whispers in the breeze. Ruins bars, scattered haphazardly, mismatched furniture, graffiti. Still early, nearly empty for us. Later, after dinner, nearly impossible to find a seat.
I walked home alone, never feeling unsafe. It was so nice to feel the crisp air, to see the stars, see the streets, hear everyone moving about them,to feel small and content in this corner of the world.
Inky blacks, warm gold, the smoothness of stone and marble. The whole city just glows.
Even if I lived here forever, I would never be bored of it.