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Two weeks ago, to the day, I was in Budapest.  It was glorious.  Despite all the traveling I’ve done, this was my first foray into what I always considered Eastern Europe and I loved it.  Budapest is a beautiful city, a delight to walk about with interesting architecture, delicious 100-year-old coffeehouses and a wonderful history tinged with the smallest hint of WWII melancholy.  I was traveling with two friends and we did all the things you’re supposed to:  visiting historic sites like the Parliament Building and various monuments and markers, took a good soak in the Szechenyi public baths amongst their bright yellow ornate wedding cake-like buildings and paying proper respects at all the requisite churches and synagogues.  But I made sure to squeeze in some of the things I do every time I travel – at least one market visit and some intense pastry research.  There even was a trip to an outdoor museum that houses sculptures from the former communist regime.  You have to get a little bit of historic communist propaganda in while visiting Eastern Europe.

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