Each summer the Flinn Scholars Program takes an entire class of Scholars to Budapest, Hungary, and neighboring Romania for a three-week seminar on the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe. Here’s a day-by-day account.
Allison Lambourne (’09)
Well, we made it! No volcano or strike could hold us back! The flights and airport layovers went extremely well, about as smooth as possible. And, of course, offered ample people watching time and subjects. A very tired group arrived at our beautiful hotel at about 11:30 pm Budapest time on the 26th. Today, the 27th, was filled with initial introductions to the city–so, basically a map, a public transportation pass, and a small scavenger hunt of places. Definitely the best way to get to know a city.
Overall first impressions include the beauty and cleanliness of the city and its buildings. Squares (Hungarian ‘ter’) are scattered throughout the city and offer an unexpected but appreciated foresty-paradise for pedestrians; basically, there are mini-parks all over the place. Interesting sculptures, fountains, and stonework dominate the downtown area.
Tonight, we were able to take a dinner cruise on the Danube River. It was extremely beautiful. We were fortunate to be joined by a group of Hungarian college students. The two groups thrown together, awkward at first, but chattering away within a few minutes, formed the perfect bunch. Not so different after all–college students (and all people) transcend oceans and geopolitical boundaries. A light rain and sunset set the perfect atmosphere for the end of our first full day in Budapest.