We awoke to the sound of planes overhead, neeaww-ing back and forth across the city. This weekend, Budapest hosted the Red Bull World Air Race on the Danube, a summertime spectacle based on speed and precision for a select number of pilots and their planes, speeding down the river, winding through tall air-filled pillar-buoys and loop-de-looping high into the sky. The event attracted over 650,000 spectators in 2009, and this year the same could be said – perhaps more. The river-side was filled to the brim with scuttling spectators, lining the roads and elevated banks to watch the speedy planes zoom by into the sky. Both young and old were in awe, comical head turns of the entire crowd in full swing, much like what you could imagine at a Wimbledon match. Street food vendors dished out Gyros (kebabs), Lángos (basically giant flat doughnuts) and gelato to spectators, famished and parched from the blistering heat.
We made our way to the race after making our way to the Hungarian Parliament, viewing the majestic neo-gothic style building from a different angle than before. After, Gyros was in order, heading to Istanbul Cafe for a pita stuffed with freshly grilled chicken, salad and homemade pickles. To cool down, the best gelato in town from Gelataria Pomo D’oro; nutty and ever-so creamy pistachio and hazelnut scoops were shoved into a crisp waffle cone and then shoved into my mouth (it was so delicious, it was gone in a heartbeat).
Forgetting I resemble incredibly ghost-white skin, it shouldn’t have come at a shock that by mid-afternoon my skin was horribly burned. Running from shadow to shadow, I escaped to find a pharmacy and slather myself in SPF 50+ baby sun cream, but by then it was far too late. We sauntered home, finding shelter from the sun and slept until dawn broke again.