Budapest, Hungary: The games begin tomorrow morning, so we needed to leave beautiful Paris for Budapest - another historical European city on a river. After exercising (DT) and packing, we went around the corner for one last meal, this time to the iconic Les Deux Magots. Named after two statues (magots) mounted in the interior, this corner café is also famous as a hangout for writers, poets, artists and entertainers for centuries... as is every coffee house in Europe (am I right?). These days, it's mostly young hipsters, and us. You can now dine at this café in Paris, the middle east, Tokyo, or Brazil.
After one last stroll through the interesting Parisian avenues, we took a taxi back to CDG and boarded another Air France plane - which was taking-on interesting cargo - and flew non-stop to Budapest, arriving to our hotel as darkness fell.
Our hotel, The Anantara New York Palace Hotel, is 150 years old, and I don't think there was any marble left on the planet after it's construction.
Not gonna lie - our room in Paris was very nice, but there was about two feet of room to walk around the bed on either side (and the hall from the door to the bedroom had three steps - fun in the middle of the night). This massive room, with a 10x12 marble bath (with a tub and shower) is the same price as we paid in France! Good thing we have all this room - we are here for the duration of the meet, ten nights.
After unpacking, we went directly downstairs for food, first stopping at The Poet Bar for a cocktail. The bartenders were very personable and loved telling us about the history of this famed hotel. It was too late to eat a big meal, so we ate in The Atrium restaurant.
Dave had a Caesar salad with grilled chicken. I ordered - what else - a bowl of Goulash.
Take note of the small dish to the left above my egg-shaped bowl of soup. Kinda looks like sliced green tomatoes? Weren't. No, this was a bowl of the hottest dang chile I have ever tried... and I've had chiles from Thailand to Mexico. Numb tongue. Lips. Nearly painful. Will not attempt this one again. Goulash was wonderful though. Our meals were served with a selection of three breads baked in-house, accompanied by butter - also churned in-house. Fun!
Off to our bed! Lots of exploring tomorrow and our first time to the stadium.
Until my next update, I remain, your Budapest correspondent.
Pedometer: 6,000 steps. Thank goodness, I needed a day of rest.