Although we have not had enough time to really know anything about this city, we did get a buzz for the place in the 5 days we were here. Once we were finished with my mom's tour group, we made the brilliant move of getting metro passes that allowed us to travel by public transportation all over town. We couldn't pronounce the names of the places we were going to, but we could read the maps and get there.
I am ashamed to admit that after 5 days in this city, I can barely pronounce one word of Hungarian. In my youth, it would have given me so much pleasure to learn such a complicated, but musical language. Now my brain just freezes up.
Most of our time was spent either soaking in one of the many thermal baths or looking at art and cultural artifacts in several museums. We did take a bike ride along the Danube, and got into a few hairy situations dodging traffic: the bike lanes not being as obvious as we would have liked. Still the bikes did allow us to visit one of the most powerful public art pieces I've ever seen.
We were stymied in our attempts to meet local artists, or local anyone, although I immensely enjoyed talking with the young Brazilian woman I met in the thermal bath yesterday, and we were treated with respect and generosity by more than one local, either when asking for directions or when we inadvertently left things behind.