Budapest November 2009

My last visit to Budapest was in June 1997 - the city has changed since then. One of my strongest memories was that we couldn't find any of the traditional Budapest coffee shops we'd been promised - they all seemed to have been converted into western european (and US) burger bars. This time it had all changed - and the US burger chains have all been supplemented by Starbucks and Costa Coffee - not traditional perhaps, but at least I was able to get a reasonable cup of coffee. The bonus was that alongside the cappuccinos and lattes it was possible to get some decent local cake.

I was in Budapest for a two day workshop on standards for exchanging elearning materials - and (I suspect) as a result of good planning by the organisers, the one point during my time there when there weren't sessions to attend coincided with a time when the skies cleared and the cold drizzle stopped.

I walked the length Andrassy ut on the Pest side of the river - from Heroes' Square (which was in mid-rehearsal for Armistice Day) down towards the Chain Bridge, then along past the Parliament Building. Budapest has more than it's fair share of statues - the most moving I saw were the Shoes on the Danube by Gyula Pauer - commemorating Hungarian Jews shot and thrown into the Danube in 1944.

And it was a useful conference too!

Budapest November 2009

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