Happy Faces in Budapest

Szeged, Hungary – On Saturday, September 17, 2022, me, along with the other IISMA awardees at the University of Szeged, had the opportunity to participate in one of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) Szeged events! It’s a one-day cultural trip to the Hungarian capital, Budapest!

We took two hours train from Szeged to Budapest. After arriving at Budapest Nyugati Station, located in the city’s center, our group of 50 people walked for 30 minutes to Heroes Square. Our 30-minute walk was a pleasure because every inch of the town is beautiful and Instagram-worthy, and the facilities for pedestrians and cyclists are also neatly arranged and safe.

Arrived at Heroes Square, a guide told us about the monument’s history. We learned that every part of it is a form of homage to the history of Hungary. The monument’s statue symbolizes War, Peace, Work & Prosperity, and Knowledge & Glory. In the center stands a 36-meter-high pillar with a statue of the angel Gabriel. According to legend, Gabriel appeared in a dream of St. Stephen and offered him the Hungarian crown. In front of Heroes Square, there is also the Museum of Fine Arts.

Heroes Square, Budapest (Photo: Byelikova Oxana)

The journey continued to Vajdahunyad Castle, established in 1896 and surrounded by a lake. The magnificent, Renaissance-style building made us feel like we were in a Harry Potter movie! After taking pictures, we took the metro to the Parliament Building. On the way, we passed the banks of the Danube river, which divides Budapest into two parts, Buda and Pest.

Along the river, there are statues of shoes right on the river bank. According to the explanation, the boots memorialize the people executed there in World War II. Even though the place is beautiful, it has a dark history too!

Shoes on the Danube River (Photo: lonely planet)

The Parliament Building we were going to next is home to the Hungarian National Assembly. In Indonesia, it is similar to the DPR Building. The Parliament Building is one of the grandest buildings I have ever seen. The 18,000 m2 building has a symmetrical shape with hundreds of beautiful windows. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get in, so we took pictures outside.

From the Parliament Buildings in the Pest section, we took the metro to Buda Castle on the other side of the river. What surprised me was the metro line we took was right under the Danube River. As one of the main symbols of Budapest, Buda Castle is located on the hill of Várhegy. So, we could see the full view of Budapest from there. Very beautiful! Eventually, it was already 6 pm, so we saw the city lights turning on.

The Parliament Building is so beautiful! (Photo: Kartika, IISMA Awardee 2022)

During the trip, we walked a lot while chatting with international students. Although the journey was exhausting, it all paid off, as every side of Budapest is very artistic.

Also read: Orientation Days at the Land of the Windmills – International Office.

We returned to Szeged by train and arrived at 10.30 pm. At that time, the air temperature reached 8 Celcius. Because many buses don’t operate after 10 o’clock, we have to walk to the dorm for 1.5 km. I stepped over 21,000 steps that day! Although tiring, the trip made us go home with happy faces. I got to experience the wonderful Budapest, and it introduced me to new friends from Turkey, Germany, France, and many more. I made a vow to myself that someday I would come back to Budapest to explore more!

Happy Together at the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest ( Photo: Kartika, IISMA Awardee 2022)

Written by: Kartika Zenithia Liveranny, Food Technology, 2019