It took about 13.5 hours total, but we made it to Budapest. The city is beautiful, and incredibly hot. Upper 80s into the low 90s today. It was mid-afternoon by the time we arrived at our hotel, Sofitel. So we cleaned up, did a little sightseeing, and then came back to lay around in the air conditioning. And to eat dinner in the hotel restaurant, which is actually kind of wonderful. I don’t always like hotel restaurants, but this one is really fun.

Anyway, here are some quick photos of our first day’s adventures. I’m completely exhausted at the moment, so I have no great insights (I’m 6 hours ahead of New York and ready for sleep at 9pm), and we’ve got a long weekend ahead of us with all the F1 excitement. It looks like the entire Renault team is staying in this hotel, which is also very cool.

me chain bridge

Me on the famous Chain Bridge (which crosses the Danube). That’s the Royal Palace (Buda Castle) in the background. We walked over to the castle to catch an F1 festival sponsored by Red Bull.

vertical train

See that vertical train making it’s way up this track? That’s how you climb the hill that leads to the castle. It looks crazy from inside the train, too.

inside the vertical train

view of budapest

But it’s some view up there.

The F1 festival wasn’t much of a festival, they charged about $15 a head (2800 forints) to walk around food stands selling things and people trying to sign us up for credit cards. There was an airshow, and a couple of Red Bull drivers (I think retiree David Coulthard and current team member Sebastian Vettel) drove F1 cars in a parade demo. But we couldn’t get anywhere near close enough to see the car in action. That was the one frustrating thing about today, we had trouble getting enough details about this event. So we missed out on the best spots to watch and spent money on a very bizarre non-festival. But the views and yummy dinner made up for it.