About 100 miles eastward along the Danube from Bratislava is Budapest. Originally two cities, Buda and Pest were combined into a single municipality in 1873. The site was a Celtic settlement and then a Roman city. The Magyars arrived in the ninth century.
Laetitia arranged with a local guide for a city tour and, when that was finished, took her group to the Budapest History Museum and the National Gallery. Then they went to the small museum located in the Music Academy, where Franz Liszt once lived in a first floor apartment and attended a concert performed on one of Liszt’s pianos. In late afternoon, they went to Budapest’s Central Market Hall where numerous stalls on three floors offer spices (especially paprika), pastries, clothing, meats, candies, produce, and souvenirs.
The first course at dinner that evening was goulash, not the hamburger-helper-like egg-noodle laden stew that’s often served in the United States but a tasty meat and vegetable soup heavily laced with paprika. Before she led this tour, Laetitia’s grandmother urged her to strike a blow against culinary counterfeits, so she wrote the following limerick:
If the thick stew you’re served as goulash
Has hamburger and noodles, b’gosh,
The real thing’s not thick, a
Soup spiced with paprika
That I think you’ll find has more panache.