- Castle Hill – we explored the area twice, once in the daylight, and another time as the sun was setting. Our walk down the winding paths at sunset was especially enjoyable, with so many spots to stop for a great view of the city and the Danube.
- Matthias Church – we only saw it from the outside but it was beautiful.
- Bridges (the bridges across the Danube between Buda and Pest) – we walked across Margaret Bridge, Chain Bridge and Liberty bridge. The best was walking Chain Bridge at night.
- St. Stephens Basilica – only saw it from the outside but it was pretty and there was a nice Christmas market just outside.
- Mexican restaurants – our favorite kind of food, and we have no Mexican restaurants in Norway. We enjoyed the food at Iguana. But we kept finding ourselves going back to Arriba Taqueria (similar to Moe’s or Chipotle).
- Central Market Hall busy, crowded, and lots of interesting smells! But a great place to purchase souvenirs, including paprika and goose liver pate. And be sure to stop at Fakanal for goulash (we tried the stew and the soup).
- The Gellért Cave Church – heated by the thermal springs in Gellért Hill
- Memento Park – a ‘statue graveyard’ of Communist monuments
- Váci utca- a great pedestrian street with shopping, restaurants, and so much to see
- City Park and Heroes’ Square – a large park that is home to a circus, zoo, ice skating arena, thermal bath, and a Transylvanian castle. And Heroes Square reminded me a little bit of Independence Square in Kyiv (Ukraine).
What is it about the changing of the calendar that gives us the feeling of wanting to and even the motivation that we need to change, or refocus, to start something new, or to put something behind us? As we say goodbye to one year and hello to another, why is it that most people take time to evaluate and reflect?
Now don’t get me wrong. I do like the idea of looking at a new year as a blank page filled with opportunity and promise. There are definitely things I want to focus on and things I need to set aside.
But the reality is I want – and need – to do this every day. Each day is filled with opportunity. Each time I wake, I am given the chance to choose.
I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me. (Psalms 3:5 HCSB)
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:23 NLT)
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. (Psalms 42:8 NLT)
So for 2015, I choose to approach each day in search of opportunities to show kindness, to put love into action, to be an encouragement, to learn from my mistakes, to use wisely what I’ve been given, and to be open about my struggles.
The last few months have especially revealed to me the importance of that last item. I have always been quick to share when things are going well. But when I open up about what I’m struggling with, it leaves me vulnerable. However, I’m learning that my vulnerability is minuscule in comparison to what else can happen.