Friday evening I met Györgyi at her office in the Chain Bridge Palace. It was my first full weekend with my new bike and I wanted to take advantage of hitting a few of our old favorite haunts in one long, summer night out on the town.
We rode up the castle to a little back alley beer pub right next to the Labyrinth on Uri u. It has four tables and they are almost never occupied, except by locals, despite the tourist attraction next door. This is probably due to the fact that there are several big touristy pubs closer to the main castle roads. But with the lack of tourists also comes the lack of tourist prices, so it’s a pleasant place to sit for an hour before dinner. I haven’t been there for two summers, so it was really nice to go back.
We road back down around 7 in order to make it to dinner by our reservation time. In July, the sun brushes Buda with the most incredible light. From this view, we could see Fisherman’s Bastion just peaking out of the greenery. And gliding down the castle road was the best cure for the evening heat that lingered all the way through dusk.
We had dinner at Iguana, local TexMex eatery. Luckily we called for a table just in time, because about 10 minutes after we arrived, the whole place was full. Györgyi is deep in thought here about whether we should have a shot of Tequila. We did. But just one. We didn’t want to fall into the river on our bike home.
Iguana is one of the only places in the city where you never hear anyone speaking Hungarian. This might have something to do with the fact that the American embassy is right next door, though American and Brit ex-pats and visitors are really skilled at sniffing out the Mexican joints in just about any town.
For our last stop of the night, we pulled into a riverboat two blocks from our apartment for a night cap. The sun had set and the sky and water were competing blue hues. It was nice to sit on a boat a little further away from the center of town, because the only noise you could really hear was the splashing water against the boat, the chatter beginning at the bars on the island, and the faint sound of the Roma fiddles as the dinner cruise boats passed the docks.
Only a few things lit the sky by the time we left. The dimming restaurant sign, missing the letters R and E, the kayak docks on Margit Island, and the tiny glow of the river bugs, which from a distance, you might confuse with stars.