Sausage Festival

Budapest today has been one giant sausage fest.

I am probably not going to make any jokes about that.

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I slept far, far later than I’d planned to, and when I finally bundled up and made it outside, it was colder than yesterday, and grayer.  I took a long rambling walk to the Central Market, which is gorgeous.  When I emerged from the maze of market stalls, I could have sworn I saw a snow flurry.  I made my way towards the city square where the annual festival celebrating the Mangelica Pig was taking place.  I saw two flurries, then twenty, and when I got to the sausage festival it was snowing hard.

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Fine flurries, too small to cluster and stick, but beautiful nonetheless. I love a city in the snow.  First order of business was more warm spiced wine.  Let the record show that I avoided the palinka shots.  A girl traveling alone should not do palinka shots, no matter how cold it gets.  Doubly true if the girl can’t do shots in America anyway.  I had a giant sausage.  I have no idea what those crunchy things are on top.  Animal, vegetable, mineral.  I’ll believe whatever you tell me. There were also pickles and some sort of creamy spread.

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It wasn’t all sausage, though.  There were gorgeous pastries,

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and gypsy fiddlers drinking palinka straight out of the bottle,

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and a house made of sausages. (Insert your own joke here.)

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This carousel with baskets of babies is maybe the cutest thing I’ve ever seen,

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unless you count these baby curly-haired piglets keeping warm in the snow under heat lamps.

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Speaking of keeping warm, I’m off to the thermal baths.  I managed to remember to bring my swimsuit across an ocean, and yet I left it in my suitcase the one day I needed it with me, and am thus am back at the apartment adding layers and re-grouping on a mid-day break.   But heck, what’s an extra couple of miles on foot in a steady-but-gentle snowstorm in a gorgeous European city?  I’m thinking the baths, if any of the rumors are true, will cure all kinds of ailments and warm me straight to the core.  (Failing that, I know where to find the palinka.)

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