This was Justin Lagat’s piece on touring around Budapest this morning, August 21, 2023. 

The more one ventures out and learns about Hungary, the more they get more intrigued to learn about its rich cultural past. It has a lot of interesting historical architecture and culture.

So, with no events happening on the morning of the third day in Budapest, I took time to go out on a morning run, shop, explore Budapest, and learn a little about Hungary.

I had asked the receptionist at the hotel to recommend for me a good route to go for a short jog. He gave me a direction and told me the area around is good and safe for doing a jog. Then as an afterthought, he asked, “How long would you like to take, and the distance?”

“Around 10K,” I answered, and he was a bit surprised. So, he gave me a totally different plan, and I ended up at Bikas Park in Kelenfold City Center.

The park was so impressive. It was spacious, with a tartan track for jogging, a few people walking their cute dogs around, and a few runners jogging.

Despite the language barrier, the general public in the Hungarian capital was always happy to guide and help. On the 20th, the bus left me from my hotel on the second day of the championships, and as I was walking about trying to figure out how to get to the stadium, a young man named Daniel, in the company of his sister, came alongside me. He greeted me and asked if I was headed to the Athletics Center. I said yes.

“Come with us; we are also headed there,” he said.

There was a huge traffic flow of people heading in that direction, so I could tell I was on the right track. I also had some information about the Tram number to take and the direction. Daniel gave me a lot of information about Hungary and a little history about the celebrations that were to happen in the evening.

Well, in the evening, there were fireworks to celebrate the Hungarian Independence Day, and I was lucky to witness it. Daniel told me it is one of the oldest celebrations in that country, dating back to almost 1000 years ago. The 20th of August was first celebrated in 1092 when King Ladislaus declared it a sacred day and proposed the canonization of Stephen.

Daniel is a good representation of the general public here, as I have already met too many nice people within such a short time.

It is just the third day of the championships, and Budapest feels like home. I thought I was going to have a problem with shopping here, but everything is going as smoothly as it would at home. It is the people who make it homely.

The only thing I am still trying to adjust to is the warm weather. It is 92 Fahrenheit as I write this short story, a temperature I have never encountered since I was born! But, all in all, I am having a great time here.