Sometime in the mid-80s, Hungary’s spectacular gothic parliament building was featured on the front page of the travel section of The Dallas Morning News (I still have it!) and that was all it took to lure me to Hungary. If I had known about legendary Hungarian food and tokaji aszu, I might have gotten there even sooner.
Hungary was a star even back in the 80s. It was the most prosperous country in the Eastern Bloc. While in Czechoslovakia and especially in Poland, there was little to buy and few restaurants to patronize, in Budapest you could dine like a king for next to nothing. Although many buildings were still riddled with bullet holes from the 1956 uprising, Hungary had more life. There were markets and shopping along the fashionable Váci utca pedestrian street.
However, I can’t help but think that post-Communism, the country is reaching its full potential. A modern extension of western Europe, Hungary is flourishing.