We arrived in Budapest at noon on Saturday-the flight was fine except for a slight one hour delay. Although we were all quite tired from the travel (bus to JFK and then flight to Budapest), it was best to stay awake, adapt to the local time, and avoid jet lag. Our professor in residence, Yasha Crnkovic, was happy to show us the sights he became familiar with as a past professor in Hungary. Then we were all excited for our first Hungarian meal, the welcome dinner at Callas Cafe. Alice, our program manager in country, reviewed our very ambitious itinerary for the week, and our new Dean, Dr. Donald Siegel, welcomed the group of 24 Evening and Weekend MBA students (see Dean Siegel's comment below). Here is a picture of Yasha, Dean Siegel, Dean Emeritus Paul Leonard, me, and Alice.
Today, Sunday, we took a guided tour of Budapest to see if the city really lives up to its nickname, the "Paris of Central Europe." We learned a lot about the history of the city and its architecture, including the Parliament building, and even bullet holes on the side of an apartment building from the Hungarian Revolution (post Cold War) in 1956! We spent the afternoon in the beautiful and quaint artist village of Szentendre (located on the Buda side). Here Yasha treated Paul and I to some traditional Hungarian food-Goulash and Beef with Red Wine. We enjoyed a boat ride on the Danube River (which separates Buda and Pest) back to
Pest, and had a leisurely stroll back to the hotel, visiting a local festival on the drawbridge.
Tomorrow (Monday) marks the beginning of our company site visits-we will start with a presentation by the Hungarian Investment and Trade Development Agency to learn more about the local economy, and then travel to IBM to meet with the Manager of Communications and Customer Relations.