Budapest Flies: A Red Bull Spectacle

I’m in Budapest, Hungary. If you haven’t caught on yet, I am off the farm. Things … fell through … my fault though. Anyway, now I am in the capital that at one point was two cities, coincidentally (or more like I was fully aware of this fact before booking) during Budapest’s Pride week. Hooray! But right now, it’s time to fly.

Enjoying the spectacle (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

Starting on the 4th of July along and over the Danube, Red Bull sponsored and orchestrated its 2015 Air Race championship that featured small aircraft piloted by an array of international aero-adventurists flying their way through numerous obstacles on a stretch of the river.

The event took place right in front of the national parliament building on the Pest bank and drew in (including myself) hundreds of thousands of spectators, young and old, to witness this championship’s return from its six year absence from Budapest.

Right on the river! (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

It’s a lovely venue, Budapest on the Danube, and a smart one on Red Bull’s part. Centrally located in the capital and with a massive amount of tourists in one of the EU’s largest cities, I bet a lot of Vodka Red Bulls have been sold this weekend …

As it turns out, Budapest is scorching. At midday in July (the hottest month), temperatures rise to the 90s or mid 30s if you use Celsius. Let’s just say, I may be a little less prepared for this climate than I expected … Why did I bring pants? Why did I think I needed pants? *I got an uneven sunburn from my tank top. Ugh.

Personally, I am not invested at all in the legitimate athleticism or corporate fanfare of the air show. Red Bull has enough support and will forever taste nasty to me. I just want to see planes do tricks. (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

Apparently, the planes’ total times should fall around in the 50 seconds range wise to do well. If I was paying enough attention and not squinting from the glare, the planes did the course twice including going under a bridge, ending with a few tricks of their choosing while gaining altitude to land somewhere off in the distance. The schedule ran a bit slow for me despite the event in all its essence being about speed.

Watch me do a flip! (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

I only stayed for an hour or so. Again, it was very hot out. But, it was fun introduction to the city. Budapest isn’t a tourist trap per say, but it draws a crowd of millions annually with its ornate gothic architecture, recreational spas and saunas, and as we can see, occasional airborne spectacles.

And, we are out! (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

Needless to say, it was difficult to get a good picture since the planes were going so fast.

But, I think I got a sufficient amount of decent shots. The show was also a good gage of distance for me to understand Budapest and its walkability. Many monuments including the Buda castle can be seen from the bank, so I’m a little more aware of where everything in this extensive city is located. So, I guess, thanks Red Bull?

What’s to come in Budapest? So, cheap sightseeing, maybe one of the famous bathhouse saunas, and of course, some Pride festivities! Solo backpacking is certainly a different experience – I am enjoying the freedom and the lack of company isn’t all bad … Stay tuned! Oh yeah! I have to sample some goulash too!