After Tokyo, the second-to-last stop on this trip around-the-world is in Budapest, Hungary.
The purpose for our being here is to do an exploratory site visit for the 2008 Bentley International Partner Summit (to date, we have not decided exactly where that will be, but it is likely to be somewhere in Central Europe). This event is where we come together with Bentley Channel and Technology Partners for a couple of days to communicate sales, marketing, and technical information. It is really something that we have seen increase in attendance each year, which equates to better overall information exchange and mutual business success. After our meetings (external and internal), we take advantage of the opportunity to venture out.
Budapest is actually two cities... Buda and Pest, which are separated by the River Danube (BTW, if you are curious, the Danube does not appear to be so blue.)
Our short stay there is on the Buda side, which is the hillier of the two cities. The weather is fantastic, and cloudless sunrises bring absolutely amazing postcardesque views of Budapest and the surrounding area from our hotel. We visit the Pest side, which appears to be bit different than its twin on the other side of the river -- it is louder and looks more "inner city". Everywhere you look, infrastructure is either being worked on or looks like it needs to be worked on.
The German language is quite widely used, which initially is a bit surprising. English also is widely accepted, although understanding seems to stop when some monetary-related questions arise. The food and beverages are really good... traditional goulash, beers, wines, and paprika are all pretty common, although I find that most Hungarian wines are on the sweet side.
Next up, the final leg of this journey -- back home... bringing to a close this Philadelphia > Washington DC (Dulles) > Beijing > Guiyang > Beijing > Tokyo > Munich > Budapest > Frankfurt > Philadelphia trip around the world.