On Thursday, March 10th, I hurried home, down jacket zipped up to my neck, scarf pulled tight and thermal Buff on my head and still arrived home cold. The nighttime temperature dropped to about zero, which is what it has been since the beginning of December.
On Saturday, March 12th, I went out for a early morning run on Margit Sziget in a T-shirt, and came home sweating. The little line of red alcohol in my landing thermometer showed about 16°.
Spring has come to Budapest, at long last.
Unlike the temperate maritime climate of Britain, where the temperature climbs slowly and hesitantly from about 5° to 20° over the course of many months, in Hungary's land-locked continental climate the temperature suddenly changes and winter gives way to spring almost instantaneously.
After the months of freezing cold and grey skies it feels like such a relief. To be able to go out and not think about thick coats and gloves but to walk along a street and feel the sun on your face is such a liberation.
There may be some chillier, damp weather forecast in the next few days, but we feel like spring has definitely arrived.