Budapest- Day 1
Last night I got into Budapest after two pretty easy flights. I don’t sleep on planes well so I was a tired puppy when I arrived. I’m staying at a cheap hotel on the Danube River in Pest next door to the Sofitel and Four Seasons- great location! The only downfall is that my non-smoking room smells like smoke. Fail.
I went outside in search of diet coke and took 1 picture.
The Royal Palace across the river from my hotel.
After a solid 11 hours of sleep I was ready to start the day, walking about 8 miles so far.
Chain Bridge with the Royal Palace in the background.
Fun fact: Buda and Pest were originally two different cities until 1873 when they combined to make Budapest.
I crossed the bridge from Pest into Buda to see the Castle District. I’m cheap and didn’t want to pay the $3 to ride up the hill on a Funicular, so I got some uphill exercise.
Looking down on Chain Bridge and Pest from the top of the hill.
The Castle District was cool and full of neat looking buildings.
St. Matthias Church was originally built in the 13th century but has has some upgrades over the years. Many monarchs from the 1300-1900’s were crowned here.
Fisherman’s Bastion (the white towers) and King Istvan’s statue.
Inappropriate Photo of the Day:
Andras Hadik’s statue- I didn’t get a good shot of it because it would be creepy- students at the college nearby come to this statue and rub the horse’s balls before tests. Yes, you read that right. The horse testicles are very gold and shiny because of this. I learned all this while randomly joining an old person tour to see why everyone was stopped there. It is a great way to learn random stuff.
On to the central market in Pest…
It is two stories and filled with fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, wine, and bread. The 2nd story is crafts and Hungarian food counters.
Lots of hanging meats.
And some veg. They eat a lot of giant kohlrabi which I found interesting. They have it at Iowa and Baltimore markets but only at one or two stalls at most.
The Hungarian food stalls looked delicious but it was super-crowded and I was way to intimidated by the pace of everything up there to stand in line and order something. It felt Seinfeld Soup-Nazi style up there.
Across the bridge into Buda again…
Cave church? I think?
This is Gellert statue. This whole area is named after him as he was an important Hungarian figure in spreading Christianity in the 11th century. Someone didn’t like him and they put him in a barrel with nails and rolled him down this huge hill to kill him. Ick!
Hungary’s Parliament Building was impressive- more so than this picture shows. It was huge. Lots of statues and memorials outside depicting figures from the 1956 Revolution against the Soviets.
A few blocks away is St. Stephen’s Basilica. Pretty square outside of it too.
I caved and went for Starbucks.
Andrea is a boy’s name in a lot of other countries so they always try to “girl” up my name by using an “i” or saying Andrina. Whatever.
Also this is an iced coffee with extra ice. There is virtually no ice in this even after I had the barrista add extra ice. Europeans are very stingy with ice.
On that note, I’m tired and have walked around for hours. More later. After I figure out what a cottage cheese bomb is 🙂