The journey has started... I have arrived in budapest after hours of traveling. Both flights were full too the brim with people.
Once in Budapest airport I was able to make use of the airport shuttle service into my hotel with ease. The hotel is in a great location... Have already been out walking across the chain bridge to pest and then along the Danube past the parliament building and then back across at Margaret bridge, quick visit to the supermarket for a few snacks ( cant read any of labels so will be a bit of a surprise when it come to eat them) and stroll down to the hotel. Only had one slight moment of embarrassment when i tired to enter the bank through the exit and the guard had to help me with the signs. It is a beautiful sunny day and would like to be out doing more to enjoy it but jet-lag is starting to set in... So early to bed and rest up ready for a full day out exploring tomorrow.
Budapest turned other beautiful day for me. I heard out early to start walking between chain bridge and margaret bridge. Stopping along the way to look at a couple if church's and the starting walk to the tomb for a view of pest but there were trees in the way so view not as good as described in guide book. Walked over to margaret island in the middle of the Danube. This is a beautiful park with swimming pools, gardens, statues and ruins. From there walked over the bridge to pest and down to the parliament building for a tour. Stood on line for close to an hour to get a ticket to an English speaking tour that started in the afternoon. Filled in the time before the tour by walking to st stephens bacillus. Walked inside to the sound of a church choir practicing and the glistening interior sparkling. There is extensive use of gold leaf and detailed patterns on the dome roof. Also looked at the right hand of st Stephen. Still had time left before the parliament tour so walked to the museum of terror. This is setup in the building that was used as a jail and integration rooms during the communist rule. Well set out exhibition rooms and had briefs about the history of the building and era in English. Was very interesting and creepy. Took a different route back to the parliament for the tour. Was fantastic to see inside the building and well worth the wait. Guide spoke in english explaining the rooms we were in great detail. Also were inside to see the changing of the royal guards. They have a unique marching style if dragging their feet and the stomping it down. Walked back to the hotel via downtown pest and the chain bridge.
Day started off well with fresh apple strudel served at breakfast and kept up that level for the for the rest of another busy day. Caught the siklo(train) up to the top of castle hill. From here I was able to walk around the old city enjoying the sights of matthias church ( under interior renovation so was able to see the inside in full layout, fishermen's bastion ( viewing platform), Mary magdalene tower, labyrinth and was heading back to the royal palace when the guards were changing on the current government building so had a quick look. Walked through the royal gates and was greeted by a food and drink festival. Enjoyed some traditional music and dancing and then Headed into the Budapest history museum located in the southern wing of the palace. It was then time to head down the hill and walk along the Danube to Gellert hill. Then was time to walk up the hill to enjoy the liberty monument and then onto the citadella. The temp was above 30C and after over a 1000 steps and one nude hiker! I made it to the top and the citadella and was rewarded with magnificent view over Budapest and pest. The citadella is a defensive structure that has been used through the ages and took a tour of the concrete bunker that was used during the second world war. Managed to follow some local kids down a shortcut of steps back to the back to the banks if the Danube. Took a slight detour to see the church built into the side of the hill but was closed for a wedding. At this point my camera battery died so tried to keep snapping with the phone. The inner tourist is coming out. Crossed the szabadsag bride and was at the pest market. Step inside and found it full of delicious delights. Enjoyed some sort of cookie that has jam in the middle and chocolate on the outside. Walked around to find the Hungary national museum. Once inside was a look over how Hungary has become the country it is today. Lots of signs in English so was able to enjoy and appreciate what I was looking at.
Strolled back towards the chain bridge stopping to looking the architecture of the university library and popped unto a couple more churches including the oldest in the city that has a carved crest of pest inside. Final stroll along the Danube and was back at the hotel after a good 10 hours out walking and exploring... Am very tired but excited starting the intrepid tour tomorrow.
had a slow start to the day and heading out towards pest after checking out of my great hotel in buda. Walked across to the chain bridge and heading to the great synagogue. Was able to take an English speaking tour and gained an in-depth knowledge of the history of Jewish people in Hungary and Budapest. The inside of the synagogue was beautiful