Budapest is a big, exciting vibrant city. It feels a little like Vienna to me, withthe style of architecture and I suppose it’s not far – a paddle along the Danube and you’d be there. I suppose that’s partially thanks to the Habsburgs opening their extravagent silk-lined gold threaded purses.
The Danube separates the city into two cities, Buda and Pest. I was staying in Pest but I managed a trek across the river to see the Castle Hill (not a Darlene sighting to bless myself with)area – a short, steepish walk up a hill and you’re transported to medieval Buda. There’s the castle, a church, the president’s office is there. I even spotted some Roman Ruins. Those things are everywhere. I went to the Labyrinth which is a maze of tunnels under the castle.
The day I visited Castle Hill, it was raining rather heavily and soaking rain and free tourist maps don’t really mix. I needed to have a look at it and there was no shelter anywhere. Finally I spotted an awning – it belonged to a HUGE building. I had to weave over and under chains and the like, but there was no one around so I figured I’d just do it, get my bearings and head on my merry way. No sooner had I found relief than a big, stern looking, uniformed armed guard come out of nowhere and rather firmly said something in Hungarian to me – I looked at him blankly and he guessed the language situation and repeated himself in English – “You have entered the President’s property miss. You need to leave immediately.” I smiled, apologised and ended up getting helpful directions from him. Wouldn’t like to know the consequences of such trespassing not so long ago though. 🙂
My hostel was right near a market so I spent a bit of time thwere, it’s indoor and is up there with the cleanest, most orderly markets I have seen. I bought loads of fresh vegies to take advantage of the amazing hostel kitchen. Hooray for vegetables. 🙂
I also visited the Zoo! It was compact but contained all the usual suspects and the south american secioun was particularly exciting. One could literaly reach out and touch a three toed sloth. I naturaly rather enjoyed the Australian section – the sound of a laughing kookaburra with didgeridoo playing int he background can be good for the almost homesick soul. Could have gone either way I guess. But it went the good way.
Ohh and also, there is a BIBLE MUSEUM here!! Two of my favourite things in one wonderful concoction!!! Not quite as fun as it sounds though. That’ll learn me to build things up in my head. Note to self, why doesn’t Sydney have one. Maybe a hole in the market. Hmm. Please no one steal my idea before I am home to implent it.
I digress. Bundapest is really wanderable and that’s how I spent most of my time, wandering the alleys, checking out hero square, wandering up and down Andrassay Avenue, walking accross the Danube Bridges, walking through a winter beaten park, als checking out the Hungarian National Museum which gave a good overview of Hungarian modern history.
Beautiful city, Budapest.