Budapest, Hungary, Day 7—10

Monday, October 7, 2013

From Bratislava we took a three hour train ride to arrive at our next destination: the now joined city of Buda and Pest. And oh what a city. Of all the places we visited Budapest stole my heart. Something about the energy in that place. Or perhaps it was our perfectly situated VRBO apartment. Or the fine weather. Or maybe it was a place that was beloved by our aunt Colleen, who inspired the trip in the first place. Not to mention our impeccable timing, arriving at the start of the National Gallop—a celebration of Hungarian traditions including horseback riding, miles of crafts and wares, traditional food, people watching, and street performers all lining the Andrássy út (Budapest's main boulevard) to Hero's Square. Whatever it was I know I'll be recalling Budapest for years to come.

Because I love exploring new places on bike we spent an entire day crossing over bridges between the Buda and Pest sides of the city. We stopped at the Great Market Hall to load up on tins of famous sweet and spicy paprika. (Some of which I've already used!) We locked our bikes and took the funicular to see the changing of the guards outside Hungary's equivalent of the White House (not an old tradition but a stately and somewhat touristy one nonetheless). We zigzagged recklessly through city streets, without a map, feeling our way to Budapest's City Park just to see the castle one more time. Interestingly the castle, which was built for Hungary's 1896 Millennial Exhibition, was erected with temporary material, to be torn down at the end of the festival as was common for most world's fairs. But locals loved Vajadahunyad Castle so much that they insisted it stay, so it was rebuilt in brick and stone and greeted us with its majestic arches and Renaissance gate.

We ate at Menza.Twice. And had cold plum soup that I'll remember until the day I die. Of course no trip to Budapest is complete without taking the waters, as the locals call it, so we spent a fair bit of time at the Széchenyi Baths, watching old men play chess, while making our way through the hot mineral pools and sauna. My favorite part was getting spun through the circular open horseshoe, since it made everyone smile and look like goofy big kids.

For other glimpses of Eastern Europe see PragueBratislava, and Cesky Krumlov
All images by me.


  1. We share an obsession with Budapest. Your photos are stunning. I need to go back!


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