It’s been a busy week/weekend so I’m a bit behind on blogging. Actually, I began the blog a couple days ago but then the night snuck up on me so I fell asleep.
Our time in Budapest, Hungary was pretty awesome and we fell in love! Hungary wasn’t particularly on our list of countries to travel through on our month long excursion, but I couldn’t make decisions on where to go after Sweden so a last minute cheap flight to Budapest it was!
Our host, Romain, met us at the apartment Wednesday night to give us the run down and we settled in. On Thursday the morning light shown through the large windows in our apartment and I couldn’t wait to look out at the interior courtyard! Our apartment was a small studio on the top floor with bold red walls, high ceilings, tall windows and a red toilet. The red was actually invigorating and I kinda fell in love (red isn’t usually my color). The building was downtown with only a 5 minute walk to the heart of the city… the old buildings were amazing to look at and Marty would have to guide me to keep me from either walking into dog poop or walking out in front of a car. Haha
The last few weeks we’ve been honing our public transit skills and slowly we’re becoming quite accomplished. Budapest has a wonderful transit system and was definitely the easiest to figure out. The only struggle I still have is with buses… gah… they confuse me and make me nervous. I opted to try a bus routes in Budapest… but after about 10 minutes of walking around in circles trying to figure out where the heck the correct bus was Marty decided we’d just walk the rest of the way. Hello hills of Budapest!! Lordy, we didn’t realize we were hiking to the top of a small mountain until we were at the point of no return! Alas, we finally made it to the Matthias Church in the heart of Buda’a Castle District and it was magic! Marty did point out that if we had taken the bus we would have missed all of the cobblestone streets and gorgeous 19th-century houses. Truth. Back to the church…. the church was magnificent! The stone was beautifully carved with amazing statutes on top, the rooftop tiled with lovely colored tiles in patterns and you could see that there was gorgeous stain glass throughout. We haven’t been paying for museums up to this point (I usually pick a couple free ones that we can visit) but the Matthias Church was an exception. AND, the inside of the church was breathtaking! We tried to absorb all of the sights in the church… it was tough as it was an eye overload, but we were very happy we paid to go inside.
Food… oh man, we ate some amazing food while in Budapest; and if you’re looking for a city that you can really stretch your budget in– this is it! Budapest was by far the cheapest city we’ve spend time in so far (which seriously helped get us back on track considering Finland and Sweden were super expensive). There were some modern areas within the city (IKEA, bowling alley, big box stores) but most of our time was spent walking through old town admiring the beautiful building that have so much character! Owners and their dogs have seriously impressed us in Budapest– every dog was well mannered and most were not on leashes at all! It was kind of amazing watching the dogs and their owners walking down busy streets without any fear that their dog would 1. Run away 2. Annoy strangers 3. Not walk into the street (and get hit by a car).
Back to being tourist, one day we took the metro to Hósök Tere (or Heroes’ Square) where there are iconic statues featuring Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important Hungarian leaders. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was also the site of the first Millennium Underground (metro). Past Heroes’ Square in City Park there is a castle, Vajdahunyad Castle with beautiful architecture! We enjoyed strolling around the outside and then through the courtyard in the middle. It is a very romantic castle of stone and beautiful curves. During the winter months there is an iceskating ring beside the castle — it’s a very large and well maintained outdoor iceskating rink (we watched the Zamboni clean up the rink for evening iceskating). We came back in the evening to take pictures in the dark, as everything is prettier in the dark with the glow of lights surrounding it.
There was so much to do in Budapest and we quickly ran out of time to do it all, but we enjoyed using the public transit to get around while visiting what we could, as well visiting the Harley store and dealer! The people of Budapest are very kind, polite and ready to help when they see a tourist with the classic tourist face of confusion! Overall this has been our favorite city of the trip!
I’ll add pictures later, there are some on my facebook page if you’d like to look at them. Now we’re sitting on a train from Milano, Italy headed to Zurich, Switzerland for a few days before heading to Germany. Eeesh… time flies when you’re having fun! March is quickly approaching and I don’t think we’ll be ready to come back home yet!
Until next time,
Charity & Marty