A tale of two cities.......
13.10.2010 - 15.10.2010
Hello from Budapest,
We arrived in Budapest via overnight train from Krakow. After the confusion about our sleeper car reservation with the train conductor was resolved with a few Hungarian Forint ($) we were settled into our cabin for the night. I couldn’t figure out why a train from Krakow to Budapest would take all night until I figured out we traveled through Prague and Vienna before arriving in Budapest and I’m pretty sure our sleeper car was disconnected and re-connected to another train at least twice. You have to roll with the punches when you travel so we just looked at it like a camping trip where someone is shaking your tent all night.
Budapest is a union of two old cities (Buda and Pest) that each reside on different sides of the Danube River. Buda is the side with hills while Pest is pretty flat. We stayed in an area called the Castle district on the Buda side right across the street from the Matthias Church. As has somehow become a tradition with us on this trip we went in search of authentic local food for lunch our first day in town. We both had the Goulash soup and some beef stroganoff. The goulash was tasty but the stroganoff had a distinct mustard flavor which was appreciated much more by Tom than Susan.
The highlights of our visit to the city were a couple of cruises on the Danube, a trip to the Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion, the Opera house and some wonderful meals (OK after a bit we went Italian…sorry) with excellent wines.
Let’s get to the pictures………….
This building was at the East end of the Castle district. I am nit sure what it is but it was a good example of the highly decorated roof tiles that are seen throughout the city. The city has a distinct Eastern flavor in its architecture as it has been captured and ruled by Mongolia, Turkey and other Eastern civilizations over its history.
A Castle district street scene.
This is the front of Matthias Church and was directly across the street from the Burg Hotel where we stayed.
This is a view of the decorated roof tiles on the Matthias Church from the back side.
These next three pictures are from the inside of the Matthias Church. The decorative painting on just about every surface again has a very Eastern feeling but it was beautiful!
The picture above was taken in a relatively new area called Fisherman’s bastion near the Matthias Church and it provides some nice overlooks of the Danube River and the Pest side of the city.
This building, like many others in the city, still show the scars of armed conflict with the Soviet army in the 20th century.
This is a picture of the “Chain Bridge” across the Danube with Buda on the left and Pest on the right. It was taken from the Citadel atop the highest point of the city on the Buda side.
This church shows yet another example of the beautifully decorated tile roofs around the city.
This is a picture or the Hungarian Parliament building on the Danube River.
This is one of the newer bridges in town but I thought it was amusing that they actually had to move that church several yards to the left when they installed the bridge but it seemed to have plenty of room on the right side. Sounds like the bridge was built in the wrong place to me.
The Liberty Bridge across the Danube is gorgeous. The statue on the Citadel in the background is called their "Statue of Liberty" she is holding an olive branch.
A university library and a very beautiful building.
This is my funny street scene entry for Budapest. You just don’t see people with huge falcons on their arms that often in the USA.
The next five pictures are of the Budapest Opera house. It is a beautiful example of early 19th century architecture. This is where the opera scenes in the movie Evita were filmed.
These next two snaps were taken at dusk around the city.
This is a night picture of the Chain Bridge taken from the Danube River and seems like a good closing picture for Budapest.
Well that’s about it for Budapest. We are having the time of our lives and really enjoying learning a little about these places we are traveling. Next we fly from Budapest through Munich to Dubrovnik Croatia. We have been really looking forward to Dubrovnik. Again, I will catch up with you all as soon as I can.