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Budapest in the rain

HUNGARY | Sunday, 27 April 2014 | Views [746] | Comments [1]

Budapest remained cloudy with drizzling rain for most of the day, and that's probably not a bad way to describe our spirits, drizzling. But the hotel supplied ample information on tourist opportunities, as well as a good buffet breakfast, so we planned a little walk to see some of the highlights and get the oxygen flowing in our bodies.  Five hours later, we finally get back for a little break!
 
But knowing absolutely nothing about Budapest, and having done absolutely nothing about knowing anything about Budapest, puts you in the enviable position that absolutely everything you see is new and exciting! Except for the rain. Rain sucks, especially when you want to impress people with your photography skills. Nevertheless, we loosely followed the route of one of the hop on - hop off tours here, and walked across the Erzsébet Bridge, along the Danube River and back over the Széchenyi Bridge taking happy snaps along the way. We lamented at not taking our beanies with us but a huge coffee and hot chocolate at Costa Coffee lifted our spirits and warmed our ears.
 
Now the downfall of knowing absolutely nothing about Budapest, and having done absolutely nothing about knowing anything about Budapest, is that I can't impress you with my extensive local knowledge or research skills. So 'ooh that's a big church! ' doesn't quite cut it when trying to describe the magnificence of Szent István Bazilika, or 'Wow! That's a pretty specky building!' doesn't do justice to the most beautiful baroque Egyetemi Templom. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) everywhere you look in this city you are assaulted with glorious monuments to architects and builders from yesteryear, and I know absolutely nothing about them :)
 
But along the way, we visited the Hungarian National Museum, firstly to get out of the weather, and secondly to gain some background on this complex country. It's a massive building with comprehensive and informative displays on everything from prehistoric times, through the Bronze Age, the impact of the Romans, the Ottomans, the Anjou kings, through to the first and second world wars. It was an information overload and I can't say I'm much the wiser, maybe more confused, although I did manage to sneak in a few photos while the security people weren't looking ;)
 
Epilogue: to round off the day, we spoilt ourselves in a 1st class restaurant called Karpatia. Led in by the doorman to the cloak room, we were seated and waited on by separate drinks and food waiters, and served a complimentary white wine to go with a mix of bread rolls and herb butter. The meal was superb and the service A1, and the live acoustic music by the four-piece Hungarian ensemble (violin, viola, dulcimer, double bass) accompanied us the whole night. Playing such classics as Strauß's. Blue Danube waltz, Zorba the Greek and Fiddler On The Roof, we foot-tapped our way through the evening until the band came by and actually played a Stéphane Grapelli request just for us! Well, I just had to buy their CD didn't I? Needless to say, we tottered off home with big smiles on our faces :)

Tags: sightseeing

Comments

1

I absolutely love Budapest and have beent here a couple of times now. Its really famous for the thermal baths, so definitley get yourself to one of those for a great experience. There is an old one there built by the Romans. Also so to the 'Pest' side of the river and head up the hill to the castle there - fantastic views from there! Make sure you try some goulash wile you're there too. Enjoy!

  Jude Apr 27, 2014 10:49 AM

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