October 30 – Buda versus Pest

View of Parliament and Chain Bridge from Buda Castle

I did not know until I booked this trip that Budapest is technically two cities, Buda and Pest, separated by the Danube River.  Both cities are beautiful, but I think Pest wins! Our hostel is in Pest, and it seems like all the good shopping and food is there (headed to a wine bar soon to try Hungarian red wine).

My photo today is from Buda Castle, looking down at the Pest riverfront – gorgeous, right?  The architecture in Budapest is beautiful and every new street you walk down there is something worthy of a photo. The buildings are visibly aged, a lot are dark with soot – you can feel the history here, with influences from the Romans, Huns, Ottomans, Habsburgs, Soviets and Germans.

We wandered around for hours today, stopping only for breakfast (latte with a cinnamon pastry) and lunch (hot dogs).  Otherwise, we explored Saint Stephens Basilica, Vasi Street, Andrassy Street, the Opera House, and then crossed the Danube.  In Buda we took the funicular up to Buda Castle and walked around the whole Castle Hill enjoying the views.

Also, just because we are super-efficient travelers, we made time to visit a bath house – Budapest is situated on top of thermal hot springs so there are fresh water baths all over the city.  We went to Gallert which is just south of Buda Castle.  It’s incredible how naturally warm the water is, and it was relaxing (for the hour we managed to spare) sitting in the baths surrounded by Turkish domes and mosaics.

Jóéjt!

-V

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