A Travellerspoint blog

Hungary

Day 13

A day exploring Buda Castle

sunny 26 °C

We were greeted by another bright sunny morning. We decided to spend the day touring Buda Castle on the West side of the Danube River.

We were able to walk to our Hop On/Hop Off bus stop and ride their buses to the Buda Castle Funicular. You can walk up ramps to the castle but we decided to take the path of least resistance and go up on the funicular. Besides, it was fun.

Funicular

Funicular


Sign as you leave the funicular

Sign as you leave the funicular

One of the first sights we saw once we arrived at the top of the funicular was the palace guards. We saw the last of a changing of the guards ceremony a bit later so all we saw was the guards marching away.

Castle guard

Castle guard


Changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

We looked south and a very large building spread along the top of the castle hill. This is the view we saw.

View looking south from the funicular

View looking south from the funicular

We walked along the pathways south of the funicular. One of the sights we saw was a free concert of traditional Hungarian music at a band shell on the banks of the Danube.

Concert of traditional Hungarian music at bandshell on the shore of the Danube

Concert of traditional Hungarian music at bandshell on the shore of the Danube

After walking to the end of the pathways going south, we turned and walked north. We then walked around to the side of the large building we had been walking along and found this Matthias fountain named for King Matthias.

Matthias Fountain

Matthias Fountain

We were then walking along behind some of the castle buildings and found a castle gate which was decorated by a crow.

Crow decorating a gate

Crow decorating a gate

There was a parapet there that overlooked the city of Buda. One item of interest was the reconstruction of the Riding Hall and a fresco of a cavalry rider.

Reconstruction of Riding Hall

Reconstruction of Riding Hall


View of Buda from castle

View of Buda from castle

There was a large area on this side of the castle that was basically just foundations of previous buildings that had been part of the castle.

We stopped in a shady place and ate our lunch.

We then walked north along the back side of the castle and saw this building. There were few signs that said what these buildings were so, sorry, we can not name them.
Another part of castle

Another part of castle

We came to a road and looked back toward the Danube and saw this enormous church. It is very beautiful and covers a lot of territory. We did learn that this is called the Matthias Church. It was surrounded by parks and a beautiful parapet along the cliff above the Danube River.

Matthias Church

Matthias Church


Parapet on cliff overlooking Danube River

Parapet on cliff overlooking Danube River

Musician playing clarinet

Musician playing clarinet

Replica of Matthias Church

Replica of Matthias Church

Another view of parapet

Another view of parapet


Statue in tribute to King Saint Stephen

Statue in tribute to King Saint Stephen

We had been walking around the castle complex for over four hours. It was a sunny and warm day, 26C (79 F). We were weary. There was still a lot to see but we were calling it a day. We walked to the funicular and took a photo as it descended.

View as funicular descends

View as funicular descends

We got back on our bus and started back to our apartment. We looked back at the castle complex and took a photo.

Looking back at castle complex

Looking back at castle complex

We took a photo of the Cave Church at the south end of Gellert Hill. This church was built at the mouth of a cave that has hot springs that are used for healing purposes. This church was only built and consecrated in 1926 although the caves had been used for many years.

Cave Church in Gellert Hill

Cave Church in Gellert Hill

Once we got back to our own neighbourhood we got a few groceries and had a quiet evening.

Posted by A-RPoulton 12:49 Archived in Hungary Comments (1)

Day 12

Touring Budapest Day 1

sunny 29 °C

We woke today to a bright sunny morning.

After breakfast we walked to a hair salon that we looked up on the internet. It was a short walk of five blocks. When we got there the stylist asked us to come back in an hour.

We had noticed a large decorated building on the street near the hair salon so we walked over to see what it was. On the way, Reta spotted a plot of poppies and she could not resist taking a photo of them. When we reached the large building we realized it was a train station. We later learned it was called the East train station. We noticed that it had the dates 1884 - 1984 on the building but we do not know what those dates celebrate. We took a photo of an old train on display inside the station.

Poppies

Poppies


East train station

East train station

Old train in station

Old train in station

While we were in the train station we purchased tickets for the four Hop On/Hop Off tours of the city.

We returned to the hair salon and we both got great hair cuts. Art learned while he was chatting up the stylist that she was Italian. She smiled when he said "Arrividerci" as we left the salon.

We walked to the nearby Hop On/Hop Off bus stop and began our tours.

We saw many beautiful buildings as we traveled the city. We do not remember the names of many of them. The one we do remember was the Parliament Buildings which are on the banks of the Danube River.

Parliament Buildings on the shore of Danube River

Parliament Buildings on the shore of Danube River

Beautiful building

Beautiful building

We did think the statue at the Citadel on Gellert Hill was lovely.

Statue at Citadel

Statue at Citadel

We also saw many things along the tour that relate to the culture of Budapest. The first is a row of statues on a balcony. The second was a group of young people performing traditional dances in a square (sorry, this is not a great photo).

Folk Art on balcony

Folk Art on balcony

Young people dancing

Young people dancing

Our bus stopped at Hosok tere square which is a Millenium monument. It honours the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important Hungarian leaders as well as containing a Tomb to the Unknown Soldier. There is a large obelisk in the centre of the square. The top of the column depicts Archangel Gabriel, who holds the Hungarian Holy Crown and the apostolic double cross in his hands. This square seems to be popular with the city residents. We noticed a bride and groom there posing for wedding pictures and a group of young men obviously having a stag party as you will note by the costume on one of the men.

Bride and Groom

Bride and Groom

Stag party?

Stag party?

The stop at the Hosok Tere square was the end of our tour. We rode the bus back to our neighbourhood, got groceries and returned to our apartment.

We had a good day. The high temperature for the day was 29C (84F). We were hot and tired. The tour guides assured us that this was an unusually warm day for this time of year.

Posted by A-RPoulton 12:55 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Day 11

Travel to Budapest

semi-overcast 36 °C

This morning we were surprised to find a car parked behind ours in front of our apartment with licence plates from Russia. Since this is something we Canadians seldom see, I thought I would share this picture.

Russian car

Russian car

Our drive to Budapest took us through the country of Slovakia. This is an area of mountains and farm land. We needed to stop at the border and buy a vignette which allows you to drive on their highways. Since it was lunch time we found a picnic table and enjoyed the day.

We then travelled through Slovakia and into Hungary. We were surprised that we just drove through those borders without stopping.

As we got closer to Budapest we ran into a spectacular traffic jam. We drove 9 kilometres in 1 1/2 hours. We had lots of time to look at the scenery and play "what country is that vehicle from" based on the intiails on the licence plates. The most right hand lane is always occupied by semi-trucks and trailers. The left hand lane is occupied by vans and cars and such.

We noticed that the temperature outside had climbed to 36 C ( 97 F). We were thankful that our car had air conditioning.

We got to our apartment in Budapest with ease once the traffic jam lessened. We are in a historic area. Our building is very old. Our apartment on what is called the 2nd floor here but in Canada is would be the third floor. We were able to get ourselves and our luggage in the rickety old elevator so we did not have to carry it all up the stairs.

Floral display in front of our front door and window

Floral display in front of our front door and window

Interior courtyard of our building

Interior courtyard of our building

The front door and window of our apartment

The front door and window of our apartment

After getting settled in we walked over to the local grocery store and purchased items for supper/dinner and breakfast and lunch tomorrow.

We thought we would mention all of the countries we have been in up to now. We have been in Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and now, Hungary.

Tomorrow we are off to explore Budapest.

Posted by A-RPoulton 11:22 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

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