Friday, February 22, 2019

Four Days in Buda & Pest

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Our midday bus trip from Zagreb to Budapest was lovely.  We enjoyed an upscale bus with WiFi and a working toilet.  There was plenty of room as we shared the 50 pax bus with only a dozen folks.  The border crossing was a breeze.  The drive was pleasant over farmland and rolling hills and we arrived at the Budapest Central Bus Station five hours later.  A short taxi ride got us to our apartment building and we were unpacked and at home in our typical few minutes.  We had a quick dinner from our traveling kitchen, opting to go shopping for groceries the next day. W e had a bit of a snafu in our communication with the owner but got through check-in easy enough.Our apartment home for the next four days is a two story apartment in the city center. 

Our first day out was bright and sunny, in the low 50's and the first time since Uzbekistan where we saw a few short sleeves.  We opted for a walking tour of the main sights from the main square of the city where we met our guide.  Aggie was energetic and have been most of our city walking tour guides...and was eager to please the group.  We started out in the central square next to the big Ferris wheel...called the Budapest Eye...shades of London I suppose.

Neo-classical cathederal...largest in Budapest.

Historical humor and food talk.
Academy of Sciences
Former palace and now Four Seasons Hotel
Chain Bridge and Lions

Crossing the Danube yet again...
Viewing Buda from the bridge
Royal coat of arms at base of walkway to the former royal palace.
Tramway from the mid 1800's
The mythical bird of the nomadic founding tribes...symbol of Budapest.
House of Parliament...looks like a cathederal.

Old City on the bluffs above the river.
St. Stephen's Church and colorful roof.

Fisherman's Bastion...old fish market and now a huge tourist hangout.

The Kiraly Baths - a traditional turkish bath house.
After a five mile walk and a big lunch at a traditional restaurant, we checked into the baths for an hour long soak in several of the multi-temp pools.  It was great.  We almost lost Andi in the splendor and relaxation of the moment...LOL.  Our day ended with a metro ride back to our apartment and a quite evening.

Our second full day included another long walk down a beautiful tree-lined boulevard, a visit to a huge central park, and the National Gallery of Art.  
 Man y embassies and mansions.
 It was a two miles walk to the memorial plaza.
 Museum of Modern Art
 Great mosaic over the entrance.
 Memorial to King Stephan.
The ice rink was huge and busy.
 We walked the grounds of the Baravarian castle.
 Highlights of our visit to the National Gallery of Art.  These were carved from one tree each.
Loved this Monty Python-esk statue from 1200.
 Never say a female "pan" before.
 Several of the 53 numerous heads down by a Hungarian sculture in the 1600's.  Tin and Lead.

 The grand hall of the gallery.
 This one caught my eye.  From 1362.  Look at how small, emaciated, and unclothed the jesus child it.  Weird.
 Dirty old man.
 Famous Adam and Eve by an unknown 1460's painter.  Beautiful.
 On our last day we scheduled a tour of the parliament building.  It is massive, the third largest in the world and our visit was a real treat.

 There are over 200 painted statues, made with poured artifical granite, and then fired three times.  Done in 1890.

 View of the Danuabe and Buda on the other side of the river.
 One more walk along the river.
We settled in a bit early, had a great roast pork dinner with all the traditional side dishes and called it a night.  Our morning bus ride is only two hours to Bratislava, Slovakia...another country to tick off in the morning.

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