Sorry about the delay been a manic week so have only just had time to sit and edit the photo’s! But here we go….
Catch up with Part 1!
After a quick breakfast of toast and jam in our apartment we headed out and made our way towards the Margaret Bridge and across the Danube to start our walk up Gellert Hill.
Stuart promised me that it would be a nice relaxing walk up a shaded path. I can’t say I agreed with him!
The walk up was lovely really and it was a shaded path but just a little more step than expected. We set off fairly early as the idea of walking up a hill in the midday heat was a bit too much for our liking and we were glad we did. We got to the top of the hill around midday so the views over the city were amazing.
The Liberty Monument is a monument to the freedom of Hungary. She is 14m high and was erected in 1947 and built to commemorate the Soviet soldiers killed who liberated Hungary. There used to be some statutes of Soviet soldiers but these were removed in 1992.
It was pretty packed at the top but we still got a chance to look out over Budapest and admire the views. On top of Gellert Hill was also the Citadella which was built in 1848-49 to defend Budapest. We didn’t visit the inside but walked around its walls enjoying the sunshine. We wandered back down the hill enjoying a mini break on a bench half way down which had some interesting graffiti – Free Tibet!
Although Stuart would have loved to have walked to the other side of Budapest to City Park I convinced him to catch a bus. Neither of us are bus people in the UK (I’m not even sure I have ever been on a UK bus) but managed it nonetheless. The experience was interesting to say the least, I thought on many occasions that it wasn’t going to top before ploughing into the bus stopped at the next stop!
The other thing which intrigued us about the buses and later the metro was that no-one seemed to buy a ticket. We did (the bus man did look at us a little strangely but took our money anyway) but everyone else just got on and went about their business. Odd.
We wandered through City Park looking at some of the statues along the way listening to some seriously heavy bass which we discovered was coming out of the side of a lorry. It looked as though it was being pimped up for a party. We stopped for lunch around the lake at a cafe called Toterasz. We indulged in a Sprite, Fanta and 2 BLT’s. It wasn’t the best lunch but certainly hit the spot and the location was excellent.
Next up was the bit I was most excited about Szechenyi Baths (less photo’s than normal as I fancied some down time relaxing). Grand hot water spring thermal pools housed in a beautiful building dubbed a ‘wedding cake’. There are 15 or so pools you can work your way round, 3 outdoor pools and the rest inside. The outdoor pools (the hottest in particular) were by far my favourite and with the paving around we could do a spot of sunbathing too.
But getting to getting in the pools was a challenge in itself, we paid extra for cabin use which allowed us an individual dressing room (box) where we could securely store our things to. This was a good move and saved us from the embarrassment of semi-naked Hungarians. We were sent up and down several staircases and along corridors before we actually found where we were supposed to be!
Once we had enough of the outside pools we headed inside and worked our way round the “medicinal” pools. There was probably a proper way to go around the selection of cold pools, hotter pools and saunas but with no signs we just did what we fancied. The whole time there was a faint smell of eggs but this is expected from thermal pools.
We must have been there for about 3 hours or so and given the entrance fee we could have stayed longer if we had taken a picnic like everyone else seemed to have done but we didn’t want to turn into heated prunes!
Our route home was via Hero Square where we had a quick snap of some photo’s and laughed at some Beer Bike participants while they pedalled madly and sang. We rode most of the route home on the Metro (the second oldest in Europe) and again experienced the ticketless locals.
I wanted to experience some of Budapest’s renowned nightlife but not being a night owl I didn’t stay out until dawn. We headed over to the Jewish Quarter, a short walk from where we were staying and wandered round to find somewhere to eat. My quest for a good Hungarian restaurant was not met this evening either but we did dine at a rather “hip” place which did serve good food and good wine! (All for a VERY good price.) The area was lovely and had a great atmosphere.
The locals were out in force along with tourists alike, we headed to a cocktail bar ‘Epic’ for a post dinner drink before heading home. One Negroni and one Strawberry Shortcake Milkshake cocktail later I was ready for home after another long day! When we go back to Budapest I am going to set aside an evening to do some partying in the notorious Ruin Bars and maybe partake in an Escape Game or two.
Today was all about the flight home, we had a lazy morning and headed to the airport for a couple of hours of reading and browsing round the shops…I say browsing, we came away with Paprika, Unicum, Palinka and some chocolates! Our flight was delayed again by about 40 minutes but that didn’t set us back too much!
Budapest certainly lived up to the hype and we will be going back – what are your suggestions for a longer stay in the city? Top attraction? Insider tips?