Budapest: Day 2

As the only full day we had in Budapest, we made Day 2 (aka Saturday) count. I will attempt not to bore you with the 185 photos of scenery I took. Please note that’s not an approximate count.

We started by walking along the Danube from our hotel to the castle.

Tramway, Danube, Bridge, and City

Castle in Buda as seen from Pest.

On the bridge over the Danube.

I wish I had kept a running count of how many times I managed to utter “this can’t be real” Saturday. The bridge in this photo is Erzsebet Bridge, which we walked Friday night.

 We met a very friendly and enthusiastic vizsla on our walk up the hill to the castle. As rare as they are in the United States, as a Hungarian dog, they are everywhere in Budapest.

My love of photographs including bare tree branches has reached an all-time high in Europe. At left it the Hungarian Parliament building.

Practically the same photos sans branches. Both were taken from the top of the hill at the castle where the National Gallery of Hungary is located.

To take photos inside the National Gallery, you have to pay extra, so I refrained. It was a really lovely museum and experience though. I had never seen Hungarian art, which is both similar to and wildly different from Western European art of the same period. Shelley and I made our way around the 19th- and early-20th century galleries. From what I saw, portraiture and vivid color play a much larger role in Hungarian art. It was absolutely beautiful.

We wandered a bit and ended up at Matyas Church. I felt as if I had stumbled into Middle Earth.

But actually.

I was fairly certain this was Gondor. The Lord of the Rings allusions will end here.

On the steps leading up to Matyas Church. This is one of three photos Shelley and I managed to take together on our trip.

We walked along the Buda bank of the Danube to Gellert Hill and the Gellert Hotel, which is famous for its baths and tea salon. We skipped the baths, but did manage to have coffee!

Another melange coffee and chocolate roll.

We walked back to the Pest side of the city and took a brief stop at our hotel before continuing our sightseeing.

St. Stephen’s Basilica. My reaction upon entering was “what Notre Dame?”

The hand of St. Stephen and reliquary.

Wow, wow, wow.

We then came across a skateboarding park. Neither of us had seen a single person skateboarding in Europe prior to this.

Dinner of Hungarian goulash (and Hungarian champagne) at “the oldest restaurant in Pest,” which also happened to be down the street from our hotel.

Again, by 9PM, we were in pajamas, but still managed to stay up far too late.

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