On Saturday, we embarked on a free 2.5 hour tour of Budapest. It was painfully cold, as you can see from the ice floes on the Danube. We took some breaks in indoor spots whenever possible. This was a close second to our tour of Berlin. The tour guides were excited to share their city with us. How they managed to do this without losing feeling in their faces is beyond me.
Budapest has an assortment of statues, and tradition seems to dictate that you rub a statue for good luck. For a specific wish, rub the androgynous child’s knees. For good eating, rub the policeman’s belly. For good luck in the ways of love, run the horse’s…well…let’s just say that part of his undercarriage is much shinier than the rest of him.
We saw parts of Pest and then crossed the river to Buda on the west, over the Chain Bridge.
Buda is known for its hills, and while there is a funicular that brings you to the top of the main hill about twenty seconds, we hoofed it. It kept the circulation going. At the top we were rewarded with a beautiful view, which is designated as a UNESCO world heritage…view(?). See the House of Parliament below:
The Hungarian president’s office in Buda. This was described as the ‘Hungarian White House’. Buda is where a lot of the money is, and you will see gorgeous houses (most of them belonging to statesmen) on this side of the river. More on that in another post.
St. Mattias Church:
After the tour, we hopped a bus back to Pest and walked south to the Great Market Hall. Food and touristy crap abounded. I tried out my haggling skills on a decorated wooden spoon. This involved her saying a price, me saying another price, her saying “No discount,” and me putting the thing back and walking away slowly.
More to come on underground caves, ruin pubs, yummy food and pretty pictures.