Bonjour again, my faithful friends. My older daughter is spending a semester studying in Madrid, and having a child in my time zone has made me very happy. You know what else made me very happy? Meeting her in Budapest for three glorious days of sightseeing. I am not sure why I had relatively low expectations for Budapest. Maybe I had cast it with the dull pall of Communism and thought it would be dingy and in a state of disrepair. How wrong I was. Budapest was beautiful. In many ways it reminded me of Paris. It’s divided by a river (the Danube) and connected by several pretty bridges. The city is built of a creamy white stone similar to that of Paris. Many of the buildings are adorned with pretty carved embellishments like those found on so many Paris structures. Also, there were cafés and coffee houses on almost every street. I felt very much at home.
Our first morning we took a three-hour bus (and a little walking) tour with Viator tours. It was a great way to get an overview of the city and figure out how things worked. The first stop on the tour was Heroes’ Square, commissioned to commemorate the country’s 1000th birthday in 1896. This grand square is home to statues of fourteen of Hungary’s most famous leaders. It’s an impressive place, and also marks the entrance to Budapest’s sprawling City Park.
Our next stop was a gorgeous hilltop view of the city.
After our tour we visited an old covered market which reminded us of the market we liked so much in Madrid. The Great Market Hall is enormous, covering three floors. The ground floor is for produce, meats, and other foods. Upstairs you will find souvenirs and hot food stalls. The cellar is reserved for fish and pickled things. Lots of pickled things.
Can you tell we loved the market? It’s well worth a leisurely visit.
That’s all for today, folks. Enjoy the rest of your day, and don’t get fooled!