Hungary

Hungary

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  • Day59

    At last! We arrived in Budapest today and I can now cross another thing off my bucket list! and so pleased I came- lives up to all my expectations. It was late afternoon by the time we reached our accommodation so went out to something to eat and then walked around for a couple of hours. Evie- a new country for your pin board!

  • Day70

    Our accommodation is about 10 minutes walk from the Danube so great location. Walked over the Chain Bridge, iconic 1800s stone suspension bridge, and got great view of the beautiful buildings on each side of the river. Walked beside the Danube on the Buda side then crossed back to the Pest side over the Elisabeth Bridge, Budapest's 3rd newest bridge. The Danube River here is especially busy with Budapest being either the starting point or final destination for many European river cruises. As well there are many day and night cruises along this beautiful river. I am looking forward to discovering more of Budapest over the next four days.Read more

  • Day74

    Budapest is celebrating its national holiday tomorrow, Sunday 20 August, but the festivities began today. Streets and bridges are closed to traffic and there are food and drink stalls as far as the eye can see along the river and music to be heard all over the city. 20 August is the greatest national holiday for Hungarians. It commemorates the foundation of the Hungarian state. Also called St. Stephen's Day, remembering Stephen I, the first king of Hungary and founder of the Kingdom of Hungary, who was canonized on August 20th, 1083 by Pope Gregory VII.
    Unfortunately, as we leave Budapest tomorrow, we won't be around to see the official celebrations or the fireworks but it will be big if the preparations we see today are an indication.
    We had a great time being a part of it today.
    Read more

  • Day74

    On our last day in Budapest there were two places we wanted to visit:
    1. St Stephen's Basilica - we had gone past it so many times on the bus but had not taken the time to actually stop and look inside. We righted that wrong today...and we were happy we did. The interior is magnificent.
    2. "The shoes on the Danube Promenade": On the banks of the Danube River in Budapest, not far from the Hungarian Parliament building, sit sixty pairs of old-fashioned shoes, the type people wore in the 1940s. There are women's shoes, there are men's shoes and there are children's shoes. They sit at the edge of the water, scattered and abandoned, as though their owners had just stepped out of them and left them there. The shoes are rusted, made of iron and set into the concrete of the embankment. They are a memorial and a monument to the Hungarian Jews who, in the winter of 1944-1945, were shot on the banks of the Danube River by the members of the Arrow Cross Party. The memorial was conceptualized by film director Can Togay, and was created by Togay together with the sculptor Gyula Pauer. It was installed on the Pest bank of the Danube River in Budapest in 2005. At three separate places on the memorial, cast iron signs read in Hungarian, English and Hebrew: "To the memory of victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944-45."Read more

  • Day71

    We went on the Hop on Hop Off bus and a boat tour today. Realised just how big Budapest is! Boat tour was worth doing. Started at Elisabeth Bridge and sailed under another three bridges, including the Chain Bridge, to Margaret Island then sailed around it and returned to Elisabeth Bridge. About 2 hour trip. Margaret Island is a 2.5 km long island, 500 metres wide, in the middle of the Danube in central Budapest. The island is mostly parkland and a popular recreational spot. Great views of Parliament House and Buda Castle.Read more

  • Day61

    So many things to see in Budapest. Part of today was spent visiting the Heroes Square where there are massive monuments to Hungary's past and the nearby park where there is a castle snd also one of the 100 hot spring baths.

  • Day72

    Looked around Heroes' Square and surrounds. Beautiful parklands (City Park) and Vajdahunyad Castle and its buildings. Behind the parklands is the Szechenyi Bath which we had hoped to enjoy but the line to get in was ridiculously long and in the sun and it was 31 degrees....so no!

  • Day73

    Buda Castle District - Castle Hill is a kilometre-long limestone plateau towering 170m above the Danube. It contains some of Budapest’s most important medieval monuments and museums, and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Below it is a 28km-long network of caves formed by thermal springs. The walled area consists of two distinct parts: the Old Town, where commoners once lived, and the Royal Palace, the original site of the castle built by Béla IV in the 13th century and reserved for the nobility.
    Trinity square is the main part of the Old Town. In the centre of the square is the Trinity Column, commemorating the end of the plague epidemic, and the Matthias Church.
    Fisherman’s Bastion is a unique viewing terrace said to be named after the guild of fishermen who supposedly defended the area from invaders during the Middle Ages.
    Read more

  • Day63

    What a great time we've had in Budapest and to finish off tomorrow is the National Day of Hungary with festivals and celebrations all over Budapest today and tomorrow. The Chain Bridge and many of the roads are closed and have street stalls with Hungarian delicacies (some I may not have been able to bring myself to eat!) and lots of live music.

  • Day63

    In the morning we visited the 'Shoes on the Danube'. This is a memorial to the Budapest Jewish people during WW11 who were sadly taken to the banks of the Danube, told to remove their shoes and then shot. Tragic and a sad part of history.

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