A Weekend in the City - Budapest
Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
9Trip End Jul 04, 2009
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After checking into my hostel, I joined a group of people heading out on a city tour. I managed to follow the guide a small way around the city before admitting to myself that I was that tired that I wasn't listening and wasn't really enjoying myself. So after this failed attempt at a walking tour, I retreated back to my hostel and crashed out. I ended up sleeping right through until the next day. About 15 hours in all.
To make up for this wasted day. I made an effort to head out into the city early the next morning to catch some sights
Highlights of my sightseeing day were: the view over the city and the parliament building from Fisherman's Bastion; Matthias Church with it's colourful tiled roof and all its beautiful scaffolding; the bridges crossing the Danube from Buda to Pest and the ornate statues and fountains of the Royal Palace. Lowlights? All the construction. There seems to be a lot of infrastructure work going on all over the city. I'm predicting that Budapest in 10 years time will be much more tourist friendly.
Back at my hostel someone had told me that you can see performances at the Hungarian State Opera House for basically nothing. So I rocked up to the theatre that evening and watched a ballet performance of Romeo es Julia for about a pound
I couldn't well visit Budapest without visiting one of the thermal baths so on my last day there I chose to visit Szechenyi Baths. (This was because it was one the of the more interesting baths architecturally and a fair bit cheaper than Gellert by a long stretch). Several hours I spent here moving between the warm pools, hot spa's and burning saunas. Cultural? Yes. Beautiful? Sure. Relaxing? Not really. All I could think about was how they were managing to stop the spread of foot fungal diseases.
Once I had dried out and could face leaving the warm water, a couple more tourist destinations followed. Vajdahunyad Castle, Heroes Square and another city view from the top of St Steven's Basilica. And that evening I took in the amazing lights of Budapest at night. The bridges, the parliament and royal buildings on Pest Hill, all more beautiful at night. A great way to finish up my time there.