Today Konstantina and I ventured out across the Danube river to Pest. We walked up to the Parliament building where we visited the underground memorial to the 1956 Uprising and the lapidarium of stones from before the building was refurbished. We then tried to go in but it was a super long line and with only a day left we decided that it would be better spent else where. We did find a small free exhibit that showed the growth of legislation in Hungary and enjoyed walking through that more than waiting in line.
Afterwards we stopped so Konstantina could have a croissant, which has its origins here during the Ottoman rule, before moving along to St. Stephen’s Basilica. The church is truly an amazing one to visit. It is a huge 19th century neo-renaissance building that is simply breathtaking in its decoration and overwhelming presence. Gold leaf and marble is everywhere in the building, along with amazing mosaics. We then headed to the roof which offered more spectacular views of Budapest.
Finally after a stop for ice cream presented in the shape of a rose (fyi- gelato is huge here and done almost as well as Italy) we made it to the Nagy Vásárcsarnok, the Central Market Hall, a 19th century market place built like Pike’s Place or Reading Terminal. It was a wonderful area full of many different wares and food (if just a little overwhelming in the amount of people there). I really like visiting places like this since it helps me learn new words since usually the food is labeled (like I learned gomba is mushroom).
After a few beers there (which I am getting skilled at ordering), we headed back to the hotel for a quick rest before dinner along the Danube again. We made it to the place that we were supposed to eat a last night (those street greeters are tricky) and then came back to the hotel for a night cap in the bar below the hotel.
Budapest has been a wonderful trip and one that I recommend to others to come a visit (although when haven’t I suggested people to visit places I’ve been, I try to go to awesome places). Beyond the frustration of not easily being able to understand the conversion rate, it was a very easy city to visit and navigate and really cheap.
Hope you enjoy the travelogue Mom and aunts (and anyone else).