Location: Budapest, Hungary
Ever since we arrived in Europe in early March, we’ve been waiting for it to warm up. We finally got our wish and then some in Budapest where the temps soared into the 90’s. On top of that, we ran into the Holidays of Whitsun (Pentecost) & Whit Monday that had much of the city shut down for 2 days. Thus, we had to adjust our routine and get out early in the mornings to do our sightseeing. We found Budapest to be quite a large, yet comfortable and remarkable city.
We were unaware that the Dunube River divides the city into the areas of “Buda” and “Pest”. Our accommodations were on the Pest side and we often walked across one of the many immense bridges to get to the Buda side. That’s where the high ground can be found. We started out by exploring the Castle Hill area. It has been magnificently restored and we were just in awe of its splendor.
Buda is also home to the Statue of Liberty and Citadel. This hike rewarded us with spectacular views of the city.
Pest more than made up for its lack of high ground with its grand buildings and museums making it an architectural paradise.
We made up for missing out on the beer festival in Prague as we discovered a Craft Beer Festival on the Danube River. They served beers infused with all sorts of things. We tried some with banana, elderflower and Tokaji but we preferred the more traditional styles. We were thrilled when we discovered a Corsendonk stand as it’s one of our favorite craft beers that Elizabeth used to sell.
We spent 2 nights at Park Inn by Radisson. The a/c was fair while the wifi was good. They provided a basic fitness center.
After draining our Club Carlson rewards account on the Park Inn, we upgraded to a nice apartment at the Fraser Residence Budapest where we stayed for 3 nights. The a/c and wifi were good and there was a washing machine we took full advantage of. They also served up a very nice breakfast buffet each morning. They lacked a gym but made up for it with a relationship providing a discount to an excellent fitness center around the corner.
Food And Drink:
We’ve been enjoying Hungarian food that’s included pullet (young chicken), pork tenderloin, veal and catfish stews, beef in red wine sauce, grilled goose liver and more.
We visited a couple of wine bars in Budapest and found the local Hungarian wines to be quite good. However, it’s the first time that we’ve seen wine bottled in brown bags.
We rode the rails for six and a half hours from Zagreb to Budapest and got baked on a hot day due to the lack of a/c. So much for paying up for first class. Once there, we used the metro. The M3 line that we used often reminded us of some of the older NYC subways. On the day that we left, we took the newly opened M4 line. Whoa, what a difference.
Rich’s running shoes finally wore out. He never imagined that he’d buy a pair of Skechers running shoes but he was so impressed by 38 year old American Meb Keflezighi’s stunning win of the Boston Marathon earlier this year in a pair of Skechers that he just had to go out and buy a pair of his own. Way to go Meb!
For Your Amusement:
We found a stand selling beer flavored ice cream at the festival.
What’s a Las Vegas casino doing in Budapest?
Highlights: Buda Castle and the city’s architectural wonders.
Next Up: We’re moving up the Danube River (via train) to another capital city: Vienna, Austria.