Meet the Locals 2: In Budapest
After the somberness of the House of Terror, we need something a little more light-hearted. So…Continuing with the fun theme of Meeting the Locals (both human and not), we move to Budapest.
Castle Hill is a historic hill above the Buda bank of the Danube. It was once the seat of Hungarian royalty, with the huge Royal Palace at the south end (now reconstructed and housing a number of museums) and the lovely St Matthias Church near the north end, and the Hospital in the Rock on the west side (see here https://easterneuropetrip.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/budapest-hospital-in-the-rock/ ).
At the parade ground near the top of the funicular by the Sandor Palace you can watch a changing of the guards—very popular with all the tourists. Sonya had great fun having her photo taken with one of the guards.
Vaci Utca (street) on the Pest side of the Danube is considered by many to be the heart and soul of Budapest, with countless shopping opportunities and places to eat and drink. We enjoyed strolling along after we had coffee and snacks at the famous Gerbeaud
(see here https://easterneuropetrip.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/gerbeaud-a-grand-old-dame-in-budapest/ ). We did a bit of gift shopping and had a late lunch at an Italian-style place. Sonya greeted a couple of “locals” along the way!
The Hungarian Parliament Building is also on the Pest side of the Danube. It’s a wonderful Neo-Gothic construction, opened in 1902 and was the largest Parliament building in the world at that time, a symbol of Hungary’s self-confidence in the early 20th century. The morning we were there the plaza was wreathed in a fine mist, sprayed out of nozzles dotted around in the flagstones, creating a very pretty, almost mysterious effect.
Two guards stand and march at the edge of the huge plaza—Kossuth ter(Square)—on the east side of the building. Sonya managed a selfie with one of them.