Budapest. The capital of Hungary and a gorgeous one at that. The cities (yes, plural) are situated on the Danube River and you may recognize the name from this piece by Strauss:
Cities? But, I thought you were writing about Budapest? I am. Fun fact: Budapest is actually two formerly separate cities, Buda and Pest. Buda is on the western side of the Danube and is quite hilly while Pest extends out to the east and is very, very flat. I spent five days here during the summer of 2009. The city was buzzing and filled with people enjoying the nice weather and laughing and drinking with friends on cafe patios. The Pest side is easily walkable because it is so flat but the Buda side….well, I recommend using taxis to get around!
Standing on the Pest side looking across the Danube to Buda. Do you still have the music playing?
This is the Hungarian Parliament building. It’s the largest building in Hungary and the tallest one in Budapest. Does the architectural style remind you of another famous building? The British Palace of Westminster (aka the British Parliament) is also built in the same Gothic Revival style.
Stone steps like these line the streets of Budapest and lead straight into the Danube. I didn’t see anyone swimming near them so maybe they’re used for boat passengers?
Of course, I had to try some genuine Hungarian goulash. It was hearty and delicious! I’m sure it tastes even better during the winter months because it was served hot.
And finally, here is a nice picture I took of a flower bed with one of the many bridges crossing the Danube in the background. Budapest was a fun city. One of the things that made the trip an adventure was the lack of English. Some things were translated into English but for the most part English speaking tourists hadn’t made quite a big enough impression for the museums and cafes to translate their information into English. I would like to go back and see if things are easier to navigate, especially since Hungarian is one of the most difficult languages to learn.