Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Barefoot in Budapest

We made it to Budapest just fine. And this is the view from our hotel room! How spectacular is that?! It's the Hungarian parliament building, completed in 1904, which our taxi driver told us is the second-largest parliament in Europe. I have no idea whether that's true or not, but it sounds good to me.

When I booked our hotel I specifically intended to face the river and this view, and I was alarmed to find upon check-in that I had booked a "castle view" room, which it turns out is on the other side of the building. Fortunately the hotel moved us with no problem! I guess I thought this was the castle. Just FYI, in case you come to Budapest, it's not.

There's lots of interesting and ornate architecture and we were blessed yesterday with sunshine, which I feel like I haven't seen in weeks! The temperatures are comfortable -- no jacket required. Dave and I have finally been released from the chilly grip of our London spring.

After we checked in to our hotel we set out to find lunch. We ate at a sidewalk cafe across from this high-spirited beauty salon. I ordered goulash soup -- because one of the few things I know about Hungary is that it's the home of goulash -- but it turns out goulash and goulash soup are not quite the same thing. It was basically meat soup with root vegetables. Not bad!

My stepmother used to make Hungarian goulash with noodles and ground beef and tomato. I have no idea where she got the recipe or whether it's at all authentic, but I'll try some actual goulash at some point and we'll find out!

After lunch we walked to the funicular that carries passengers up the steep hillside to the castle. We're on the Buda side of the river, across from Pest. Here are some of the rooftops of Buda.

We walked around the royal palace, which is now a museum and has been extensively rebuilt several times after being destroyed in a succession of wars, including World War II. From there we went into the old town.

We passed the incredibly colorful Matyas Church, and walked up onto the turreted viewing terrace known as the Fisherman's Bastion, which overlooks the city.

We kept seeing this young couple, out for the day to take their wedding photos. The woman carried her shoes the whole time. We called her the "Barefoot Bride."

From the Fisherman's Bastion we walked back down the steps of the steep hill and back to our hotel. Last night we ate at the hotel -- Wiener schnitzel for me, and a crazy dessert made from lime sherbet and vodka! And then I went out to take one last shot of Parliament:

Those lights don't stay on all night. I woke up in the early morning and looked out, and most of them had been switched off. So we are being energy-conscious here in Hungary!


  1. Before lunch you were hungry in Hungary! Great pictures as always! I believe that the Hungarian parliament building was deliberately modelled after London's Houses of Parliament.

  2. Wow, such a beautiful place, somehow I always think of the eastern block countries as being dull but your pictures show such beauty.
    I particularly like the Matyas church rood, stunning.
    Enjoy the rest of your holiday and more pictures please.

  3. Hungarian goulash is a meat stew with paprika. The macaroni version you mention is an American dish that so many of our mothers made because it was quick and easy. Great pictures!

  4. Amazing! Your neck must be aching from all of the swiveling it's doing.
    Mine would be!
    Barefoot bride is lovely and is her groom wearing those little half socks with his stylish shoes?
    Do you feel like you're on a different planet?
    Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing them.

  5. Looks like you chose an interesting place to visit. You are doing it right by touring around by yourself.

  6. France and Italy and even Spain get all the attention so I always thought of Eastern Europe as a backwater but WOW! of course it isn't.

  7. I love all these photos! What a fantastic view you have. And, I love the roof of that church. I can't wait to see more!

  8. A wonderful tour! Thank you, Steve.

  9. Parliament is such a confection of a building. And the churches!

  10. So much for your photographer's eye to see! That parliament building is amazing all lit up.

    And like Ms Moon, I noticed that groom's shorty socks . . . are those a thing now??

  11. We were living in the Netherlands when the Berlin wall came down. In 2000, we went to Budapest for the New Year and on to Prague, which was really not yet ready for mainstream tourists.

    (Budapest) Wonderful city, wonderful memories. We kissed the pig at midnight for good luck. We took a cab to a restaurant outside of town and drank wine (white) from beautiful glass-strawed wine glasses. We stayed in the old part on the Pest side. At least I think that was the side of the river we were on!

  12. I love tagging along on your trips!

  13. Thoroughly enjoyed your trip to Hungary. Never been, but now I feel like I have been.Thanks.