This morning we headed along the Champs D’Elysse of Budapest to see the Opera House (you need to buy a tour ticket for later in the day so we did not go inside) and then to the Terror Museum (which was the story of imprisonment and poor treatment of Hungary’s citizens during the communist rule. It would have made much more sense had we known the language, but limited items were translated and it was difficult to know what all was going on. The basement housed some old prisoner cells (including padded and stand up cells) which was probably the highlight.
From there we walked down to the Danube River that splits the two sides of the city and hopped on the boat to taxi us to Margaret Island. We had a great lunch on the 2nd story patio overlooking the river with giant lemonades and homemade cooking. After a long stroll along the riverside jogging path we made our way across the Bridge to the mainland and over to the Parliament building.
This fantastic structure was just as neat inside as it was outside. We hooked up with a tour group who had 2 spots left and went inside with our language-master guide who went seamlessly from English to German to Italian with us barely able to tell he switched. He was an older, retired-but-love-my-job kind of guy with a great sense of humor. We took some photos of inside the building, which most likely didn’t do it justice, because it came very close to some of the amazing churches we have seen with very articulate gold leaf accents, fine stain glass windows and royal red carpeting. I recommend going in here for sure, but you have to arrange your tour outside the main entrance.
A short rest of the legs and eyes had us ready for a delicious Italian dinner at the edge of the main square and the St Stephen’s Basilica. Homemade spinach and ricotta tortellini drizzled in EVOO and parmesan cheese. Yum. We are so close to Italy I can taste it.
At 8pm sharp we had tickets to the Basillica concert with duelling organs, which Josh suggested and initially my skepticism wasn’t sure we should waste our time inside during the sunset hour, however I was quite pleased at the sound that such a large cathedral and marble walls could produce. It was another item not on my list that I’m glad we added.
Pretty sure the hop on hop off tour was not worth the $16 dollars and 3 days that we paid for, when we only road the red for half the route, and the boat for half the route. Oh well, we got the lay of the land anyway.
Overall, here in Hungary the people were friendly, well spoken in English, and had tasty food. They enjoy excercise, smoking, drinking wine, and their dogs (who are amazingly behaved and lots are offleash in the city and watch their owners like hawks for direction). Tomorrow we head to Croatia to the town of Split for our 6th country.