Thursday April 17th, Budapest, Hungary
We are starting to feel more and more like travelers and not just tourists. Yesterday was a travel day flying on Ryan Air from Barcelona to Budapest. We walked from our apartment in the Barri Gothic to the main square where we picked up the local bus to go to the airport. Upon arrival in Budapest we used Skylines to take us to the center of town and then walked to our hotel, just around the corner.
We chose K+K Opera Hotel because it is centrally located just a few doors from the Hungarian State Opera House and a couple of blocks from St Stephen’s Basilica. We are also only about a 10 minute walk to the Danube River, and under 5 minutes to a metro station.
The hotel is quite nice. The room is smaller than some, but clean and comfortable. The breakfast was included and offered a good variety. I am pleased with the location and the friendly staff.
Budapest is the capital and largest city in Hungary. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In fact we visited all five of them today. They include:
- The banks of the Danube River
- The Buda Castle Quarter
- Andrassy Avenue
- Heroes’ Square
- Millennium Underground Railway (the second oldest in the world)
Our first full day in town is usually a “get-to-know-you” type of experience. We purchased tickets on the Big Bus for a 2.5 hour looped city tour. We had the option of getting off the bus at any of the marked stops along the route, looking around and catching the next bus, but we chose to just stay on board and get an over view.
Here are some pictures I snapped along our bus route:
This is the third largest Parliament Building in the world only surpassed by the one in London and Buenos Aires. It is the largest building in Hungary.
Strolling through Deak Ter Park, we came across Love Locks. The tradition is for couples to write their names, initials or a date on the lock, attach it to the metal fencing and throw the key into the Danube. Many do it on their wedding days for good luck and a lasting marriage.
We also decided to take the night bus tour. The views along the Danube at night were wonderful which only made me more excited for our upcoming river cruise.
Lets talk about the food for a moment. So far, so GOOD. I tried traditional Hungarian Goulash last night. It came with small dumpling shaped pasta and a light cabbage salad. We topped the meal off with a poppy-seed cake.
Did you know that there are 40 different kinds of paprika? I had no idea! Some of the best paprika comes from Hungary.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the opportunity to try such a variety of food as we travel. From the exotic to the vile (star meat in Thailand), from bugs to potent alcoholic drinks, it has been
fun interesting to try it all. I love food.