A Travellerspoint blog

Day 4 Budapest

Lightening and Thunder In Europe

sunny 30 °C

Up at 6:30, shower, breakfast and ready to go by 8:30 on a city tour. We could feel a weather change in the air but our tour director told us it would be hot still. We headed into the city of Pest, past Churches, Heroes Square, Opera Houses, more Churches (Hungary is a predominantly a Catholic Country); then over to the Buda side and back to the Castle region. We got to go into St. Matthias Basilica which we missed on Sunday. It was amazingly different with much Turkish influence. It was very dark inside and they did allow us to use our cameras with flash but still the photos are not great. We got to hear lots of history, see lots of the city we could not see on foot and the morning just flew by. We were brought back to our ship for lunch but only for an hour and then we were off to the countryside to see an equestrian farm and demonstrations of Hungarian "cowboys". And that's when the thunder and lightening began. And, as I write this at 10:30 pm it is ongoing still. The rain started slowly and we were back in the bus before the sky really opened up. The temperature went from 30 to 19 degrees in a few hours. It just poured the whole way back to the ship (about 50 min) and the lightening was all around us. When we got back to our ship we found out it had hailed here while we were gone. It is still storming outside. We are enjoying the cooler temps and it is supposed clear up tomorrow when we are due into Bratislava. We had a superb dinner and left port about 7 pm. Until tomorrow 😊
PS. Blisters are healing 🎉

Posted by GBallam 07:54 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Day 3 Budapest

8.2 k

Woke early, packed our belongings and went for breakfast. Then we headed out for walk away from the tourist area and into the city. We went to see the Sziget Eye in the middle of a pretty park in the middle of the city. Up the street we could see several spires peeking out above the skyline so we went to investigate. We found a beautiful St. Steven's Cathedral. Considering this church is in the middle of a metropolis with narrow streets, lots of traffic, lots of old buildings and churches the city planners long ago left lots of room for large open courtyards and green space. This church has a huge open courtyard and perimeter space surrounding it. Greater Budapest is home to 3.3 million people. It boasts 3.1 million tourists a year. We could find so much to see and do but must leave tomorrow. We boarded our river boat just before noon and got settled into our new "home" for two weeks. We have relaxed this afternoon taking care of our blisters with humor and salve! Another walk along the Danube after dinner and bed. Tomorrow promises to be a long day.

Posted by GBallam 09:20 Comments (0)

Day 2 in Budapest

sunny 30 °C

It was a scorcher again, and we took it much slower today! We headed out this morning across the Chain Bridge and rode the Clark Ádám tér/Sikló funicular up into the Buda Hills. We spent all morning in the Budapest Museum which is in part deep in the Buda Castle ruins. It was hot and steamy. We learned so much. One of them was that apparently there was no air conditioning in ancient castles. We watched the changing of the guards at the Royal Palace. Walked to the Matthias Church and along the ramparts of the Fisherman's Bastion built to oversee the Danube and the Pest side of the city. For a defense post it was constructed to impress! Dennis had not slept the night and so departed at noon for the hotel. Gin, Ron and I soldiered on until the heat and the jet lag finally caught up to us. We meandered back down to the river's edge along paths and stairs and yet more stairs rivaling those in the castle albeit a little cooler as most of the way down was under a canopy of trees. Back at the hotel Ron and I slept soundly while Gin and Dennis went to the Gellért Baths. We really wanted to see them and soak in the mineral springs Budapest is known for but we are still "paying" for yesterday and the heat and the jet lag caught up to us. After a light dinner we strolled along the Váci utca, (our Hotel is right on this stroll) and then along the Danube, very romantic at night. It was another wonderful day covering 8.5 km. which was enough for our tired feet.
Until next time.......

Posted by GBallam 02:21 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Vancouver to Budapest

Surviving time/date change

sunny 30 °C

Budapest

Thursday and Friday went swimmingly. Airplanes got us to all the right places. We spent a few extra hours in Heathrow due to a broken plane and then the replacement for that one got in late. And they had been running behind all day due to weather so planes were stacked on the runway and we had to wait our turn. Had we known we would have arranged a cuppa at Buckingham Palace. As it was we arrived late into Budapest and so we enjoyed our first goulash at 9:30. Imagine if you will Ron's pleasure at the dinner hour! We slept well until 3 AM and then we were ready to go. We did manage to get back to sleep and didn't rouse until the alarm at 7. We walked and walked and walked today. First to the Elizabeth Bridge which is only 2 blocks from our Hotel. Then to the Budapest Market which is HUGE. We spent hours there and then we crossed the bridge to the Gellért Hotel and Salt Baths. From there we hiked up to the Citadella. By this time it was 31 Celsius and near the top I lost 15cm. in height. I didn't feel too self conscious though as everyone else had started to melt as well. We descended the 235 meter hill and came back to our hotel for a very late lunch, another shower and a nap. Then we were off to the Chain Bridge and crossed back to the Pest side of the Danube. We walked back to the Elizabeth Bridge on the shady Buda side before crossing back to the Pest side and our Hotel. 16.5 km in all. I shouldn't have looked at my pedometer, now my feet hurt. We had dinner just up the road at La Lucia where we shared a pizza as we were not very hungry due in part to the heat. A great day we did have. Budapest is a beautiful city with the Dunube running through it. I am falling asleep as I write so I am done for the day. E98AC781F27746B6C0E7F21CF77C96E7.jpgimage.jpg

Posted by GBallam 13:23 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Counting

Can you say panic attack?

2 more sleeps and decided to practice blogging for the first time. Lots of first times coming up. Well I must try this from my iPad since that is all I'm taking. Yeah. One step forward. Now to try photos. OK, that worked too. Now if I was only ready to go!

Posted by GBallam 11:35 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

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