Well, we have been in Budapest for a week and have seen a lot of the city and the surrounding area having travelled on trams, buses, metro and trolleybuses – what it would have cost if we had had to pay fares I hate to think, and no-one has asked us for proof of age for our free travel – we must look old!
There is a wonderful market which has dozens of stalls on the ground floor – some heaped with fruit and veg., some selling meat of all descriptions (they sell every bit of the chicken and we saw bags of heads and some of claws!), sausages hanging very decoratively on various stalls and some with lovely displays of chilies and paprika in all sorts of containers. It is also possible to buy packs with a recipe and all that’s needed (except meat and veg.) to make Hungarian goulash. On the upper floor there is a restaurant where, amongst other dishes, you can get a big bowl of goulash at a very reasonable price. Other food stalls sell typical Hungarian fare and the rest of the upper floor is devoted to colourful souvenirs of all descriptions and wonderful displays of embroidered items, table-cloths, table runners, tray-cloths, blouses and children’s outfits, and beautiful coloured glasses in all shapes and sizes. Very tempting to buy, but you can really only have so many glasses in use!
There are some very impressive buildings, including the Parliament building on the Pest side of the Danube which we saw from the Buda side, looking wonderful in the sunshine, then a matter of 10 minutes later it was almost obscured as a thunderstorm and cloud burst swept along the river.
As well as seeing so many beautiful buildings we have also seen the contrasting run-down areas and high rise apartment blocks. One strange sight was seeing a coach floating down the river. Fortunately we weren’t too surprised as we had read about the amphibious vehicle which did a sight-seeing trip around some of the city roads, then down a slip-way, splashing into the water and doing a river tour. The large City Park is definitely worth visiting and really needs more than one visit to see it all – at one side there is a fun fair, somewhere else a zoo and a beautiful lake with a restaurant on the edge of it – all very picturesque.
Having visited Budapest 3 years ago when we did cram in a lot of sight-seeing, we have been able to take a much more leisurely approach this time and see some things that we didn’t see last time. It has also really been much too hot with digital displays in the city showing up to 33 deg.
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