Waking up in Budapest, on day 3, I realize that the whole city is on flood watch. There are sandbags everywhere near the Danube,
and the police is out in force, blocking tourists from venturing to Margaret Island, where I was hoping to get in an early morning stroll around its grassy grounds. Just not today, water is everywhere:
So to the Parliament I head, with a million other tourists in tow. It’s a rather short guided tour but worth the wait and crowd:
Did I say there were a zillion people with me?
We finally get into the Assembly Hall of the House of Representatives:
But my favorite photo is of the “cigar rests” found outside in the hallways:
From here I head to the Central Market Hall…
which is part tourist trap and part local indoor market inside a large building with a beautifully tiled roof (Zsolnay tiling):
So before I take you to the top of the hill on the Pest side, let’s look at some of the food I sampled in the last couple of days:
That’s fish with potato fritters in a savory-sweet fruity sauce. Quite flavorful and rather filling. Then I also had some grilled salmon, which is more universal than regional:
So for my last afternoon here, I take the tram toward GellÃ©rt Hill (which was named after St. Gerard who was thrown to death from the hill!). The sun is super strong on this day and I am drenched by the time I reach the Citadel for these shots of the city below:
From this vantage point, I finally get an aerial shot of the Buda Castle:
So, what else is up here? This amazing Freedom Statue (or Liberty Statue)…
and the Cave church…
Somewhere around the base of the hill, I run into this painting of the church’s interior right on some rocks:
I don’t know why, but that just puts a smile on my face. It’s like getting a free postcard at the end of a challenging hike on a warm afternoon.
Now, I can’t really leave Budapest without photos of the famous Chain Bridge, which I must have crossed half a dozen times on this trip:
The reason that I try to cross every bridge I encounter, on foot, is because every step that I take on it is an acknowledgement of an immense task that some people at some point took on to make the travel more convenient for us. Can’t wait to find the next bridge!