A little fact before I begin, Budapest was actually two different cities separated by the river Danube, one side called Buda and the other side called Pest, each side with their own character later joined to become the capital of Hungary, known today as Budapest.
I always think that the next time I write, I will write more briefly, only including the details of utmost importance. However, to me, all the little details matter. So, here it goes. We arrived in Budapest mid-day, the perfect time to stop for lunch. We headed to a nearby restaurant and grabbed a traditional Hungarian meal, Goulash. Following, we headed up to Castle Hill. We saw the Square of the Holy Trinity, Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church, and Buda Castle. We went to the Budapest National Gallery and History Museum. The most amazing realization was that all of the ancient artifacts were local to that exact city. Usually in museums, such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Lourve, or the National History Museum in London, the artifacts and antiques are gathered from around the globe, but here, they were taken straight from the source, Budapest.
After all the walking, and subsequently feeling jet lagged, we set our sails to find coffee. And to our surprise, we found the Oldest Cafe in Budapest, Ruszwurm. We enjoyed a wonderful cup of coffee and cake before our next venue, this time underground.
The castle labyrinth, a dark cave underground that was once used as a prison, was one of the highlights for my husband. We walked through the narrow tunnels with an oil filled lamp. As we were walking, my husband thought it would be great to inform me that Dracula, yes Count Dracula, was kept in this cave prison. Did you know Dracula was real? I sure didn’t. I clung tightly as we peered around corners into pure blackness.
When we came back up into the light, I sigh a breath of relief. I am afraid of the dark, a fact that even my husband didn’t know until we headed underground. Afterwards, feeling more hunger than fear, we headed off to dinner. We walked to Kasca Restaurant, a Hungarian dining experience with live gypsy music, only to find out that the entire family owned restaurant was on holiday. So, we walked around a bit more to find another traditional Hungarian restaurant that did not disappoint.
On our way home. we walked back along the Danube River to see the Parliament building lit up with lights and stopped on the Chain Bridge to watch the boats pass by the luminous building into the sunset. It was the perfect ending to our first day in Budapest, which turned out to be one of my favorite cities.
The following morning, we headed off to the Parliament building and then to St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest church in Budapest. We climbed to the top for the most spectacular view of the city. At the top we looked out over the buildings and landscape and talked for probably too long about the feasibility of moving there, even looking into the real estate market and seeing what was available.
Then on our descent down, we heard the organs playing. My husband pointed out that it sounded like wedding music. With all the tourists inside the basilica, I could never imagine a wedding occuring. But he was right, there was a wedding. We walked in just as they were pronounced husband and wife and I was able to capture the happy couples walk through the doors out into the light of the day.
After walking around the city, soaking in the culture and eating the amazing cuisine, we ended our night at the Budapest Eye. I was excited to take the ride to the top for the view of the city, forgetting again, my fear of heights. As we ascended, I started to get nervous, another new fact for my husband, who laughed as my hands shook photographing the horizon filled with thousands of tiny lights. It only took a round or two before I calmed down and truly enjoyed the view.
And to end our time in Budapest, the last morning was spent relaxing at the Szechenyi Thermal Baths. It was the perfect way to conclude our stay in Budapest, which truly was the best.
I love looking back through the photographs and reminiscing all the sights and sounds of the city. You’ll notice in the photographs that I love black and white imagery. I try extremely hard to be intentional as to which photographs I edit in grayscale, but to be completely honest, I would edit every photograph that way. Black and white eliminates distractions and truly captures the essence of a photograph; however, I know that world holds a vastness of beautiful colors. But enough from me, I’ll let you decide.