I mentioned some of the things that I remember most about Budapest in Part 1.
Recap: the beautiful architecture and the abundance of groups of men on stag dos.
Now, with the help of Jess, my travel buddy, I would now like to add :
- How green it was! I don't know why, but it wasn't something I was expecting. Though if you know me, then you'll know this is something I loved.
- The smell of lilacs permeating the air. We went to Budapest in mid-April when the lilacs were in bloom and their scent was a constant companion during our trip. Again, something I loved.
- How cheap it was. Seriously though, I seem to have the tendency to visit the most expensive places possible, thankfully Budapest was an exception to this. There were still expensive things and places, but after London and Stockholm it's almost a miracle I didn't go around like I was in a rap video, making it rain forints wherever I went. Well, technically we kind of did one night when we went out for a nice meal and got every single side on the menu to go with our mains. We didn't even finish them all, but I can safely say the mashed potatoes were amazing.
However, I digress...
We started off the day at Liberte for brunch (again). It is so aesthetically pleasing it almost hurts; the tile floor, the marble tabletops, the wood panelling... everything. My iphone photos do not do it justice.
After brunch we went to explore the Buda side of the river.
Fisherman's Bastion, Buda Castle, Royal Palace, Matthias Church, the Hungarian National Gallery, and lots of other detours along the way.
We got caught in a bit of a wind storm on our way to Buda. I don't know if it would actually be classified as such, but it was a very strong wind that created mini tornados of dirt and dust from the streets. It wouldn't be an understatement to say we did not cross the bridge unscathed. The wind actually pelted us with debris and dirt from the street; by the end of the walk there was grit in our teeth, our ears and our hair. Mildly traumatising at the time, but a funny memory now.
After lunch (a disappointing affair at the cafe by Fisherman's Bastion) we crossed back over the bridge (unscathed by flying debris this time) to head to the Donut Library. Deeeeelicious.
On our way back to the apartment we stopped in at the Cultural Museum. It was across from the parliament buildings but we had no idea it was there until we asked at the Hungarian National Gallery if there was a Cultural Museum (such a nerd; I love a good cultural museum). It was in a vast, gorgeous building that was practically deserted (such a shame, though we were there late in the afternoon) so we had free run of the exhibits, which we both really enjoyed. It was also quite a surreal feeling being in such a huge old building pretty much alone. Tip: if you're under 25 years old (or look under 25 - win!) the entrance fee is cheaper. Plus they have lockers, should you need to leave your jackets, bags... or donuts.