Budapest: the Hungarian cities of Buda and Pest, separated by the Danube. This was to be our last stop before we met up with Earl’s mom, Yvette, for the next stage of our travels.
Because, as we headed west in Europe, guest houses like we stayed in earlier were becoming more rare, and hostels busier and more common, we opted to book our accommodations through AirBNB. That meant we stayed in a private home rental for about the same price as a private room in a hostel, but with our own cooking and laundry facilities (Hurray! A washing machine — that meant a break for me from handwashing, which I’d been doing for months!). And it meant we were in more of a residential area, so we were on the bus or metro nearly everyday.
We opted to take a free walking tour to acclimatize ourselves to the city to start with.
It was cooking hot out — the heat wave continued! But we packed lots of water, and refilled at the city’s many fountains (like the lion fountain) as we went.
Our tour started by walking us past a few impressive statues (little did we know at this time, that Budapest is LOADED with impressive statues!)
Finally, we moved from the Pest side of the city to Buda, via one of the city’s many bridges.
We started to climb the steep incline up Castle Hill, and stopped to look behind us:
After a little more exploring and wandering around the castle (which wasn’t nice and “castle-y” after all the castles we’ve seen in India and Serbia and Romania most lately, so we didn’t take too many photos), the walking tour ended, and we headed back towards the Pest side of the city.
Directly across from the Chain Bridge is the Gresham Palace, now home to the Four Season Budapest.
By this point, we had decided two things:
1. There was lots more to explore in this incredible, history-filled city
2. We were going to take at least one more tour, The Jewish Tour, and consider the Communist one as well
Why wait? Check out our next blog post to see some of our explorations!