Thursday, 6 May 2010

Buda -Pest and the Blue Danube

I'd like to start today's post by welcoming all new readers from the Eastern Countries of Europe, which I have passed through this trip, who seem to have swollen in numbers overnight. I have only given the Blog Link to very few of you, but from the Statistic Counter it looks like you have been passing it on. Thank you very much for that, the more readers the better as far as I'm concerned and it's pleasing to note that there are readers in every country I have covered on this tour. Also a message to the young Hungarian couple who helped me at the Bratislava Bus Station,it was rather a rapid departure for me, but I hope you managed to scribble the address down?

Front of the Basilica.

and the back.

They knew I was coming and named a street in my honour! That's how they spell Bagsy in Hungary.

The day started with a real bang as a clap of thunder at 04-16 must have woken everyone in the hotel. By the sound of the torrential rain it could easily have prevented my sight-seeing but by the time breakfast was over so was the rain. However, first things first, I had to make arrangements to move on later in the day and as the string pull on the zip of my money belt had already snapped (catastrophe) I knew it was going to be 'one of those days'. The Coach Station, just ten minutes away, couldn't accommodate me as they only have a service during the summer months, so the train was the only other option. Deciding on the direct 8 stops on the Metro to one of 3 Budapest railway stations, I was first faced with having to obtain some Forintis (Hungarian currency) so had to search out a Cambio before I could go anywhere. It was unfortunately not 'the' station from which trains run to Belgrade, but got all the help I needed to further my plans later.

Not far from the city center, I started my 'self propelled' tour at the Basilica before heading towards a walk along the banks of the Danube. As I was already in Pest, the city on the north bank, I was soon in sight of Buda a short walk away across any of a series of bridges. I simply love bridges in all their forms, so opted for the road/pedestrian one that reminded me of Brooklyn Bridge in New York. With not too many people and the sun now shining it made for a pleasant stroll, except on the down side, for the number of smokers, especially young women. It is impossible to dodge them, with just about every tenth breath being smoke filled.

Continuing the walk into the old town of Buda from where excellent views were afforded of the Hungarian Parliament building across the river opposite. My return to the Pest side coincided in a beer bar which wasn't allowed to sell beer until 15-00,, it was only 1pm. Full of smoke, as they all are, I managed a quick fresh lime juice and soda before heading back to the hotel, now JUST a 3 mile walk away. A quick look in the local market was interesting, especially the wine shops, but was surprised not to see any Tokaji, a favourite tipple of mine especially with a good pudding. As mentioned before my intension is to head for Serbia next and I'm planning to get the overnight train - so here's hoping!

Three views of the Brooklyn Bridge lookalike.

The Danube River looking west.

The Danube River looking east.

This is the Hung'arian Parliament, the people of Great Britain may know what that feels like tomorrow?

Parliament and Tourist Boat.

Maybe a Bridge too far?

A fine selection of sausages in the local market.

and one for Mark and Helen Forster, looks like ya man is playing Budapest too in July. Hope you both enjoy the gig. It was interesting to see that John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers are also playing here in June, at the ripe age of 77, not bad for a youngster!

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