Sunday, May 11, 2014

This morning we were soaking in a domed Turkish thermal bath, our molecules unraveling in the warm mineral water, feeling like Ottoman nobility. We did NOT want to leave. Even when we accidentally walked into a bath-side masseuse room where a completely bare old man was getting sprayed down with water. 

2.5 days was not nearly enough to revel in the spoils of Budapest. Yes, it's small by international capital standards - 1.7 million - but it's a rich buffet of leisure and loveliness. Here were some of our favorites: 

Buda Hill: Buda Castle was nice yet simple compared with other palaces we've seen. However, the area a few hundred meters north of it, with Fisherman's Bastion lookout and Matthias Church, was phenomenal. Below, on the Pest side of the Danube, the spiky Parliament building looked like the inside of a crystalline geode. 

Fisherman's Bastion with a loooong drop behind him

Can you spot me?


The Hungarian Parliament building

Matthias Church on the right

Kerts. Squatters - and then budding entrepreneurs - established cafe/bars in old building ruins. Adults of all ages, kids and dogs abound, as do overgrown plants, junk art, car parts, graffiti and battered sticks of furniture. Our kinds of places.

Statues. Budapest is packed with them - more than any other European city that comes to mind. You think a strange man is staring at you from across the street, and then you realize it's some poet or revolutionary memorialized in bronze. 
Chain Bridge

King Matthias hunting statue at the Royal Palace

Modern art

Another lion - guarding the innards of the palace

Architecture. Gothic, Neo-Renaissance, Ottoman, Baroque... Budapest has it all and more. Thanks to centuries of foreign occupations and wars, a kaleidoscope of architectural style is spread across the city. It is quite captivating.
More Parliament

Inside of  St. Stephen's Basilica

Somewhere near the Jewish Quarter

Inside the national Opera House
(Sorry for the poor photos; they are the byproducts of phones thanks to a forgotten SD card)

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