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When we came to Budapest years ago, after its freedom from Communism, we saw a beautiful city just awakening from years of neglect. I called it a “faded glory” then. Now, it is completely renewed and simply glorious! We liked the city so much then that we wanted to return; now, we “love” the city and would easily return again.
It is impossible to overstate how wonderful a city Budapest has become. Apt adjectives are fashionable, stately, upbeat, cultural and approachable. The food scene is both traditional and hip. A wonderful blend. Tree-lined streets are filled with interesting stores and outdoor restaurants. Pocket parks are surrounded by beautiful buildings and contain fountains and monuments and flower plantings. Every turn could produce a photograph. The Danube flows through the city and its bridges are unique and attractive. The promenade along the river is stately and easily walkable. Here and there a beautiful church stands between the belle époque buildings. The transportation system is vast and easily navigable. As you can see, Budapest spoke to my heart.
We spent our last day walking Pest, having spent the day before in hilly Buda. We took our time, eating lunch at the famous Gebraud Bistro and Pastry. We sat outdoors under the trees surrounded by a beautiful park in the square and literally watched “the world go by.” We moseyed down Váci Utca, one of the main pedestrian thoroughfares of central Budapest, and ended up at the cavernous Central Market Hall with its orange, yellow and green tiled roof (featuring the same kind of tiles as the impressive Matthias Church). Located near the Liberty Bridge, the Central Market is a fun and interesting place, filled with hundreds of stalls on the bottom floor featuring food stuffs of all kinds, including the famous red paprika. Hungarian wares fill the second floor, and a full grocery store is in the basement. Hungarian food vendors are interspersed throughout. We could not pass by the poppyseed rolls without choosing one blended with cherries. A leisurely long walk back to our hotel on the Buda side brought us over the Chain Bridge. After a small shared meal of Hungarian goulash and cottage cheese curd dumplings (a dessert), we called it a day–our last day. Now it is to Rome and then home. With this, we close the blog for our European Adventures 2015. Thanks for following us on this blog. It has been a pleasure spending time with you. Joy in Jesus, WEG – Friday, October 1, 2015
The belle époque architecture that gives Budapest its distinctive feel is enhanced by the blue Danube that runs through the heart of the city, separating it into Buda on the “flat” side and Pest on the “hilly” side. Both sides offer much to see and do. While several bridges span the Danube and tie the city into a whole, the Chain Bridge is the handsome bridge with its huge lions and stone archways and lights that make it gleam in the dark. Kathy and I walked the Chain Bridge twice today–it has an enchanting pull.
Budapest is a magical and majestic city. Landmark buildings, such as the Parliament Building and State Opera, are world renowned. On the opposite side of the river, Castle Hill, with its palace, churches and Fish Bastion, stands powerfully above the Danube. Everywhere, buildings stand out with interesting pediments or ornamental tops. Budapest is simply a beautiful, if not stunning, city. Few can compare.
We were fortunate on our walk to get a flyer about a concert in the St. Stephen’s Basilica in Pest. We went to a great restaurant close to the basilica and enjoyed a fine meal in a charming candlelit atmosphere.
The concert was enchanting and the artists excellent. The massive gold, green and red basilica echoed with the voices of a powerful tenor and soprano who, joined by an accomplished violinist and trumpeter, performed well-known spiritual classics by Handel, Gounod, Liszt, Franck, Schubert and Mozart. The grand pipe organ accompanied and also soloed with some Bach and Widor. Kathy and I were enthralled and left thanking God for this hear-warming experience in such a magnificent place. It is such a rare experience that you absorb it into your soul to bring back out when you need times of refreshing.
WEG – September 29, 2015