Buda Castle, the Labrynth and Sunset on the Danube

Budapest Travel Blog

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parliament

Budapest rests on the Danube in two parts. From royal Castle Hill on the hilly Buda side, you can see the civilized, stately turn-of-the century buildings that line the Pest waterfront. The effect is like standing in one era and seeing into the next -- a pretty, arch-framed timeline of Budapest's varied past, with the timeless waters of the Danube flowing in between.  

Our first stop on day 1 of sightseeing was Buda Castle, a concentration of monuments surrounding the Royal Palace, an aethetically varied testament to Budapest's long history. The medeival appearance of the castle wall quickly gives way to Baroque halls of the Royal Palace. All along the castle walls, you can see gorgeous views of the river, most notibly Budapest's many bridges and its domed parliament building.

parliament, from castle hill

Walking past proud statues and grand iron gates, we reached the Fisherman's bastion, a medieval-looking all-white structure of arches and open hallways, with a statue of St. Stephan on his horse presiding over. The structure was actually built in the late 19th century, but is meant to be a momument to the past.

Right next to the Fisherman's Bastion is Matthias Church. Like any of the structures on Catsle Hill, Matthias church was built over many years and respresents a confluence of styles. The interior is gorgeous, with a much more Eastern feel than the cathedrals of Vienna and Prague. Oh, and there's a real human skull in a box there too. We couldn't read the inscription in Hungarian so we were all confused about who the skull belonged to, but after we got home, I looked it up in wikipedia.

Matthias Church
 Apparently, it's like the cousin of the sister of the roommate of St. Matthias or something like that. Oh well, Budapest knows what we like: human skulls in boxes, no matter who they are.

Our last stop in Castle Hill was the mysterious Labrynth, network of underground tunnels. Although the tunnels have been in use for hundreds of years, as secret passageways, wine cellars and shelter from war, it is now decorated as a haunted-house like tourist attraction, complete with spooky statues, weird music and fake cave paintings. Cheesy, but actually pretty fun.

The dark hallways were generally free of other people, and seeing what was around the next dark corner was fun. Of note were a room with a giant stone head, a completely dark room where you clung to a rope to find your way through, and a fountain of wine.

fisherman's bastion
The fountain of wine room seemed to attract the most tourists, including some Eurohippie chick filling up her waterbottle with the wine that had been circulating in that fountain for god knows how long. Now, I'll eat anything from gator nuggets to duck tongue, but the idea of labrynth wine just strikes me as icky. Kind of like drinking from the moat at the pirates ride in Disneyland or something.

After the labrynth, we crossed over the famous Chain Bridge to the Pest side and walked up the waterfront to parliament. We had dinner at a "traditional Hungarian" restuarant near Deak station. The paprika chicken with sour cream was really good, although I still think my Mama makes it better. Yes, my Mama makes Hungarian paprika chicken. Because she has inadvertenly invented all cuisine.

human skull
When I went to Peru, the Lomo Saltado totally tasted like "stir-fry" I'd eaten as a child, and Mestizo Soup was a staple at my house, just not called by that name. In Prague, the beef and veggie stew that came with dumplings was also something I'd had at home. I guess the only cuisine my Mama never made when I was a kid is the Chinese food they sell at restaurants. My Mama makes nothing of that sort.

After dinner, we went with Atousa back to the train station. Her flight back to London left from Salzburg the next day, so we saw her off and told her we'd meet her in London.... or so we hoped.

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parliament
parliament
parliament, from castle hill
parliament, from castle hill
Matthias Church
Matthias Church
fishermans bastion
fisherman's bastion
human skull
human skull
Matthias Church
Matthias Church
fishermans bastion
fisherman's bastion
the danube
the danube
Matthias Church
Matthias Church
view from fishermans bastion
view from fisherman's bastion
Matthias Church
Matthias Church
Fishermans Basation
Fisherman's Basation
Matthias Church
Matthias Church
Matthias Church
Matthias Church
the danube
the danube
parliament, from castle hill
parliament, from castle hill
view from fishermans bastion
view from fisherman's bastion
fishermans bastion
fisherman's bastion
Chain bridge
Chain bridge
michelle
michelle
parliament
parliament
castle hill
castle hill
labrynth - someone cops of feel on…
labrynth - someone cops of feel o…
koala mimi in the labrynth
koala mimi in the labrynth
hmmm...
hmmm...
labrynth
labrynth
drinking wine
drinking wine
sad statue by parliament
sad statue by parliament
Budapest
photo by: Chokk