Day 8: Another city, another castle...
Budapest Travel Blog› entry 8 of 11 › view all entries
When we entered the subway station in the morning, we were confused by the smells that assaulted us. It wasn't that usual mix of beer, trash and urine that you would associate with the metro on a saturday morning. Instead, we smelled pastries and strudel. A small shop was selling all kinds of yummy treats and we made a note to stop here the next morning... or probably monday for breakfast.
Today, we had a new city to explore, and even though our first impression of Budapest hadn't been all that great, we decided to give it another chance. We took the subway to Batthyany Ter, where we had a beautiful view of the Parliament, accross the river. Exploring the area around the subway station, we found the Erzsebet Apacak Templona, the Reformatus Templon and Kapucinus Templon and then we were at the Chain Bridge and Clark Adam Ter, with the Siklo to the Castle.
It was beautiful up there. The Fishermen's Bastion and the view were breathtaking, but once again, the whole experience was a bit spoiled by just too many people. Although truth be told, once we moved away from the Matthias Church, we were almost on our own again.
We walked around for quite a while, exploring the side streets and ending up at the Vienna Gate. There we turned around again and walked past the remains of the Mary Magdalene Church back towards the Matthias Church.
At noon, we were back in the touristy mayhem, trying to find something to eat. The restaurants were packed, so we moved on. Then, all of a sudden, we made a little discovery. Inside a passage, close to the Labyrinth, we found Rétesvár Bakery, which had the most amazing strudel you have ever tasted.
Now that we were on a sugar high and our feet were rested, we explored the rest of the castle: the Corvinus Gate, the Savoy Statue, the amazing Matthias fountain and the History Museum.
We couldn't get out the Ferdinant Gate and we didn't feel like taking the Siklo or the steps, so we looked for the elevator that would get us to ground zero again. After about 15 minutes of searching and asking, we located it down a corridor of the Royal Palace.
We walked back to the river and took tram 19 to Hotel Geller, where we had a look around and then visited the Rock Church... as in Church in the rock, not the Rock'n Roll Church. Then it was back by tram to the Chain Bridge - since the Independance Bridge was closed for repairs - which we crossed.
After doing some groceries in a small neighbourhood shop, we went back to the hotel for a shower and some rest, and later that night, we had an excellent dinner at Trofea Grill.
We walked back to the subway and our hotel, fully fed and feeling much better about Budapest than the previous day. Now, we just couldn't wait to see more of it.