Thursday, March 28, 2013- We took a short (2 hour) flight from London Luton Airport and arrived at our hotel on the Buda side of Budapest before lunch. Checked in and got our Budapest Card which gave us travel on all public transport. Spring has not taken hold in Europe yet, Budapest had three days of snow earlier in the week before we arrived and the ground was mostly snow covered. Cold on Thursday near freezing. The tram lines on the Buda side of the Danube run right along the river front and provide an excellent sightseeing platform. Public transport throughout the city was reliable and safe and very accessible.
Took the tram from the hotel to Carl Adam Ter intending to take the vunicular up to the Castle District to see the sites. The vunicular was closed because of snow, so we walked up the winding paths to the top of the hill.
The Castle district is the center of the old hill town of Buda, an old walled castle 200 fit above the Danube.
|Home to the President of Hungary|
The Old Town includes St Matyas Church. The oldest buildings dates from the 13th century, though most were heavily damaged in WWII, they have been restored.
|St. Matyas Church|
|Inside St Matyas Church|
|Detail of St. Matyas Church Castle District|
|St Matyas Church|
|St Stephen was the first King of Hungary. This statue was erected in 1906.|
Also in the Castle district is the Fisherman's Bastion. It was built in 1895 by Frigyes Schulek as a monument to the Guild of Fisherman.
|Fisherman's Bastion in the Castle District|
|Each Neo-Romanesque column is unique.|
There are many great old squares and cobbled streets. Enjoyed our first of many great Hungarian meals in a nice restaurant, 21 Magyar, in Old Town.
The Castle District provides spectacular views
of Budapest's most famous landmarks.
|Parliment Building modeled after the London Parliment|
|View of St Stephen's Basilica|
|This is the type of tram we rode all over town.|
St Stephen's Basilica is home to an interesting relic, read on.......
|The mummified right fist of St Stephen.|
I'll leave you here, at the end of our first (exhausting) day! Coming up are Gellert Baths, Hero's Square, the Opera House and the most luxurious coffee shop you have ever seen! So stay tuned, there is more great stuf to come.