After making a rookie mistake leaving the heki open to give us the cool breeze, we were wide awake with the 5:30 sunrise, so a coffee and few biscuits before we got moving was in order. Retracing our steps along the lake side road, until we rejoined the motorway. This time heading for Budapest, Hungary.
For our stay in the capital, we have chosen Camping Haller, mainly based on its proximity to the city centre, the website shows super green pitches, but sadly I guess all the hot weather has burnt away the grass… Now all that remains is the spaghetti of electric leads.
Any electricians look away now ! No health and safety here !
Getting from the campsite into the city is a doddle, a few hundred meters away is a metro station
The metro is totally serviceable and extremely good at keeping time, but the trains look like they were left over from the communist days. Our journey into the main hub station took all of about 10 minutes, dropping us off just before “Fashion Street” with its upmarket shops – a complete change from the rest of the country we had seen so far.
Thankfully it was only a quick bit of window shopping, but when you see displays like this, with massive prime city centre window space , given over to not much more than a pair of shoes and a bag, I think it starts to become art instead.
Oh did you see it blink ?
Dropping into Vörösmarty square ( let’s hope I spelt this right) we were meet with our first epic monument for the day… named after the famous poet the square has the feel as being the centre of town, with all the shopping district running off it. Today it had a lovely street food vibe……
For once we couldn’t of timed our visit better, with the Red Bull air races taking place this weekend, sorry for the pants video, but I was a lot more interested in watching the tricks he was pulling off ! After marvelling at the display we decided we best get into the tourist trail and see a few sites…..
First up Saint Stephen Basilica.
This is the one of the most important church building in Hungary, but quite amazingly only the third highest. Built in the 1900 it 96 meters tall ( the maximum building height in Budapest ) and is equal to the parliament building,to try and prove that religion and political power are equal….. umm I’m not sure. But the church is some sight !
At the back of the church, is what drew us in , the entombed mummified hand of The man the church is named after Saint Stephen I of Hungary, whose “incorruptible” right hand is said to be in the box……
Next onto the State Opera house, sadly no performances on today, so no chance anybody moaning about my Crocs this time….
But the stunning building is here in all its glamour, the plaque on the building tells us that it was designed by Miklós Ybl, a major figure of 19th-century Hungarian architecture ( I like my architecture but he’s a new one on me) It was funded by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary fame , and finally opened in September 1884.
By this time we needed Cake, so a pit stop at the Opera house cafe for Coffee, with a glass of water of course ( how continental have we become) and a slice of salted caramel cake (shared as we are still tight).
Back to a Metro station to take the yellow M1 line out to Heros Square. On the way we passed a much better form of transport, but the road network was far to busy, such a shame as it might be ideal behind the MoHo.
Hero’s square is the largest, most symbolic and possibly the most iconic of all in Budapest, and contains the Millenary Monument with all the greats from Hungarian history. All brought together with a 36m-high pillar topped by a golden Archangel Gabriel the Legend goes that it was him who offered Stephen the crown of Hungary in a dream, only fitting that his hand should now live on in the church …..
Behind the square is city park, a lovely place to stroll under the trees for a bit of shade…
At this point the ‘city break’ in a motorhome comes into its own, with werie feet, we took our unlimited travel card and headed back to Paloma to have some tea and walk Fred…..
Reenergised and with it being a Saturday night we jumped back on the Metro and headed into town to see the bar scene …..
On to day two ……
For day two we first headed over the chain bridge into the Buda side of the city, with stop number one
Right beside this is Matthias Church, it is a stunning building with the historical beauty of a traditional Gothic church with delicate ore inspiring turrets and coloured tile roof that illuminate the sky.
Following the road through the tourist hot spot that is the old citadel led us along to the Presidential palace called “Sandro Paloma”
Sadly we just missed the newly formed tradition of the changing of the guard.
Directly next to the place is the station for the funicular railway and the gates to the castle,
Buda castle is a world heritage site, and quite rightly so, the historical castle and palace complex was for many centuries the home of Hungarian kings in Budapest. Entrance to the stunning parklands remains free to all.
In the castle grounds you also find the the gaint “Matthias Fountain” it depicts a very sad story about how when out hunting the king met and fell in love with a peasant girl Szèp, but once she found he was king decided they could never marry, she is said to have died of a broken heart.
Our last stop off for the day was the epic Hungarian Parliament Building, said to be the largest building in the city.
I’m sure we have missed loads, so a return is defiantly on cards, like I would have loved to see the shoes on the Daube and the chain bridge close up, but both were closed off this weekend..,
To finish the day we grab a late lunch and then we chose to rest our feet and catch some more of the Redbull air race.
Well the one thing we are rich in is time, so we can always head back into the city for day 3 !!!