It was our free day in Budapest and I was going to make the best of it. I crawled out of bed, headed downstairs after dressing and fed myself. Hostel breakfasts are either good or very very bad. This one was good but just barely. I made sure I had all my necessary items; wallet, camera, map, phone, ipod. All there. Good to go.I set off down Andrássy út. As soon as I got about ten minutes away from the hostel I regretted not bringing my rain coat to block some of the ice cold wind that was blowing around. I was too far to head back now though, stubborn me. I kept going, braving the wind and keeping on track for my half an hour walk.
Andrássy út has some wonderful bike and pedestrian paths. Andrássy út is a wide avenue that leads towards Heroes' Square or in Hungarian Hősök tere. On the left of the square is the Museum of Fine Arts which was on my schedule.
Városligeti Lake which in the winter freezes and becomes an ice skating pond. In the picture below the building on the right is where I planned to have my lunch. I walked around the lake a little bit, spending 1 euro to feed the ducks. Apparently in Budapest they like you to feed them whereas everywhere else I have known feeding animals in parks is just not cool. People still do it though. I didn't feel I got my money's worth from the machine so figured out if you twisted it a little bit, more food would come out. Sure, I wasn't paying any more but I didn't think I would be arrested and deported for stealing a bit of bird feed for the ducks.
I ordered the spaghetti aglio e olio with chili prawns and was not disappointed. They were delicious. I could have done with a larger serving cause it was so good. It was a spoil myself day. Go to the zoo, have a lovely lunch, prance around the city. After I had paid for my bill which $21 Canadian for a coke and a small dish of pasta but it was worth the experience.
My next stop on my walk through City Park was to see the Széchenyi Thermal Baths with the possibility of getting a massage. I walked in and learned they only had a free spot after 6 pm so I decided to decline and after a quick look around the lobby I slipped out into the sunshine again. The Széchenyi baths is the largest medical bath in Europe. I had not brought along my swim suit so was not wanting to take part in a bath. It was built in 1913 and some of the glass was broken in the door as I was entering through the side. Hope the guy on the ladder in the photo above will sort it out.
After walking along the park, past the zoo and Robinson's I went inside the Fine Art Museum which like the zoo was quite reasonably priced. I think Canada needs to get on this. More people would go I am sure if it wasn't so expensive. Anyways, the museum was built between 1900 and 1906. It's the third image in this post if you want a refresher. It has 10,000 works of art and I really enjoyed walking through all the collections.
I really did not want to walk back down Andrássy út, út by the way is Hungarian for Avenue so will just start saying that from now on? There seems to be an alternative to walking in most cities and I found it in Budapest's Millenium Subway. The Budapest metro system is important because it is the oldest electrified underground railway system on the European Continent and the second oldest in the world. Second only to the London Underground. I took the Line 1 from Hősök tere to Vörösmarty tér. Line 1 is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so it was pretty fun to ride on.Vigadó Concert Hall above which was showing off its beauty. The Vigadó is Budapest second largest concert hall.
László Marton of his daughter. In the photo you can see Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge in the background.
permanent bridge across the Danube in Hungary, and was opened in 1849. It has two lanes for traffic and on either side are pedestrian walkways. I really enjoyed walking across the bridge between Buda and Pest.
I went inside the national gallery which was very enjoyable and below I have found a photo featuring the painting I most liked in the gallery. The Skylark by Pál Szinyei Merse. The photo does not belong to me, nor does the one that follows it with a closer look at the painting.
I left the gallery after wandering around all of its exhibits and feeling lost in the large halls. After purchasing a bottle of water, I felt prepared to head back down the hill again after enjoying all the art and the wonderful views over Pest. From Buda Castle you can see the Gellért Hill with its statues.
I was very happy with my decision to climb the dome and took several selfies. This one has the most actual eyes visible of them, I think. Most I just turned into my mother -u- all squints and smiles.
After heading off, drink in hand I headed back for the hostel. Passing some lovely flowering trees along the side of St. Michael's as I did.
I got back to the hostel and met up with the group. We decided that we would all go and find dinner together. This didn't really work as a large group and we ended up splitting into three groups. I think our group was lucky as the one of the other group headed to the Hard Rock Cafe and had to wait ages for their food.
I ended up getting a lamb coconut curry soup and enjoyed it a lot. I had run out of forints so I ended up paying in Euros.
After dinner, we headed back to the hostel and relaxed. Before long it was time for bed and a new adventure,