During my years of travelling I discovered one paradox. Completely unplanned and spontaneous trips are usually the best ones. The idea of travelling to Budapest came just night before when my planned trip to Vienna was cancelled. I contacted my best friend from Erasmus in Antwerp, currently living in Budapest, if she has time to spend few hours with me the next day and she said yes! That time we didn’t know how great day was waiting for us.
I arrived shortly after midday into the 20 degrees warm and sunny Budapest´s weather. After greeting with my friend, waiting for me at the Keleti station, we took a metro and drove few stops to reach the St. Gerardus hill. While walking up this hill through a green park to the top we could enjoy views of still smaller Budapest beneath us. The wind at the top was really desired after such an “effort”. We sat down close to the former fortress under the Liberty Statue which was erected for a glory of Soviet Army which freed the Hungary from fascists during the Second World War. The panorama over the city was wonderful. Nowadays it is hard to imagine that Budapest were once separated 3 cities – Buda, Pest and Óbuda. With this panorama around we started to talk. And we talked really a lot. Around two hours. We needed to catch up three months we didn’t see each other. Interesting talks, warming sun and beautiful view made this time awesome. After making some pictures we finally decided to move further.
We went down the hill just to climb another stairs to get to another one, Castle Hill, a place where Buda castle is standing. Since in the past was Buda Castle seat of kings, nowadays we could find there National Gallery, History Museum and the largest library in the country. One funny fact I got to know- famous video clip of Katy Perry – Firework was filmed here in the Buda Castle. I can imagine the happiness of the people when they discovered some of them can participate in video as dancers. On the Castle hill you can discover more than just castle. Behind the gates of the Buda castle, the civil quarter was located. The first and probably most important building in this part is Sándor Palace, a place where the Hungarian president lives. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to discover more of the civil part of the former city, we needed to catch the small boat porting in the foot of the Castle hill. The boat serves like public transport. If you buy a day public transport pass you can use it on these small boats as well!
In the six minutes sailing we crossed the river Danube which was for ages dividing towns Buda and Pest lying on its shores. The boat moored us right next to the Parliament. The Parliament stands impressively close to the river whereas on the other side lies the square with many benches.
After the short rest in the shadow of Parliament building we moved towards our last stop. Heroes square. The spacious place with the impressive monument. We were wondering why is the statue in the top of the monument holding a crown. Later I found out that the crown is the symbol of historical Hungarian state, it was even depicted in the former coat of arms. The legend says that in the year 1000, the Pope Sylvester II send it for the crowning of Stephen I as a first king. By this act Hungarian Christian state began to exist. Behind the square is the big park with the castle looking like from the fairy-tale. It is standing on the shores of the artificial lake, which in the winter serves as ice skating ring and in the summer for sailing. Even though now in the spring it was occupied only by few ducks it didn’t take away any kind fanciness of the castle. Really nice area to sit down and chill after long day.
When you are having fun, the time flies very fast. In this case somehow incredibly fast. We haven’t had time even to sit for some coffee or for a lunch. Soon it was evening and I needed to catch the train back to Bratislava. I was heading home with a great memories from the day in Budapest, a bit of tan from sun and many plans for further meetings with my Hungarian friend. Thanks Anikó for this day!