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Published: April 8th 2018
Breakfast was on the house today and it was the full blown sausages, bacon, eggs, various cheeses, cereals, 3 types of bread, salads etc. etc, and juice, tea and coffee; just as they like it in Europe. After eating Chimney Cake late last night I was still coming down from a sugar overdose, so breakfast wasn’t high on my priorities . It’s a Hungarian specialty consisting of sweet dough, rolled into a coil, wrapped around a wooden spindle and rotisseried until golden brown. It’s then coated in butter and sugary flavours and served hot. My favourite is cinnamon sugar but it’s a treat to eat sparingly. It’s basically sugar.
Stepping from the sanctuary of our appartment into the slowly waking lane dividing Gozsdu Court, I am suddenly in the world of early morning market stalls setting up, food beginning to flavour the air, all anticipating a large influx of Saturday regulars and day trippers . It’s all achieved quietly and efficiently and you can tell this laneway has seen it all before. Men in dirty jeans arrive pulling trolleys with tables and boxes of bargains aboard, women display crafts and bric a brac, hoping to attract cashed up tourists, while
The Fisherman’s Bastion, Buda
This was really crowded and there are now turnstiles on the entry to the upper level. You can see just fine from the bottom.
well dressed young women with briefcases march through, oblivious to their surroundings, intent on passing by without distractions. Once set up, a few vendors share a shot of some type of heart starter to set them up for the day. Maybe it’s a good luck ritual.
Within a couple of hours this laneway becomes a wall to wall mass of humanity , all resigned to causing temporary chaos if they stop to admire a stall. Leaving this area reminds me of the end of a crowded football game when the flow of people just draws you along as you weave in and out trying to control your direction.
We are now catching the bus to Buda, the old town of Budapest located high on a hill overlooking the Danube. If you buy multi day transport passes you can ride trains, buses, trams and water taxis without the hassle of constant ticket buying and save a little money as well.
A line of tourist buses empties its load onto the street and Buda is crowded and it’s difficult to to find a cafe where the wait is reasonable. I heard one man approach staff outside the oldest cafe
Has Darryl Kerrigan Moved To Budapest?
Seen ‘The Castle ‘? This looks like a DK home improvement to me.
on Buda with,” Can you help me? I have 33 people.” That would be 2 full sittings in that place so good luck. We walked to the rear wall overlooking a residential area and followed a gravel tree lined path around to the castle.
Military drums and horns announced our arrival and a crowd gathered in anticipation. How did the word travel so fast? Oh, it was the changing of the guards. Many countries seem to enjoy the patriotic spectacle of soldiers marching towards each other, spinning rifles, slapping them sharply on their bodies to attention but here it looks like show biz. They even received an applause at the end by some tourists. It’s entertaining and a bit impressive but no one ever fought a war marching in diagonal lines towards each, crossing paths. Or maybe they did; it might explain some of the results.
We escaped the crowds on a bus bound for Margaret Island. I might go to the Island another day but today it was a trip to the Europa Cafe and then lunch over the road at a Hungarian food canteen. This place seemed popular with locals and the smell of spicy meats,
Changing Of The Guard At Buda Castle.
This crack precision unit snapped their turns, spun their rifles, looked left , then right. They were more performing soldiers than hard fighting men. Very entertaining.
onions and cabbage and the regimented style of very structured bistro service had me thinking no one was here for the ambience. It was reminiscent of the ‘Soup Nazi’ episode in the Seinfeld TV series. I had goulash and noodles followed by a crepe and it was cheap and filling but I doubt whether the locals eat like this all the time. They might add a bit of the green stuff to balance it up a bit. Another tram ride and we were back at the Danube on the other side of town looking for the Grand Market Hall. Tim soon realised it had closed 20 minutes earlier but we‘ll be back another day.
The day was moving fast so we returned home to have a break and get ready for the much anticipated visit to Széchenyi Baths, the thermal spa baths built between 1909-1913 in a modern renaissance style. The water is pulled from 1226 metres where the bore temperature is 76°c.There are 5 pools outside and 13 inside and the style and character of the complex gave me the impression of being in decadent Rome in Caesar’s time; so did some of the behaviour. Entering the main
St Matthias Church, Buda
The coloured tile roof is vivid and the prominent feature of this building. Didn’t venture inside.
pool area for the first time is a full on assault on your senses. Sue had never been before and I’m sure it will be a highlight of her holiday. The first thing to hit you is the grand curved buildings of stone, supported by gothic columns, with the roofline and towers outlined by the setting sun. The pool had about 200 people just floating aimlessly or seated around the perimeter, trying to commandeer one of the many gentle spouts that massage your back as you check out the scene. Pride is banned and every known colour, shape and gender is well represented here; it’s this potpourri of flesh and multi coloured bathers ( yes bathers, I’m Victorian) that provides the flavour to this amazing soup. But can’t people just enjoy the place for what it is, or are some of these women at risk of drowning? While the place may have a romantic ambiance, stay respectable, there’s delicate people like me floating around as well, thanks; maybe I’m just getting old. Even a pic I had taken with me in it was excluded from here once I viewed the whole image. Actually, youll be grateful I spared you that
This stern man yelled orders , presented his sword in a hostile but controlled manner to keep his troops in order, and no one messed with Farkas.
one and I still can’t believe I agreed to be photographed; you dodged a bullet there.
A highlight for me at the baths was the sauna section. There are 4 saunas of varying temperatures and heating sources and Tim, Sue and I launched into the hottest one that rests at 100°c. You give it about 6 or 7 minutes, sweltering in breath depriving heat, before entering the ‘immersion’ pools, small deep pools brimming with chilled water. When you pop your head underneath this it snaps the skin pores closed, and everything else I imagine. Still, these age old remedies for muscle tone are now standard practice for elite sportspeople. We also tried the 60°c sauna and the 80°c sauna, that I found almost intolerable. The hot, steamy air hit your nostrils and throat as soon as you entered, and the close proximity of the seating to the hot rocks gave you nowhere to hide. It had a pine scent but at that temperature who cares. There was just Tim and me inside but then I notice a figure lying down on the top ledge. He didnt move and could have been dead for all I know but I wasn’t
New/Old Construction At The Castle At Buda
What is original? This concrete building was being clad in replica, convincing cladding and an authentic looking roof, but it’s all new.
checking on him; I got out.
At 10pm our time was up. The baths were closing. After a shower and a change I put my bag of wet stuff down in the foyer to take some photos ( can you see where this is going?) and then we headed for the met train to drop us home.
After a long walk and some pics of a lovely castle, I noticed I was missing a bag. I ran back to the baths, had a difficult conversation with the cleaner, who insisted they were closed, and finally a security guard knew what I was taking about and returned my stuff.
On Tim’s recommendation we then went to an old house in the Jewish Quarter that now operates as a bar at night and a market by day for a nightcap. The queue was ridiculously long so we continued to an open air food market, sat around for a recap of the night, and ended the day.
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