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Published: September 18th 2019
A bit chilly this morning at 18 degrees but the sun eventually came out and warmed the day a little more.
Today, I decided was going to be a quieter, slow day.
Hopped on the bus and headed towards the cruise dock. I can’t come to Budapest and not cruise on the Danube River. In hindsight it would have been better on the 27 degree day but the Danube is the Danube. Arrived an hour too early so wandered off towards the Parish Church of the Blessed Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary nearby. Partly covered in scaffolding I found the entrance and the doors were so large and heavy in stunning 11 Century timber with a beautiful brass handle I could hardly open them. It required a ticket from the reception desk that was 1000 fut which was about $5 aud and worth every bit. A map was provided and off I went. As with all Churches in Europe it was stunning with painted ceilings and columns and remnants of 14C frescos still in the Church. There were also relics of St Elizabeth and visible relics in the altar of St Gerhurt. Then beneath the Church is a
smaller prayer space from the Roman times and glass cases of historical relics. It has been so tastefully restored its has that beautiful blend of ancient foundations and a new world worship place. This comes from simplicity.
It was then back to the dock for a boat ride. There are so many flashy river cruise vessels and short cruise vessels in dock as I amble up to my dock- an old steel and wooden vessel with a feel of times gone by. Hoping it doesn’t sink! Getting onto the boat was as challenging as getting off the train with luggage as I had to go through another boat first and then my boat dropped about another metre but a burly hungarian was there to help.
Seeing Buda and Pest from the river gives a different perspective- some clearer views and slowly floating past in awe of this beautiful city ignites my spiritual self. We have a stop at Margaret Island which is in the middle of the river and is a mecca of recreational opportunities, couple of hotels and small zoo. It a great family place of respite from a busy city and with 10,000 trees its air
is purer. A sanctuary in the midst of a busy, vibrant city. I find a nice spot on some grass under a statue and have a picnic lunch of crackers with hommus and sliced gluten free hungarian sliced sausage.
Enjoy people watching for a while and then jump back on the ferry, then bus and head ‘home’.
Sometime later I head out into my neighbourhood restaurant where I’m like family now and enjoy dinner. Finished with a hot chocolate as it was now quite cool and had forgotten how like mousse they are in Europe. But it was lusciously warm and so enjoyed.
This neighbourhood is intimate and connected. It’s in a commercially expensive area with the Opera House on their doorstep, every designer shop you can imagine but also back streets of the everyday that seems open and inclusive of everyone.
Those big wooden doors on apartment blocks open for people to chat, families are around and a young woman sits everyday reading a novel to two elderly ladies. The street/square is a gathering place. Restaurants line the ground level. Some of the buildings are beautifully renovated and others have black and dirty rendering from
years of life with covers that has been their for years (according to the local Antikvica shop owner I chatted to). Through open windows you can see they are well looked after inside. Mr Antikvica works restoring his small antiques from a bench and stool as a table out the front of his shop chatting to passerbys- he’s a connector.
There is the usual European sense of community with a commeraderie that says, ‘I’ve got your back’ . They look after each other through the generations.
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