Our arrival into Budapest was an interesting one. The city was full of one way systems and Nev found us driving in some very narrow street (and apparently not in the correct direction) so had to find a place to either turn around or get out. In the end we came to car park that had a Bus Only Exit in it. Obviously we made our way to this exit but before we even passed it, two police officers stopped him and made him pull back into the car park. Weird but ok. Once Katie and Nev got out to speak in sort of sign language (as neither spoke the other’s language) it was obvious that we were in trouble for something. Eventually we worked out that as punishment for who knows what, we were to sit in the car park for half an hour??? This is seriously what happened! So we all jumped off the bus and the made the most of the 30minute punishment. We ended up wandering up to St Stephan’s Basilica to look inside - stunning. After our ‘time out’ we exited the car park and headed up to the Castle District on the Buda side (Budapest
is divided into two sections by the Danube River, Buda and Pest) for a view over the city at a monument (forget the name of it).
We then arrived at the mosquito infected campsite and set up camp, then sat down to Brad's dinner, which was pretty good and fulfilling.
In Budapest we woke up early to the sound of rain drops on our tent, great, unfortunately we didn't want the rain today but it cleared up a little. We caught public transport in as Nev had a 'lay day' (he has one at least every 7 days).
Had a good view of Parliament House across the river. We then walked uphill to the Fisherman's Bastion which an amazing building and a good lookout point of the city, and saw the outside of Matthias church (we didn't pay to get in as we are all churched out but it looked beautiful). We wanted to go to the Budapest Labyrinth. It took a little time to find because it wasn't well signposted but once we did we spent quite a while walking through the underground caves and tunnels. I lead the way through the labyrinth of courage, which
was pitch black and you had to hold onto a rope to avoid walking into walls because you can't see 2cm in front of you. The idea is to find the 'sun'... we were traveling as a group so it was easier, as we could call out 'there's a downward dip here' or 'we're going up now' so everyone knew what to expect. It was a very random place with one room of art, one with a wine fountain, and various other statues & exhibits which didn't relate to the labyrinth directly but all the same - but it's fun just going through the tunnels as they twist and turn underground. After that we crossed the river to Pest- that's where all the shops and places to eat are. Budapest is a beautiful city, full of lovely old buildings.
We walked around for hours and also saw Liberation Memorial, Roosevelt Square, the Chain Bridge and did a spot of shopping too.
Dinner was our own to buy tonight and the crew had invited us to a restaurant they knew served the largest pork schnitzel in the history of pork schnitzels (well - to us anyway) and several people
wanted to try it (mostly Niki). It was big, very thin but very big - about the size of a pizza. Full bellies for the walk home across the Budapest bridge.
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