Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pre WUOC 2016 tourism

Well I think it's time I resurrect this blog don't you?! It's been a long year finishing up my masters course at Heriot Watt but loved it!  I'm now in Budapest doing a day of sightseeing before meeting up with the rest of the USA team. I decided I was sick of flying to a major airport but not actually seeing the city. I hadn't really planned my trip either though with my focus being too much on degree and graduation and parents visiting. So this is how my tour turned out! I got to Budapest at 10:30am (9:30am BST) after waking up at 2am to get to Dublin airport. (Thanks Colm for making sure I'm my sleepy state I didn't forget anything!) I decided I would just buy a 24hr Budapest card and see where it got me!  Free transport with the card was the selling point! So boarded the bus into the city center to find the Maverick Hostel to drop my bag.  Beautiful day but getting hot already! On the bus ride I saw a walking tour at 2pm included with the Budapest card so aimed for that as my first stop!  It was a tour of Buda which everyone said with the castel and hills was the nicer side anyway. The tour started at this holly tower next to an impressive church. Matthias church, gothic style architecture built under bela IV, but the tower was added by King Matthias hence the name. The lady giving me he tour was named Monika and was very knowledgeable about the history. Glad I went on the tour as felt like I would have never learnt as much just walking around with a book. 
The 250,000 tiles made in Pecs have a special glase on them to make them so colourful
  I then decided it was too warm out (was probably burning already at this point!) so went into the art museum also on the hill. I spent a good 1.5hrs in the air conditioning looking at art work. Some of it was very good, others I didn't think counted as art or just didn't appeal to me. With my Budapest card I could also go up to the dome at the top which was nice. 
This used to be an observatory when the building acted as a university
After the museum and a lovely €1 ice cream (mango sorbet!), I made my way down the hill and back up another (Gellert hill) to see the Liberty statue and citadel. Here is known to have the best view of the city. The citadel was built by the habsburgs in 1854 and survived until 1849 during the war of independence. Next to this the liberty statue sits and is one of the symbols of Budapest. 
View from top citadel
Liberty statue
After a lovely dinner of fresh pizza I decided it wasn't as warm out but still light so I'd try to see a few things on the Pest side. I took the trolley with my card down to the parliament and that was an impressive building!! It was opened in 1904 and is on a square called Kossuth Lajos. Apparently it's size was designed so large to represent the thousand year old history of the nation. It's dome is 69meters high according to Monika and is the same size now was St. Stephens basilica to show equal power for church and state. 
In front of parliament After I continued to walk along the Danube river and enjoyed the sunset across the hills and pretty colours. 
There was a sculpture along the banks titled shoes by Danube. Here sixty pairs of bronze shoes from the 1940s were on display to commemorate those who were shot into the river by the Hungarian nazis. It was cleaver and well done!
Shoes by the Danube
I then went back to the hostel only to be woken up early (2am!) by a powerful thunderstorm. It was meant to rain all day! Glad it didn't and I only changed my morning plan to visiting the city market ( built in 1896, most beautiful indoor market in Europe apparently) as indoors and not walking mad to another museum and the basilica. Had a chill breakfast and browse before heading back to airport for noon to meet more of the team. 
Central market hall


  1. WOW! Looks like you had a great visit to Budapest. Hope you continue to share your fun time in Hungary.

  2. Dear Alison, thank you your travelogue :-) Have a great time in Hungary!