Archive for the ‘Batthyány tér’ Tag

Budapest – Fountains of Fun and Gellert Hill   10 comments

P1020147a

One the reasons I really loved Budapest was that it felt open and spacious. The Communist era saw huge wide boulevards and streets and the city has many large open squares. Walking back into town from Parliament we came across Szabadság tér a huge open space surrounded by impressive buildings and containing fountains and sculptures

The Soviet Army Memorial, the last one in the city

P1020101

P1020113

P1020114

The fountain of the post title wasn’t the most beautiful we saw on our travels but it was the most fun. It has sensors that turn the water on and off as you approach. You can make the water dance to your tune by a variety of hand gestures (steady!) and walk through the water.

P1020109

We were already finding this highly entertaining until I realised that the other Funsters and Sherpa seemed to employing a range of strange (and unnecessary) walks while doing this. A little video accompanied by my hysterical laughter

 

I’m still not entirely sure why we found it so funny and everyone else thought we must have been on a day visit from the home but who cares. One of the highlights of the whole trip. We are a strange family

We lunched on local fare from the street market in Erzsébet téri park under the wheel that every city seems to have these days. I jokingly called it the Budapest Eye until we walked past and realised that was its actual name!

P1020115

A word now for Budapest’s public transport system. If you were building a city from scratch and wanted ideas on what your transport network should look like I’d tell you to go to Budapest

P1020117

It has a decent metro system, loads of trams, punctual buses and even a river bus. Most of our days in the city were built around using it and often we just hopped on a tram or metro and took it somewhere we thought might be interesting. We used the trams as an ad-hoc hop on/off tour bus

P1020118

They were never crowded and we never waited more than a few minutes

P1020159a

Even the escalators were good. The Metro lines are deep and they seemed to give a weird sense of perspective. Most importantly of all it was cheap. About £13 each for unlimited use for 3 days. It was fun and we wanted to use it. In short everything a city public transport system should be. Well played Budapest.

P1020159b

We took a tram to the Liberty Bridge (my favourite in the city) to climb Gellert Hill

P1020119

Its a rocky bluff around 230m high with spectacular views across the city

P1020123

One of the Danube River Cruise Boats

P1020124

South across the city

P1020128

North over the Elizabeth Bridge

P1020130

On top of the hill is the Liberty Monument. It was erected as a tribute to the Soviet soldiers who died liberating the city in 1945

P1020138

Parliament building

P1020134

The Royal Palace

P1020135

St Stephens Basilica

P1020136

Across the Danube to Pest

P1020139-2

The Royal Palace

P1020147

North over the Danube

P1020145-2

It’s a steep climb but well worth it. Best views over the city

P1020148

P1020147b-2

We walked back down, hopped on a tram for a couple of stops (every city should have trams!) and stopped in Clark Adam Ter for an ice cream (the square is named after the Scottish engineer who designed the Szechenyi Chain Bridge).

This curious piece is the 0km stone. All Hungarian roads to and from the city are measured from this spot. A city packed with interesting stuff

P1020151a

We wandered along the river to reach Batthyány tér for the best view of the Parliament Building. We passed this fine church on the way

P1020153

And the view across the river was indeed superb

P1020155

Added interest from seeing the curious bus that runs tours on land and down the river. Very surreal seeing a bus floating down the river

P1020156

We spent a relaxing couple of hours back at the apartment before heading out for a meal

P1020157

P1020159

We’d been told that we had to see Budapest at night. The Parliament building was only 5 minutes away so we went for a look. It’s dazzling at night although as usual my photos don’t do it justice

P1020162

Using our new found love of Budapest’s transport system we then hopped on a series of trams to look at the nighttime views across the river

P1020164

The Parliament Building took pride of place

P1020165

The Gellert Hotel, one of the oldest in the city

P1020166

The Liberty Bridge

P1020167

The nighttime illuminations really enhanced its green colour

P1020171

Along the Danube to the Elizabeth Bridge

P1020173

Elizabeth Bridge and the Royal Palace

P1020174

The Liberty Monument

P1020177

Massive river cruise boats

P1020179

And the Liberty Bridge again. The rest of the family seemed somewhat concerned by my tendency to step out into traffic to take photos. Risky in Budapest but worth it I think

P1020183

And back to the Budapest Eye for a new found Hungarian delicacy, Kürtőskalács, is a sort of sweetened bread that is rolled around a cylinder and cooked over hot coals before being rolled in sugar, chocolate etc. Its totally delicious and replaced gelato in our pudding hearts. Wish I’d taken a photo.

P1020184

Loads packed into our first full day and tomorrow we were off to sample one of the city’s more unique experiences

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: