Tuesday 2 October 2012 - Tuesday 2 October 2012
Budapest is an amazing city with lots of pedestrian streets with nice cafes and shops. The city is divided by the Danube river, with Buda on one side, and Pest on the other. Our apartment is on the Pest side which is the more vibrant and modern of the two. Just outside our door is a very nice cafe we have stopped at a couple of times for coffee and wine (and a really great spinach pastry that Linda was raving about). Met a rather obnoxious American who, it turns out had, also met Maria at the train station and was staying in the same building as us. Anyway we headed out in the morning and walked over the Elizabeth bridge to the Buda side, which has many of the historical sites. Pest is flat, Buda is very hilly, which made for some tough walking. We visited Buda castle; parts of which date back to the 1200's. It houses among other stuff the Royal Palace, the History Museum, Hungary National Gallery, Fisherman's Bastion, and of course, a very old Church as well as Magdelene Tower (what's left of a gothic church that was destoyed in WWII) . There is also a beautiful view of the Parliament buildings across the river. We stopped in the Castle District for lunch before heading back to Pest to book a dinner cruise on the Danube. It wasn't a problem finding the tourist info to book the dinner, but unfortunately the rain was starting to begin. From here we decided to go to the train station on the subway to book our next tickets to Cluj Napoca, Romania. Rain was coming down pretty good so got pretty soaked. Seems that the trip to Cluj Napoca is not an easy one, had to make it to another train station and our trip tommorow leaves from a third train station! Quite an experience, seems we have to take a train followed by bus followed by train. More on that later. We went off in the rain, which now is a lightning storm to dinner. We had to meet at an Opera house, go figure, to meet at 7:00. We walked right by it the first time by but eventually found it. Along with all the other dinner cruisers we walked in the rain to the boat. Meal was buffet style and was okay, as was the live band. Too bad about the storm, which had now blacked out half of Budapest. Not the best view because of the rain, but overall had a really good day. Off to Cluj Napoca, Romania tomorrow - or so we hope!