? an Easy Jet flight that takes us in the late afternoon of April 22nd to the splendid Hungarian capital, Budapest. The airport is located at the beginning of the suburban area of the city. and is about 16 km from the center. Achieve it ? very simple thanks to the Minibud service (link https://www.minibud.hu/en), which in about twenty minutes, for about 18? each, takes you directly to the center.
The Hotel: Danubius Astoria City Center
It is approximately 23pm when we enter the lobby of our beautiful Danubius Astoria City Center hotel.
The first impact? of those that take your breath away. The decorations, the furnishings and the glitz that can be perceived make us almost doubt that we are in the right place. Tant ?? taken by the strong doubt that they were objects of the Hungarian sting by the shuttle driver, we immediately check the reservation. ? all true.
And we can only thank the very favorable monetary exchange rate, considering that to stay overnight in such a hotel in London we would probably have to sell a couple of organs!
After having unloaded the luggage in the room (obviously beautiful and in line with the hotel) and after the usual bath stop we have a drink at the hotel bar. Even the bar, together with the restaurant area, are of an elegance we hardly feel worthy of. We sip our coche quatto quatto and go to sleep. Our tour starts tomorrow!
Synagogue, St. Stephen's Basilica, Chain Bridge, Buda Castle, Matthias Church, Fisherman's Bastion, Vorosmarty Ter, House of Terror, boat ride.
As in all our trips the morning lever? military type. Not even the time to realize that we are in the world that our hunger immediately leads us to the breakfast area. And could we have been disappointed?
Absolutely not! Typical Hungarian sweets, hot croissants, 4/5 types of jams, salami from all over the world, cheeses and much more. In a very short time we brush everything and well carburized we start.
Ah we were about to forget to withdraw and obviously, being the exchange rate 1x0,003, withdrawing 50? we almost feel like we are robbing the entire bank!
A few steps from the hotel here is our first stop: the Synagogue. Ticket cost about 12? in two.
The Synagogue? splendid, sumptuous in its decorations, humble in its silence. ? the "P? large of Europe and is located right in the center of the Jewish quarter. Budapest? in fact a city? with one of the most? rich communities Jewish and the Synagogue represents their true fulcrum. But its charm owes it to its historical strength: resisting several bombings and two world wars,? became the symbol of the tenacity and resistance of the Jewish people.
Outside there is a garden that collects the remains of some fallen and a courtyard with some commemorative monuments of the holocaust.
Among all the weeping willow stands out, a metal construction on whose leaves the names of the martyrs are imprinted.
Inevitable? the museum that collects some classic objects of Jewish culture. An interesting and suggestive part? represented by a kind of underground area, on whose walls are hung photographs depicting moments of celebration and everyday life.
THE BASILICA OF SANTO STEFANO
In a quarter of an hour of walking we arrive at the second stage: the Basilica of Santo Stefano.
Beautiful, imposing, it stands in the center of Pest. ? the third largest church largest in the world and was originally dedicated to San Leopoldo. Did the plans change during the race and at the church? was given the name of Stephen, first king of Hungary.
We decide not to enter it, as the queue would certainly have slowed down our program not a little. Just the time to take some pictures of the Basilica and the surrounding square and off you go!
THE BRIDGE OF CHAINS
Next stop, Chain Bridge. From the Pest side, the bridge turns into Sz? Chenyi and? truly a marvel; even if the best part is from the Buda side where, thanks also to the immense flowerbed in the middle of the road, it offers magnificent shots.
The commercial interests that demanded a longer connection? fluid between the two parts of the city, made it possible to build it in 1849, just a year after the Hungarian Revolution.
Like many other European bridges, the Chain Bridge was blown up by the retreating Germans in 1945. In a short time it came for? rebuilt and in just 4 years it was back on its feet, ready to guide those who crossed it from one part of the city to the other, offering an exclusive view of the Danube.
THE CASTLE OF BUDA
Crossed the bridge we are right at the base of the funicular that leads to our next stop: the Buda castle. We decide not to take it, the usual problem of the kilometric queue. We should have arrived early in the morning at the opening but believe us, it makes no sense. Doing it on foot has a completely different flavor.
In the midst of the trees you can glimpse the castle which gradually gets closer and closer. ? an unmissable sensation. Ok comfort? of the funicular, but what if, like us, for breakfast you give us a walk? even more a panacea!
300 meters of building that stand out on the Varhegy hill and from whose top? the view ? to be immortalized in dozens of shots. Her ? a suffered history, which did not know peace easily: half-destroyed during the revolt of the Hungarians against the Habsburg regime, heavily damaged by the Germans at the end of the Second World War.
Ah, if you arrive around 12 do not miss the changing of the guard in the square adjacent to the castle. Always beautiful and impressive in any city.
CHURCH OF MATTIA and BASTIONE DEI PESCATORI
We continue, our next two stops are there? nearby: Matthias Church and Fishermen's Bastion.
The name of the Church? in honor of the Hungarian king who celebrated here? his two marriages. First a parish church, then a mosque following the Turkish occupation at the turn of the half? from the 500th and 600th centuries, a sacred building in neo-Gothic style then at the end of the 800th century. So the object of numerous alterations and renovations? a very important and fascinating church due to its particular history.
A few meters from the Bastion. Its 7 towers, which symbolize the 7 tribes? who have conquered and given life to what then? become Hungary, the Bastion with the equestrian statue of Saint Stephen, its particular T shape, the mixture of neo-Gothic and romantic styles, the wide stairways that act as an entrance are all elements that make the Bastion unique and one of the most ? visited and loved by tourists.
It has never had a real defensive function but more? what else commemorative, to celebrate the history of Hungary from the most? high of its capital.
Food swallowed for breakfast? it has now been assimilated by the body and all energies begin to fail.
? the opportunity to go to the next stop: the Vorosmarty Ter, area of coffee? and restaurants.
If like us you happen to us at the end of April, you will probably find the wooden houses where you can taste the typical Hungarian products outdoors; like the Langos for example, a kind of pancake with sour cream, cheese in quantity? industrial and bacon. Definitely not an everyday thing, but after an intense morning like ours, an absolutely welcome and tasty dish.
In about 40 minutes' walk from the Fishermen's Bastion we arrive at our penultimate stage: the Terror Haza. Gi? the outside arouses emotions, with that iron structure that surrounds the roof of the building and from which? It is possible to read on both sides the inscription "Terror", whose shadow is reflected in the facades of the building thanks to the light that penetrates it. Call it home? an? insignificant trivialization of what? what really? been; a key witness of the horrors of Nazism first and then of communism, in which the leaders of the two pi? absurd governmental philosophies of the 900 have resided there.
The museum is divided into three levels around a large space in which? placed a tank. The memory of the faces of the victims belongs to the adjacent wall, as high as the building and covered with the photographs of whom, despite having no fault,? was brutally killed.
The gloomy air you breathe is reminiscent of that of the Berlin Jewish museum. A dark atmosphere, made of imposing shadows and deep silences generated by the horrors of which the house? witness.
And in this climate there are reconstructions of offices and prisons, videos of survivors that testify to the horror experienced, portraits and statues of the time.
A more experience than a museum visit, not to be missed so as not to forget the abomination committed in the name of absurd ideological extremisms.
Cost of two tickets: 13 euros. Very little if we think about the sensations that this experience aroused in us.
? now for? to soften the spirits, to find serenity? and the right spirit to continue our wonderful tour. After a short stop at the hotel, a must after almost a full day walking around the city, the boat ride (www.legenda.hu) finally awaits us: cost about 30? in two. And considering the audio guide in Italian and the glass of wine included, a figure more? how honest!
Our Duna Bella boat is waiting for us. A name that sounds like a Dean Martin song. And indeed during the tour some tricolor songs start; Pavarotti? the leitmotif of the evening.
And we have to say highly appreciated by all passengers. Also why? in fact, with such a panorama, such an atmosphere? romantic, Pavarotti pu? accompany only!
And you know, the sea makes you hungry. Ok, the Danube? we know a river, but hunger? much the same.
We opt for Korhely (website link http://www.korhelyfaloda.hu/).
The local ? really nice, modern furniture, well lit but without weighing too much. Fast service and impeccable courtesy. The only drawback the tables maybe a little? too small in Parisian style. But ok ?, there is. If you want to maximize profits in one location? tourist like Budapest, isn't it? that you have a lot of choice.
A nice platter of Goulash, 2 Quiche with goat cheese and a little? of salad as a dressing and 1 piece of Gerloczy, a typical Hungarian dessert with chocolate and caramel ... a delight, which I tell you to do.
Let's add water, beer and bread, which as you know not? almost never included in the price outside the sacred borders, for a total of about 45 euros.
Well fed, tired and happy for all the beautiful things we have seen, we go to sleep in our bedroom in our luxurious hotel.
Central Market, Ferencvarosi Stadium, Shoe Walk, Parliament, Heroes' Square, Municipal Park.
Usual alarm clock, usual morning feast, ready to go out. Another beautiful day, full of events. ? our modus operandi this. Run and fit everything together so as not to miss a single thing. Then you know, it is not always possible and sometimes it happens to have to make sacrifices during the race. The renunciation more? big this time? been Margaret Island. We really wanted to visit it but, considering everything that was planned, we were content to see it from the boat the night before.
Also why? something must always be left out; ? the excuse to come back a second time.
The first step ? the Central Market, near the historic center. Famous and renowned for having been built by the best craftsmen and architects, the market? also known for having hosted Margaret Thatcher who, in 1984 following a visit to the city, went? right in the Nagycsarnok to buy some typical products.
The market develops on two levels. On the ground floor we find exhibition stalls of food products typically used in Hungarian cuisine: spices, salami, goose liver, liqueurs just to name a few.
On the first floor there are small shops selling tailoring products, souvenirs, ceramics and so on.
Although digestion is still in its preliminary stages, tempted to buy some treats to nibble along the way? strong. Stoically we give up and get back on the road.
We reach Kalvin Ter on foot and take the metro to Nagyvarad Ter.
TIP: always pay attention to the areas covered by the metro you take and which are indicated on the tickets. Even if we still hope to have managed to convince you that legs are always the best solution.
Anyway the metro? in second place, especially if the days are few and the things to see are endless.
Among other things, the Budapest metro deserves to be seen. Not ? certainly among the most? beautiful and cared for among those around the world, but that neglected air and that retro charm? that it carries with it make it equally very appreciable.
In about 25 minutes overall we reach the Groupama Arena, the stadium of Ferencvarosi, the football team more? titled by Hungary and boasting significant appearances and victories in Europe.
Stadium ? really impressive and, walking all around it,? you can also see the football field
and the stands. The store inside the stadium deserves a visit, especially for Lorenzo.
Do you have to know that for every trip abroad we make? must visit museums, stadiums or official stores of local football teams. After all, passions are passions and if they took away what life would it be?
So classic football purchase on time like the electricity bill and off to new shores.
WALK IN SHOES
The Shoe Walk on the banks of the Danube awaits us. It is one of the most important memorials. famous and evocative of Europe, precisely for its particularity. In fact, director Can Togay wanted to create something different, which best represented the massacre that took place at the hands of Nyilaskeresztes P? Rt, the Party of Arrow Crosses, a Nazi ally and guilty of having exterminated thousands of Jews. In groups of 3 they were tied up, dragged and, after a blow to the back of the head, thrown into the river.
The abandonment of shoes seems to almost want to symbolize the detachment from earthly life and the landing in a reality. better, abandoning the unhappiness? of a profoundly unjust existence.
If you are lucky it will happen to you? to see also tram 2, one of the most? famous in Europe thanks to the beauty of its itinerary which, crossing the major bridges of the city, will make you? touch the main points of interest of the Hungarian capital.
It is now Parliament's turn, our next stop. With its grandeur it extends on the right bank of the Danube from the Pest side. ? magnificent, isn't there ?? what to say. The neo-Gothic style on the outside, clearly visible from its facades enriched by spiers, turrets, arches and windows, contrasts with the baroque one in its interiors; a style that, how can you? to notice as you enter the corridors and the large rooms of the building, it was affected by the Renaissance influences. The pomp, the internal structure and the decorations are very reminiscent of the style used in the interiors of certain churches. The main point? certainly represented by the staircase of honor placed in the center of the building. Really sublime!
The possibility? to take advantage of a guide in Italian? certainly a plus. The cost of the ticket? about 8? each. The only sore point? the impossibility? to take pictures in some rooms. Then ok ?, you know that c? always some rude fox who, regardless of the prohibitions, photographs the same.
Once we leave Parliament we are attacked by a shady character, who threatens us by taking us to the stomach: hunger! And we don't want to die young, so we tell ourselves? Better go along with it? and, mindful of the delicacies enjoyed during lunch the day before, we go back to Vorosmarty Ter.
Enough Langos for ?,? good to try something different but still local. Why? one of the good things about traveling? the possibility? to enrich your culinary background with the recipes of the place you visit. Leaving Italy to desperately search for pizza or spaghetti makes no sense.
Our attention therefore falls on two beautiful platters with a not light appearance at all. The first ? a kind of loaf hollowed out inside with, instead of the crumb, a filling of meat and potato stew. The second is a nice portion of stew always with potatoes as a side dish. Both really great.
But you know, to finish a meal worthily the dessert? essential. And with the Caf? Gerbaud there a few meters away, we certainly cannot be exempt. After all, let's talk about one of the most? famous and historic cafes of Budapest.
An elegant place where you can breathe an? Air of nobility? from other times. The pastry? for? the one that made her really famous. Pastries and desserts truly of a higher level, both in taste and in the way they are offered. Duty to visit you.
In advance of the schedule we decide to take a digestive walk through the streets of the city, without having a fixed destination. One of the things that most? we love, why? in every place we have been this aimless wandering has always made us discover something unplanned.
THE LIVE MONUMENT
And the Living Monument in Piazza della Libert? ? that unscheduled one in which we trusted so much. The sculpture, created during the rule of Viktor Orban,? been badly digested by Hungarian citizens. The reasons for this discontent are attributable to the reasons why the monument? was created: by depicting the Archangel Gabriel subjugated by the German eagle, the government wanted to commemorate all the victims of the Nazi occupation, leaving out for? the faults of the Hungarian government of the pro-Nazi era and co-star of the Magyar massacres. What citizens do not? gone down. Symptomatic? in fact, the protest put in place by the same people who daily create small groups in front of the sculpture, posing photos, memories, objects of the victims of racial hatred of which even Hungary is guilty of having stained itself.
PIAZZA DEGLI EROI and VIA ANDRASSY
Are we halfway? afternoon now and the things to see are not over yet. We then move towards the next stop: the Heroes' Square following the Andrassy Street.
Street ? surely the pi? important and rich in Budapest. Rich for the houses and wealthy families who live there. In fact, when we walk along it, our memory returns to the Parisian Boulevard. The similarities are really many with elegance acting as the lowest common denominator.
Admiring the beauty of the buildings, through the corridor created by the ordered green of the trees, we reach Heroes' Square. Perhaps it represents the main tourist center of the city? and at its center stands the famous Millenary Monument, a 36 meter column with the Archangel Gabriel overlooking it from above and the Heroes Monument surrounding it from below. The dedication of this monument goes precisely to all those people who, fighting stoically for the independence of Hungary, lost their lives there. Guarding it are what appear to be two enormous gates, composed of colonnades adorned with statues depicting Hungarian rulers and illustrious figures.
Like any self-respecting trip? The time has finally come for us to visit the municipal park, the V? rosliget. Area ? truly wonderful: a huge mirror of water, the intense green of the meadows and the color of the trees, the Szechenyi Baths with their thermal waters and, to top it off, the Vajdahunyad castle in which they convey different architectural styles: romantic, Gothic, Renaissance and baroque.
In short, a real gem, beautiful to walk around and relaxing if so? looking for some? of peace and refreshment.
We return to the hotel. Now the light is leaving the day and we have to get ready for dinner.
? l? Hungarikum Bisztr? (link http://hungarikumbisztro.hu) the worthy ending of this wonderful 4 days on Hungarian soil. A simple, traditional place that serves typical dishes both in the way they are served and in the way they are prepared. The dishes are very spicy, with meat and vegetables as the protagonists of the menu. Does the red and white checked tablecloth remind you a little? the classic one of the Roman taverns. They are not interested in the presentation of a starred restaurant or a menu? molecular kitchen; and are they themselves to underline it in the preface of the men? that they give to customers. What they want ? let everyone know the flavors of their land, the authentic ones, of their childhood. In short, grandma's kitchen. The one that goes straight to the point without paying attention to the outline.
SZIMPLA KERT: the famous Ruin Pub
Now we just have to tick the last box of our program: that of the Ruins Pub, Szimpla Kert.
The perfect place to enjoy a cocktail in a truly unique context as well as youthful, more? in the spirit that in age.
And how in every trip also in this? time to go home. Our Easyjet flight is waiting for us tomorrow and will bring us back? in the lagoon land.
The sadness ? always a lot also why? waiting for us c ?? always the anxiety and stress of the routine.
Our advice? therefore that of always setting a new goal, to help the mind better endure the fatigues of everyday life.