Three improvised days in the Hungarian capital, three days at the end of April in which I had to deal with a carefree weather that gave me both moments of joy and a hard time. However, I tried to check "I've been there!" to the various stops that I had set before the departure and I was able to test that three days are good to be able to see most of the best attractions that the city offers? of Budapest.
Milan Malpensa, 8:30 am. "Ready to take off!" and after an hour and a half I'm in Budapest. It is my first time in Eastern Europe!
Do I realize it already? from the style of the first houses that I can see from the window of the plane a few minutes after landing. Some gigantic gray condominiums in contrast with many brown houses of two or three floors at most, with inverted V-shaped roofs of a dark and worn red that stands out over the surrounding landscape.
Beautiful Hungarian hostesses of WizzAir (and to write it? A woman), very soft landing. The first thing to do? buy tickets for public transport, take bus 200E which leads to the terminus of the blue line of the metro and then arrive at the change with the red line and reach the hotel in Baross Ter.
Got off the bus, when I saw the metro station so? dirty and the convoys so? old people sincerely did not want to believe it, I did not expect it. Sar? that when you go abroad you always hope to find better than there? that you leave. I arrive at the exchange stop and take the red line. Ah here, this? much better.
I arrive at the hotel, I leave my luggage and finally? time to immerse myself in visiting the Hungarian capital!
The sky ? a bit 'veiled, but by the minute it becomes more and more? clear until you have a sun so? heat that made me regret keeping my jacket on. I take the metro and I go to the Gellert stop thinking that the Buda Castle was right there? close. The map deceived me, the distance was very different. Walking hot and with the bikes constantly playing "drin drin!" to make me move as if there was a place for pedestrians (I swear to you, after five minutes it made me nervous that insistent "drin drin", and I am a quiet and patient person, but here it seemed to me that competition was taking place with Amsterdam and a "drin drin" competition), I finally admire the Buda Castle!
I enter and begin to climb to the top of the hill both by taking the first steps and by taking advantage of the escalators and the elevator, even if in reality? I would have preferred by far to do it on foot, enjoying the view that from time to time you looked more and more? above, but there were many things I had planned to see to make the most of the day in good weather.
Top floor. Wow, what a wonderful view over the whole city ?! The sun made the Chain Bridge and the majestic Hungarian Parliament shine like its own light with its huge iron dome.
I take out of the bag the "selfie stick" bought a few days earlier, while my trusty Canon SLR was already? doing his job, and I start taking selfies with Budapest at pi? I can not! Ah, I didn't tell you one thing: the weather was not promising at all, so these moments of heat and light seem like a miracle, I have to take advantage of them now. And "short sleeves" moment was.
A little more? forward, at the end of the castle square, through the archway and I find myself so? in the square from where those who go up by funicular arrive (that's where it was!) and where the building with the two motionless guards is located. Just as I am about to take a selfie with them I notice from the frame that they are moving! Yay, I arrived without knowing it when they have to change places! I swear to you,? too funny to see the changing of the guard, don't miss it.
From the tourist signs I read that continuing straight there are the Matthias Church and the Fishermen's Bastion, which I thought were in another hill more? forward. I keep walking and I notice the Matthias Church from a glimpse and I am literally speechless! How wonderful, that sun-kissed white and those orange, green and yellow colored tiles that contrast all the style leaving you incredulous. And what about the Fishermen's Bastion which is located right next to the church towards the Danube? An incredible panorama that seems to want to play hide and seek between the arches of the Bastioni. How much joy! The Buda hill conquered me, stole my eyes.
It's long past lunchtime, but I'm not hungry at all. What? I decide not to waste time and immediately go to Margaret Island, which is located right in the middle of the Danube, between Buda and Pest. I take the taxi to go first, you tell me what to spend? at most between 500 and 1000 florins.
After less than ten minutes of road, among other things busy, I notice the Margaret Bridge from the window and therefore I think I have now arrived. The taxi driver overtakes the bridge, goes on again and then on again. Something was beginning to not come back. So I decide to ask him how much is missing and he replies: "Just two minutes.". When I got off I understood everything: he had taken me to the final part of the island, where there was hardly anyone! All to have 2300 florins instead of 1000. If it? took advantage, I was disappointed. And in addition to the florins spent more? walk a lot to reach the part of the island with the church, the ruins, the fountain and the Margaret Bridge. For? I must say that in that way I was able to see the whole island, from the end to the beginning, with the Hungarians taken to jogging or walking with their dog. And then an avalanche of bicycles! For them ? the penultimate day of the "Spring Festival" and the whole city? Yes ? gathered at the park by bike. Bikes and bikes in rivers. Pouring rain, ruined party. Now I thank the hooded jacket. Everyone ran for cover in the bars, myself included. Coffee, I stop the rain for a while and then I start browsing the nearby streets. I find myself in a small square with colored balloons on the trees and stalls from which all kinds of scents came. Yay, here is finally in front of my eyes the authentic Kurtoskalacs, the typical Hungarian dessert! I choose the coconut one. Mmmh, what goodness ?!
After wandering through small shops and stalls and having dinner with Goulash, chicken and sweet potatoes,? time to return to the hotel. The legs and back are affected by the heaviness of the busy day.
Tomorrow? another day, in Budapest.
I wake up quite early, but what about the breakfast room? a battlefield! All the seats occupied, I have to wait. After the battle, I leave the hotel and another war begins: the one with the cold wind! It was like a slap just passed the hotel door.
I run to the metro and reach the area of the Chain Bridge, so? are close enough to the Parliament where I have the visit in Italian already? booked online. I face the wind and the rain and still decide to take a ride on the Chain Bridge, I have to be able to say "I've been there!". What frost, this bad weather does not give? respite, I cross several Italian tourists and everyone complains about it. I continue my way up to the Hungarian Parliament and finally enter the visitor room. A sign indicates that all tickets are sold out and people are invited to return two days later. Luckily I instead decided to buy them online a few days before!
The guide arrives and warns us that we will be checked as at the airport boarding, that we will be given headphones and that we will have to climb 132 steps. Good. The path begins and you remain already? enchanted by everything: from the pastel-colored designs of the windows, from the frescoes, from the gold-colored arches and from the long red carpets. Interesting to note the sumptuous furnishings and numbered cigar holders. We admire the enchanting staircase that leads to the Sala della Cupola and then the latter what? the only non-photographable area. The room has 16 sides, one side for each statue of a Hungarian king, sixteen in all. In the center is the beautiful crown that belonged to all the Hungarian kings, guarded and protected by bulletproof glass and by two guards who change positions every hour and just at that moment. happened to see them in action, as they swap positions turning around the crown with their eyes glued to it. Really nice to see!
We then go to the Sala della Session where the sessions of the Chamber were held and which is still used today for conferences. Beautiful, it looks like a theater. The visit ends and the guide tells us that she had just returned from Trieste, that there? there was bad weather and that apparently if the? brought with him? up to Budapest. Here, now we all know who to blame!
Leaving the Parliament, I take the metro to reach the next destination for which I have put my costume in my bag: the Szechenyi Baths. Considering that they are located in the Varosliget park, I decide to get off at the Hos? K Tere stop of the yellow line and, as soon as I leave the station, a nice surprise awaits me: I find myself in front of my eyes the immense Heroes Square! It is really huge and has the inscription "Budapest" in front of it with two meters high letters. All there? to go wild with selfies!
Then I enter the park and notice the Varosliget Castle to the right. It looks like one of those haunted castles and the creepy Anonymous' Statue in bad weather shows you even more? an atmosphere of mystery and fear. Then I return to the park and after a short walk I find myself at the Szechenyi Baths. I buy the ticket, take the towel for hire and enter the women's changing rooms. There? stares at a lady who explains how the bracelet and lockers work. I change and go in search of the tubs. It looks like a labyrinth to me. When I finally find them I realize that there was no more? room for anyone! All the tanks overflowing with motionless people like lead soldiers, an absurd thing! There was chaos and unfortunately also a certain lack of hygiene, but the macabre detail I spare you in this travelogue, and? the latter making me decide to leave. Was that lady on the plane really right she told me? of a friend of the daughter who two days after being there? found a skin infection. I go back to the locker room, wash myself and get out of that dirty place that would have to be closed until? will not be cleaned and disinfected properly!
At that point I decide to go and visit the Jewish quarter. Unfortunately, I find the Synagogue already? closed, what a pity. For? beautiful. I spy a little from the entrance gate and then from the street on the left I notice clearly visible "The tree of life" in the inner courtyard, a sculpture depicting a weeping willow where on each leaf the names of the victims of the holocaust have been reported . Really moving.
I continue walking at random. I notice the emblem of the Jewish star in the signs of some shops, and I feel those years and those stories of terror really close. I enter an alley that intrigues me, where everything seems to be left there? by chance and overlooked. The walls are full of various writings and labels, and as I walk I encounter strange objects such as a cluster of cables, a battered wasp and then here it is, the Simpla Kert! Now I understand: this? the area of the famous pubs in ruins! Too bad there was no one, in fact it was not yet the right time, otherwise I would have come to visit it, I already had it? seen in some photos on Instagram and had intrigued me.
It's time for dinner, I walk to choose the restaurant, I eat and then I take the subway to go straight back to the hotel, unfortunately not feeling in great shape due to the bad weather that has given me a hard time for the whole day. I hope tomorrow will be? better.
Last day in Budapest. How time flies. The sky ? cloudy, but it doesn't rain, and the wind does? calmed down.
There are still three stops left on my list and I want to see them for sure before I retrieve the luggage left in the hotel storage and then go to the airport and go home.
First stop of the day: the Central Covered Market in Budapest. I arrive at the Fovam Ter stop and I find it immediately in front of my eyes. From the facade it looks like a museum.
As soon as I enter that large wrought iron door, do I feel fully catapulted into everyday life? budapestiana: well-dressed elderly women who buy fresh fruit and vegetables and choose the best bread of the day; tourists who admire all the stalls one by one, take photographs and taste the typical products that the market has to offer in quantity! Paprika everywhere. Upstairs instead c '? who has a Langos prepared and who buys souvenirs of all kinds. I fell in love with a wooden box that bears a drawing of the Parliament and the word Budapest in tricolor, with a carillon inside that plays a sweet and nostalgic Hungarian tune. I love music boxes.
Leaving the market I go for a walk in the famous shopping street, the Vaci Utca, and walk among shops and stalls. I eat the second Kurtoskalacs, the last one before returning to Italy. Should I? wait for the Craft Fair to eat it again and it certainly won't be? the same thing, so I enjoy it well, warm hot, sitting on a bench at Vaci Utca enjoying the atmosphere of the street.
I then decide to take tram number 2 which runs along the riverside and get off at the terminus, where the Hungarian Parliament is located. I give him my final farewell and head towards the bank of the Danube, where I know that the most moment awaits me? contemplative and touching: the Monument of Shoes.
It is a particular work, consisting of 60 bronze shoes lined up on the river bank, created to commemorate the drama that saw the killing of Jews by the Arrow Cross Party which collaborated with the Nazis. At that point men, women and children were lined up, ordered to take off their shoes, and then they were shot. Look at those shoes? difficult, ? a punch in the stomach. There are several tourists who like me contemplate that place with tears in their eyes. There? who says a prayer, who leaves flowers.
Then I continue the walk on the banks of the Danube admiring the hills of Buda that light up more and more, as the clouds are gradually disappearing, gracing me the last budapestian moments with a little more natural light.
Do I stare at the whole panorama with a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth for all the things I have not been able to see and for how I have not been able to fully enjoy the city? because of that bad weather. I'm going to the airport. I still have Hungarian forint coins in my wallet and some used public transport tickets in my pockets. . Hello Buda. Hi Pest.