While still staying at Frosty's place, we spent one morning taking a walk up the hill to the Citadel
enjoying the views from the top of the hill,
and winding our way down the trails on the other side of the hill to the river
We noted a number of holes in the rock that makes up the hill on the way back. Hot springs + dolomite/limestone = hill riddled with holes like swiss cheese.
Some had artwork,
and the last one contained the Cave Church, a church and former monastery built right into the a cave that was also used as a hospital in WWII. We quite enjoyed exploring the interior.
That afternoon, we visited the Gellert Baths with Frosty and Zsanett. (No pictures from the inside because I didn't want to leave the camera unattended while I soaked.)
There were many things to look at and admire.
The were good views over to the Parliament building on the other side of the river.
We enjoyed the Picasso exhibit at the Hungarian National Gallery, as well as their permanent collections of Hungarian art.
The Matyas Church had all sorts of details to admire. The current building was put up in the 13th century, replacing an older structure (dating back to Istvan again) that was destroyed by the Mongols in 1241. I particularly liked the colorful roof, which was added during a restoration in the 19th century.
Next to the church, the Fisherman's Bastion is quite photogenic.
The ruins of the former monastery of St. Nicholas, also destroyed by the Mongols, and then the Ottoman Turks, then further damaged in WWI, and now incorporated into the modern Hilton. I find the juxtaposition of the old and new to be quite pleasing.
After we headed back down the hill, we noted that the chains of the Chain Bridge resemble giant bicycle chains.
At one point, we headed over to the Pest side of the river to see Zsanett's salon. It's a lovely little place; she's clearly put a lot of work into it.
As you wander around the city, there more architectural details to admire than you can count.
After we got back to Budapest after the bike trip, we stayed in a rental on the square next to St. Stepehn's Basilica. (Good old Istvan was everywhere...). The apartment was in a building owned by someone Frosty knows, and there was colorful art in the stairwell as well as being in a fun location.
The view of the basilica from our window
It looks particularly nice in the late afternoon sunlight,
and also at night.
Many more cafes to visit, many more museums to visit. Here we are outside the Ludwig Museum after we enjoyed some contemporary art. We found ourselves here again on another evening with Frosty and Zsanett to see a circus/modern dance performance by two members of the Recirquel Contemporary Circus in the performing arts space in the same building.
Hungary played in the European soccer tournament one of the evenings we were in Budapest. Given that they had advanced further than anyone expected at that point, and it was a warm summer night in a city that has a lot of night life, there was quite a bit of excitement. We were entertained by the rally that accumulated in the square, full of singing and people in national jerseys.
Chad headed out to watch the game at a bar with Frosty and Zsanett; Nim and I, being less into the late night scene, stayed back at the apartment. We did, however, wander about in the crowd that accumulated at the restaurant in the ground floor of the building to watch the game to soak in the ambiance, and then I turned the game on on the TV. The TV feed was about two seconds behind the feed that was playing down in the restaurant, so I could tell when I would need to look up from my book to see the critical plays by the sounds I heard wafting up from below. Even though Hungary ultimately lost, there were large groups wandering about singing in the streets for hours afterwards.
A fine trip, all in all. Many thanks to Frosty and Zsanett for their hospitality and knowledge of the city -- it wouldn't have been the same trip without their insight!