Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Castle Hill

Our first (and only) full day in Budapest! As always, amazed by the old buildings, even in relatively mundane places. If you look closely (possibly only possible in high res original photo) you can see the porn shop here!

Also love the groups of ornate pastel shaded buildings.

We reached the chain bridge and observed the victory statue on the hill.

There is a funicular to reach the top but naturally we'd planned things (or not) such that we arrived on the other side so we got to ascend the local equivalent of the grouse grind (much easier :D) in 30+C weather in the direct sun to reach the top. Along the way we encountered the lamest cave church ever built, the Gellert Hill Cave. Perhaps viewing this right after Wieliczka didn't help.

The climb did at least afford us nice views from Buda over the Danube to Pest.

Victory and heat exhaustion were soon nigh.

Surprisingly there was also a fully interactive military exhibit.

After that we decided to proceed North towards the next hill and further castles, churches, and so on. On Castle Hill no less. Thankfully along the way we found a store and were able to procure sanely priced water, fruit, and coke.

As a result of walking we came in the back door.

We saw the Royal Palace and the National Gallery. Inside you can, among other things, play at being boss.

Also there are cartoons!

And old books, whose coloration survives fascinatingly well.

The gallery was impressive enough that when we got to see it's air conditioning and humidity control war room we became worried about the long term future of the collection.

To be fair it was highly redundant; at least two other cooling modules are installed. Sometimes with gaping gaps between them and the wall. These are priceless treasures; it's OK to go all out.

A castle!

A church!


On the Danube very large boast - closer to barges with superstructure really - are moored permanently to form restaurants.

Apparently if you have an old road of stone blocks you can simply pave over it to make a modern road.

At night you can see Budapest is a highly power conscious city where great focus is put on turning off as many lights as possible.

Buda is quiet but Pest stays up late. Street food late is awesome. Local doughnut things look good (didn't try them sadly) but best are bars built from shipping containers.

The local booze, Hungarian Palinka, is flavoured and quite strong (must be around 80 proof). The flavouring is very good; for example, raspberry tastes like real raspberries as opposed to the expected artificial raspberry-like flavouring (or just no discernible flavor other than alcohol).

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