Day 5 – Visiting Buda

Budapest is composed of two geographic areas separated by the Danube River. The Pest side is more commercialized and the land is entirely flat. On the other hand, Buda is hilly and more rural.

Mercedes Benz deluxe passenger buses
Mercedes Benz deluxe passenger buses

Four brand new deluxe passenger buses were parked and waiting for us to board. Kari opted for the front seat and so we had a nice panoramic view of our tour. We slowly toured through Hero’s Square. The driver went around the square a few time to make sure we had ample opportunities to take pictures.

This is Andrassy street in Budapest. This street was modeled after the Champs Ellysees in Paris.

We drove across the Elisabeth Bridge, the newest bridge in Budapest. After that, the terrain quickly got windy and hilly. Despite the size of our bus, the driver adeptly took the turns and successfully navigated the narrow streets. We parked near the peak of Gellert Hill.

Our tour guide, Anita, giving us an overview of the changes to Budapest
Our tour guide, Anita, giving us an overview of the changes to Budapest

After leaving the bus, our tour guide led us up the hill. Along the way, there was a timeline wall which provided an overview of the changes to Budapest over the years. It was great that the signs were in English. If it wasn’t so foggy, we would have been able to see the Pest side of Budapest.

Fog over Gellert Hill
Fog over Gellert Hill

Next to the Citadel were a couple of bronze statues that were first erected in remembrance of the Soviet liberation of Hungary from Nazi forces during Word War II.

Fisherman’s Bastion takes its name from the guild of fishermen that was responsible for defending this stretch of the city walls in the Middle Ages. It is a viewing terrace, with many stairs and walking paths.

The guided portion of the tour ended and we were allotted two hours to walk around town. We continued walking up the hill and reached the Matthias Church. This is an architecturally stunning church with a colorful tiled roof. Because we were there during their Sunday service, we were’t permitted to enter (unless you were to stay through the entire service).

Happy Birthday Mikaela!
Happy Birthday Mikaela!

After we ate dinner in the dining room that evening, the Viking Crew served us cake and sang Happy Birthday to Mikaela.

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