Monday, July 27, 2009

Bike tour of Budapest on Sun.

Day 19 Sun. 27.July
Today I decided to go on a bike tour. I was tired of walking around and thought it would be nice to ride a bike, and I thought it would be a good way to see the things I've missed and maybe learn a bit of the history of Budapest. There were just two of us, a guy from New Zealand who had just arrived and myself, with Marta, the tourguide.

There are these nice bike paths on some of the roads which we used, they had metal pieces in the road and cars parked outside of that so it made a nice protected path.

We passed the Opera House which has the 3rd best acoustics in the world. The 1st is La Scala in Milan but she couldn't remember which one was #2. Anybody know?

Then we biked past the House of Terror which is a museum about the concentration camps in Budapest and the communist rule. That is our guide Marta in the picture.
Then we biked to Heroes Square and learned about all the statues, who they were and the history of the development of Hungary - how seven chiefs of tribes who came from Asia settled in the area but continued their nomadic lifestyle, attacking neighboring areas until St. Stephan settled things down. (see day 2 for pictures and of the park). Then we biked through the park and I found out most of the buildings were built for the 1896 Exhibition that they had to celebrate their millennium.

These pictures are part of the same building - notice anything strange? The building is a mix of all the "best" types of architecture!

Then we biked back towards the river and looked at St. Stephan's Cathedral which has a mummified had of St. Stephan in that ornate box! When they canonized him they had to dig him up and discovered after 3 years that his right hand was still intact and perfect looking so they thought it must be something special and they cut it off and put it inside the church.

After that we crossed the river and biked to the top of Castle Hill which was strenuous but worth it. The views were beautiful and while I don't find the castle very exciting, the views of the Parliament are fabulous and the Fisherman's Bastion, these towers are very picturesque.

We ended the tour by biking down to the bottom of the hill and having lunch in a local restaurant (now English translation on this menu!). It is a type of restaurant known as "Grandma's Kitchen", it is supposed to be like eating at your grandmother's house. We had delicious Goulasch soup and this poppyseed dessert that is pictured.

After we biked back to the starting point I stopped by the synagogue that is near my hostel (which I didn't take any pictures of, sorry!). This sculpture is in the back but I don't know anything about it.

I finished off the day eating out with some girls from the hostel and then packing up and getting ready to leave for Vienna the next morning. I ended up spending an extra day in Budapest, mainly because the hostel was so nice - it is called Budapest Bubble.

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