. . . I don’t know what to say about Budapest.
I arrived by train expecting to find a beautiful city on the Danube that I would love.
Instead, I am ambivalent.
Due to its place in history, I found Budapest very interesting and would love to spend more time learning about all the events and people that have shaped this city. The WWII history alone is fascinating. I didn’t realize or had forgotten that it was Budapest where the Russians defeated the Nazi’s. Or the history surrounding the revolt during the 1950’s. Fascinating history!
But I was still left wondering, where is the beauty? What is the attraction?
I finally found the beauty. It is down on the water. From the Danube Budapest is beautiful. From either bank looking across, Budapest is beautiful.
As I explored the Pest side of the city, I would come across an occasional architectural gem – St. Stephens Basilica, Dohany Street Synagogue, the Parliament building and Szechenyi Baths are a few. Heroes’ Square is pretty amazing due to its size.
But the real beauty is along the river.
I was even told by tour guides that the grand boulevard, Andrássy út, looked just like the Champs Elysees because it was modeled after it.
I didn’t see it! I don’t get it.
I couldn’t get the feel of the city and, therefore, had trouble getting my bearings which resulted in an unsettled feeling. I never got lost but just didn’t feel comfortable until Friday, my last day.
I spent Friday exploring Castle Hill. Now this is beautiful! I loved it up on Castle Hill. It had the feel of “Europe”. The old world feel and small crooked, cobblestoned streets all combined to have a much more familiar feel to it. Which is amazing considering it isn’t that old at all due to the carpet bombing during WWII!
I was not uncomfortable wandering the streets on the Buda side of the Danube and maybe it was this new found confidence that followed me as I returned to the Pest side of town. I was much more comfortable as I searched for the monuments I wanted to see.
Too bad it was my last day!
I just don’t know how to describe Budapest because I don’t know how I feel about it. Bleh, is the best I can do.