Day two in Budapest saw us heading out for a full day of sightseeing.
Boo had been told about the Fabulously beautiful Cafe New York and to be fair some of what she had heard wasn’t particularly positive. “ABSOLUTELY STUNNING and worth going just to see the decor, however the staff can be quite rude and it’s a little pricier than most places in Budapest” was what she had heard.
However it was our first day in the City and we needed some breakfast, so we decided to check it out.
The decor was indeed the most beautiful I have ever seen (outside of some wonderful religious buildings) and we checked out the prices and they didn’t seem too bad. We decided to go ahead and give it a try.
The menu with their attached photo’s looked amazing! Boo opted for the American pancakes with Maple Syrup and I went for the French Toast. The waiters were indeed quite haughty, but judgement was still out.
My French Toast arrived. It was unlike any I had tried before; you know, the thin slices dusted with maybe icing sugar or cinnamon? Mine were huge spongy looking squares of eggy bread. Served with a salad. For breakfast. Dry spongy squares. Boo had three small pancakes and a little pot of thick cream. No syrup.
We tried to catch the eye of one of the many wait staff, and were ignored by them all. Eventually after eating some of her pancakes we grabbed a waiter and asked if it was possible to get the maple syrup.
It felt like we had asked him to pop on a plane to Canada, tap the tree himself and capture the maple syrup and bring it back to us. He really was so very unhelpful.
However, quite rightly, the building was worth a visit. The inside was spectacular and we took quite a few photographs of the decor. Worth a visit just for that.
We left the cafe and waited outside as it happened to be a pick up stop for the Big Bus Company. This hop on/off tour is a perfect introduction to a new City. They had two looping tours which go all day, every day and if you purchase a 24 hour ticket, you get a second day free, a night tour and an evening river cruise! All for around 23 euro.
We hopped on the bus took our free earphones, map and rain poncho and sat down on the upper deck to listen to the audio narration and see the sights.
The bus has many pick up and stops, and we decided to do a full rotation of the tour before getting off to visit places. Listening to the narration, it really gave you an insight to the architecture, the history and the triumphs and tribulations of the Country.
The first place we got off at was the Citadella which is high above the City on Gellert Hill. Used as a military fortification and in action during the Second World War, it is now a peaceful place, with the beautiful Liberty Statue honouring those who have died.
We got back on the bus and it headed back into the City. Our next stop was Buda Castle. This was originally the home of the Hungarian Royal family, and you could tell. To access the Castle complex, we had to join the queue for the funicular built into the side of the hill.
The five minute journey was lovely and when we got to the top, the views from the castle were stunning. The architecture, as with all of Budapest was simply lovely. We wandered around snapping photo after photo.
The palace has a Museum in the building, which was hosting an exhibition of Modigliani’s works. As time was a little limited, we opted not to go and see it, and instead set off again through the ancient looking alleyways in the direction of the Fishermans Bastion and St Matthias’ Church, which is part of the Castle Complex.
The buildings and little shops within the complex were delightful. We browsed and wandered to our hearts content, but eventually we had to head back towards the Funicular.
As we hadn’t yet had lunch we decided to try one of the local fast food offerings – Langos. This is basically a deep fried flatbread, offered with a variety of sweet or savoury toppings such as cheese, sour cream or even nutella.
Both Boo and I went for the cheese option and it was amazing. Like a big puffy donut with cheese on top. Very cheap yet very tasty and extremely filling. All for around 1000HF (£2.90)
Hopping back onto the bus again and took it in the direction of our hotel. As it was quite a lovely sunny afternoon we decided to try out the rooftop pool and garden area.
Changing into our costumes, we hit the indoor and outdoor pools and the jacuzzi. It was bliss to be in the pool, out in the open air.
The highlight of the swim was Boo doing ballet leaps all over the place which made me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt and I had to beg for mercy! I so wish I had got a picture of it.
We eventually had to dry off and head in to get ready for our night activity, which was a Danube River Cruise. This was part of the package when we bought our bus tour ticket.
Stupidly I realised I had left my ticket back at the hotel and had to buy another one in order to get on the boat! What an idiot.
On the boat we met with a lovely couple, Matt and Anna who had got married two days before! We sat toasting their nuptials with Hungarian Soproni beer, which I have to say is really rather good!
Although Matt was English, Anna was Hungarian and knew a lot about the City. She was able to give us some hints and tips of what to try and where to go. We learnt so much from her, and she was also able to spread some light on why we were getting negative attitudes and behaviours. (More to come on this in a separate post)
The night cruise was stunning. The whole of the Riverside was lit up and we got some fantastic photos of the main sights.
All too soon it was the end of the cruise and we said goodbye to our new friends, and walked back to our hotel. A couple of nightcaps in the gorgeous bar and it was time for bed.
Another busy day was waiting for us ahead!