Hungarian Adventure – Part Three: Boat Trips & Putting The Fun Into Funicular Railway

Day Three started out badly at breakfast. Firstly I tried to be helpful, this is never going to go well, by offering an Italian lady the jug of milk I was using to make myself coffee in useless Brit abroad fashion, rather than just asking her in Italian, the language I have been studying for nearly two years. And then secondly, I failed to make toast. Granted it wasn’t just me, an American girl was stood next to me as confused by the toaster as I was, but she was the one who noticed that I hadn’t turned the damn thing on. Thankfully the day got better, much better.

We took a walk down to the Danube to hitch a ride on one of the river tour’s we’d purchased during our taxi ride from the airport, I wasn’t expecting very much, as you can imagine from a tour you bought from a taxi driver, but it was actually really good. It lasted a good two hours and was really interesting, a lot of the sights of the city are built along the riverbank so this was a great way of seeing them all and having a guide tell you the history of the place as well. However without the safety of the buildings protecting us from the wind that was hurtling down the river it was absolutely freezing. Though not as cold as later, but we’ll come onto that.

Once we got off the boat we finally managed to catch one of the elusive pink buses we’d bought a three day pass for but not managed to see once yet, it was an experience let’s put it that way. We only got on to take a short ride across the river to the castle again but the tour guide was, abrasive shall we say. I’m sort of paraphrasing here but this is basically how she asked some tourists to be quiet while she was speaking:

“Hi where are you from?”

“we’re from India”

“Great, I am from Budapest and have a degree in Hungarian History, be quiet while I talk about it”

Fantastic!

Buda Castle was a lot quieter than the day before, probably because today wasn’t a national holiday. We took a ride up the funicular railway (I have an obsession with these things ever since we rode one in Prague), it was utterly pointless as the journey lasts about a minute and costs more than dinner. It did however get us to the top of the caste hill at the exact moment the Presidential Guard was changing and so we got to watch a military parade, kind of. That was pretty interesting.

After we’d had a wander around the Castle we headed back in the direction of the hotel, crossing one of the bridges we witnessed a marriage proposal, which was nice, and stopped at a cafe for cake and coffee, which was nicer. After we were recharged e had a quick glance around the market opposite, this place would become a nightmare for me in a few days time, and then headed back to get changed.

The evening consisted of a second boat trip, this time it was even colder but we’d made the smart decision to firstly, dress very warmly, and secondly, to drink many beers on the boat to numb ourselves. This trip wasn’t quite as long as the day one, but had a slightly different route and took us further south along the river than in the day so the sights we saw were a little different. The city itself looked amazing lit up at night, as you can see here (it was much too dark for film). Once we disembarked it was time for dinner, we had our usual by now wanderings of the city streets until we stumbled across a Sicilian place that was very nice, and again somehow within stumbling distance of the hotel. We ended the night in the hotel bar which had a “Jazz” night going on, it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t really jazz either.

On to the photos of the day, as before these are all taken on my Olympus OM-1 and with Lomography Color 40 film. Enjoy.

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Rows of bicycles lined up next to the river.

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4.jpg We were a little early for the boat tour so took a little walk along the beautiful river. I am obsessed with Budapest’s bridges, they’re all so unique and interesting.

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6.jpg I told Jo how much I liked the look of the tram lines along the river and the late 19th century architecture of the iron work. Yes I am a loser.

7.jpg I’d never before seen window cleaners abseiling down a building rather than using a lift, so decided to take a photo. Then a few weeks later sat at my desk in work a window cleaner abseiled past my window, clearly I’d just never noticed before.

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14.jpg A different perspective of the city from the boat trip. A lot of the major sights are near the river, as with a lot of cities, so this was a great way to see them and get photo’s without people stood in the way.

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16.jpg The Hungarian Parliament building.

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20.jpg Yeah the boat tour took up the vast majority of the photographs I took on this day, but then again can you blame me? the weather was beautiful and the sights were fantastic.

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26.jpg And here it is, the exciting funicular railway in all it’s £8 single journey glory. Actually looking down the hill you realise how high up it goes.

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28.jpg Once again another beautiful view.

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30.jpg Changing of the guard. We got of the railway just in time to witness this.

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33.jpg Buda Castle was practically deserted compared to the day before. The whole place looked so much more impressive in the quiet with no one around, you really got a sense of how small you are.

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37.jpg Trying to catch the reflected image of the city in Jo’s sunglasses, it sort of worked.

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41.jpg Again see how empty the castle was today? Yesterday these steps were choked with visitors.

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43.jpg The couple on the right had just got engaged, hence all the flowers around their feet.

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45.jpg The market is pretty massive, although it sells mostly meat, paprika and leather goods. Don’t get me wrong I like all those things.

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