Sunday- We left Patio Hostel in decent time. We had to bring our bed linens down at this hostel which they sometimes have you do at more hostel, less hotel places. We took another FlixBus out of Bratislava and arrived into Budapest around 1 pm. Our first business was to walk along the Danube some more because we still hadn’t got enough of it. Then we took our bags and dropped them off at the Meininger Hostel which is essentially a cheap hotel but super nice. We went walking across the Liberty Bridge and up to the Gellert Hill Cave that’s part of a cave network and now is a church built into the cave and hillside. We found a pub close to our hostel called “For Sale” and decided to eat there. Inside the ceilings were low and everything was made of dark wood, with straw scattered on the floor and bowls of peanuts on the tables. Every available ceiling or wall surface was covered with notes from people around the world who had also eaten there so overall the fire risk of the place was high. Haha. Anyways Morgan had Hungarian goulash that was so good, and Madison and I had chicken in mushroom gravy with croquettes. It was a fun experience. After supper we got tickets to go on a Danube river cruise that started at 9. We ended up outside at the front of the boat sharing a table with a nice couple from London and had a good time with them. The cruise was fantastic with lavendar lemonade served for the ride and the glowing lights of the Budapest shores to watch. Everything that looks grand during the day looks so much more so all lit up on a clear, cool night. It was a highlight for sure.
Monday- We went downstairs for breakfast-toast and marmalade and gouda cheese and coffee- and then walked across the street to the Central Market Hall, a huge market of meats, cheeses, and Hungarian things in general. There were lots of handmade embroidered cloths and paprika is a very popular spice here so that was everywhere. Then we rented scooters and cruised towards the Parliament Building, which is the third largest Parliament in the world. It is a phenomenal building and so I will share a link if you would like to learn something new. https://visithungary.com/articles/parliament
Close to the Parliament Building, we made a stop at a monument along the river called “Shoes on the Danube Bank”. In WW2 Jews were ordered to line up along the Danube and remove their shoes before they were shot and fell back into the river. There are sixty pairs of metal shoes along the river as a monument for those who died there, and it is such a sad place. Another read: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/shoes-on-the-danube-promenade
After we got lunch we took the train to the Szechenyi Thermal Baths. Budapest is called the “City of Baths” and is known for its thermal waters so we of course wanted to see for ourselves. The Szechenyi are the biggest and most popular, and when we got there we could see why. Built in 1913, the building that houses the baths is old and looks more like a capital building. There are huge tiled rooms with pools of varying temperatures, and then outdoor pools as well which is where we spent most of the time except when Morgan and I did a dip in the polar pool. We talked about you Jalen, cuz you would have liked it. It was so relaxing and we did a lot of people watching too. We left late in the evening and got supper on the way back to the hotel.