Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Budapest City Tour

I loved Budapest! We had an excellent week of work and a very nice weekend! We took a city tour on Friday afternoon/evening to see the sights of Budapest and we were not disappointed. Here is JR and I on the tour bus with the cheesy guy behind us trying to be cool:

Our tour started on the Pest side which had more of the historical sights, such as:

The Parliament building - In 1846, a Hungarian poet wrote with some desperation that "the motherland has no home". When Hungary opened its magnificent Parliament building after decades of construction in 1902, it not only had a home, but one of the finest Neo-Gothic buildings in Europe!

The State Opera House - A Neo-Renaissance masterpiece built in 1884, when money was simply not an issue (must be nice!!), its interior is a study in opulence and grandeur.

St. Stephen's Basilica - This Basilica is visible from all over Budapest. The dome, at 315 ft, is the exact height as the Parliament building, whose builders decided not to go higher. It was built in 1851 to 1905 in the form of a Greek cross. There was a wedding going on when I went back on Saturday to go inside! Can you imagine getting married in this church!?? WOW, the bride was beautiful and the flowers were incredible!

Heroes' Square

The Buda side had the best panorama of Budapest! We crossed the Chain Bridge and visited the Castle Hill District and the Royal Palace. Take a look:

The best panorama of Budapest was at a location called Citadella. The views were incredible.

From Castle Hill District:

For dinner, I went back to my favorite restaurant in Budapest, The Ocean Bar and Grill. JR and I went there on Thursday night and I loved it so much I had to go back. I started with a Caesar salad (it was just like the Caesar salad from home, which I have not been able to find in Brussels). For my entrée, I had the yummy sea bass with potato au gratin and a great Hungarian wine which JR picked out! Then for dessert I have the Chocolate Delight (imagine that)! It was a warm chocolate soufflé with a melted chocolate center! YUM!!!! I told you I had to go back and have this meal twice! Anyway, it rained on Friday night so I was back in the hotel and in bed early.

The tour was a great overview of the city and allowed me to plan my weekend on areas where I wanted to go back on Saturday. More to come!

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