On Tuesday a half hour bus ride followed by a short trip on the metro saw us in the centre of Budapest. Thank heavens for multilingual electronic ticket machines – they make a tourist’s life so much easier these days! As we had “done” the Buda side of the city in reasonable depth a few years ago we concentrated more on Pest.
We were very impressed. It felt like Vienna with big wide streets and imposing buildings but much less traffic. We liked St Stephen’s Basilica very much – I tight not be in such an impressive location but it was more ornate inside. (This St Stephen must have been something significant in this region of Europe as Passau and Vienna cathedrals were also named after him.)
We also took the opportunity to use the last good map shop before Istanbul to buy up to date guidebooks for the remainder of the Danube route and a map of Japan as this is looking like the next potential destination. We have decided that Central Asia will have to wait as we will not be able to get there at a reasonable time of year. This all assumes that we manage to let the house soon. It has been on the market for over two months the now and we need the rental income to fund our trip. If we cannot find tenants we are thinking that we may have to return once we reach the Black Sea.
Returning to the campsite, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner in a restaurant. So we walked to Szentendre again and had an excellent meal at the appropriately named Café Christine.
Wednesday morning did not look promising – grey skies and much cooler. Stephen got his thick jacket out and Christine went for the mid calf option trousers. As we set off it was trying to rain – typical British mizzle – although thankfully it soon dried up.
The route into Budapest has been updated since our guidebook was written and is now either off road or on very quiet roads – much better than we had been expecting. Travelling along the Buda bank gave us enough collect views of the Hungarian parliament and the other buildings of Pest to match the previous day when we had looked across the river the other way.
Having done the sightseeing thing the previous day, we did not stop other than for a couple of photos. As we made our way out of the city we must have issued a sign ad we deviated from the route briefly going along a bumpy pavement between a railway line and a very busy dual carriageway. However we soon corrected ourselves and we back by the river which was much more pleasant and peaceful.
The ride quickly took us out into the country side and onto a very large island in the middle of the river which is where the campsite is located.