Travel Diary: Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is an interesting city. It’s actually two cities that have been merged, and you can feel that. One side of the river is very different than the other. On the Pest side, where we arrived, everything I saw had a very Eastern European vibe. On the Buda side, some of it has the Eastern European vibe, but it is also home to Castle Hill which is a super pretty and cleaned-up area. I don’t know if I will ever return to Budapest. Nothing about it was bad (well, maybe two things), I just didn’t like it as much as other places I’ve been. All that to say, rather contradictory, Budapest is still a pretty city.

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View of Buda from Pest

We walked around, trying to get to Castle Hill from the train station and find lunch. One of the first things we found in Budapest was the shoes along the Danube, the Holocaust memorial.

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60 iron pairs of shoes in various sizes and styles are lined up along the East bank of the river. Like all Holocaust memorials, it’s a very sobering thing to see, but a very important reminder nonetheless. It is “To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45. Erected 16 April 2005.”

After pausing for a moment of silence by the shoes, we crossed the Chain Bridge to the Buda side.

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Pest side

From then we found Castle Hill (so. many. stairs.) And really just wandered around.

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Fishermen’s Bastion

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St. Matthias Church

But I mean really, look at those roof tiles.

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The view from Castle Hill

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We basically climbed 20,000 stairs.

Other than the stairs, the day was pretty good. I still find it kind of crazy that we can just pop over to Hungary for the day.

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