budapest, hungary - castle hill and fishermans bastion + gellert hill

Our last day in Budapest was my favorite by a long shot. I was truly madly deeply hopelessly in love with the city, and our last day sealed it: Budapest has officially muscled its way into the #2 spot on my list of favorites -- Lisbon holding strong at #1 as always. We hit so much of what uniquely characterizes the city (ruin pubs, thermal baths, Castle Hill) on this trip, but I still feel there's so much we missed out on and hadn't discovered, and in our taxi ride to the airport I was over-dramatically whining in my head, "Just one more day, I just want one more day!"

{see my first two post on Budapest here and here

View from Castle Hill

View from Castle Hill, Budapest

We finally had some sunshine and an occasionally blue sky, and we spent it wisely. We crossed the bridge from Pest (the "new" city, where we stayed / all of "modern" Budapest lives) into Buda, the old city, home of Castle Hill, the Parliament building, and gorgeous ruins overlooking the city.




Castle Hill, Budapest

Castle Hill, Budapest

Castle Hill, Budapest

Castle Hill, Budapest

Castle Hill, Budapest

Castle Hill, Budapest

Castle Hill, Budapest

Ruszwurm Budapest
 RUSZWURM - TRINITY U 7

We listen very seriously to food recommendations, so we ducked into Ruszwurm for pastries for breakfast. This is Budapest's oldest cafe -- it opened its doors in 1827. We stood in line patiently behind hunchbacked 90-year-old Hungarian grandmothers and dignified gray-haired men in business suits who cut the line like they owned the joint.

Castle Hill, Budapest

Alex and I got a poppy seed pastry and a puffy savory pastry to split and ate them on the base of a statue. It was March 15, a national holiday in memory of the 1848 Revolution and War of Independence, and the area was packed with live bands, food vendors, folks in traditional costumes, and tourists and locals alike taking it all in. We tried to soak it all in as we fought over every last crumb of pastry. Our sources were right -- truly Budapest's best pastries.

Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest
FISHERMANS BASTION - TRINITY SQ 5

Fisherman's Bastion is an intricate complex of open-air arches with a stunning view over the Danube and Pest. This was the place I was most excited to go in Budapest; it didn't fail to live up to (my extremely lofty) expectations. 

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest

Fishermans Bastion, Castle Hill, Budapest
 
Castle Hill Budapest

Bistro Deryne Budapest
BISTRO DERYNE - KRISZTINA SPACE 3

For lunch we went to Bistro Dernye, in operation since 1914 & the first cafe to open specifically for residents of Buda. The interior is gorgeous, everything drenched in old-school French-cool low-key luxe. We were greeted by a hostess who informed us that they only had a table available for us if we wanted to have a 'rushed' lunch -- we'd have to give up our seat in 1.5 hours. She seemed shocked when we accepted; we did not mention the American habit of eating in 20 minutes at your desk at work while reading Twitter. I had the French onion soup, and Alex had a gigantic schnitzel (wow, using past or present tense could really change the meaning of that last clause, AHEM).

Tram downtown Budapest


As you can see, the weather this day was extremely schizophrenic -- bright blue skies and beaming yellow sun one minute, cloudless gray expanse of misery & death the next. The crazy tones of photos on this page are the result using three different cameras in thirty-nine thousand different weather conditions.

Budapest Gellert Hill

View from Gellert Hill, Budapest

Elizabeth Bridge Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest
Hallo Alex!

We trekked on foot from Castle Hill to Gellert Hill, further down the Danube. I'd heard the views from Gellert were some of the best of the city, and hence my wonderful terrific selfless fiance, the self-proclaimed "notorious non-walker," and I in high heels, proceeded to hike up a mountain.

 
Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest


Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

I'd heard the views from Gellert were especially spectacular at sunset, and thankfully, we dawdled enough that we crested the hill just in time for golden hour. Our overcast and gray day was kicked out in favor of a faded blue sky with everything bathed in golden yellow. I couldn't drink in enough of this spectacular view. Alex had to drag me away kicking & screaming.

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Sorry for the 10,000 pictures of me but I was on cloud nine and Alex was too tired to complain and ask to leave, so.

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Gellert Hill sunset, Budapest

Downtown Budapest
The view from the other side of the bridge, back in Pest, when the sky decided to become blue again. Alex pointed out that we'd walked over each of the bridges over the Danube, which satisfied me extremely, as my intense Pokemon addiction of the 2000s has left me permanently chasing the desire to "catch 'em all," in all things.

Turo Rudi

I took no pictures from our last meal in Budapest, but I know that it ended at the restaurant with Palinka, the local liquor in the vein of Fernet in Italy and Jagermeister in Germany. Alex liked it so much he stocked up at Duty Free before our flight home.

My highlight of the night was this candy (above) we nipped into a 24-hour convenience store to buy that night. Turo Rudi was listed as one of the top 5 foods you had to try in Budapest; it's a cheese covered in chocolate that is sold in the refrigerated section of convenience stores, and costs something like 10 cents. My intel on Turo Rudi was that it is "so Hungarian that it is not sold outside of the country," and is the first thing that many locals and visitors buy upon returning to the country.

Exhausted Alex on train-ride home. Next time try it in heels, guy.

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