|Széchenyi Lánchíd (The Chain Bridge), the symbol of Budapest.|
|Took this classic funicular from Clark Adam Square up to Castle hill.|
|Entrance to Buda Castle. The gate is guarded by a “turul” – a mythical bird that resembles an eagle. It is the symbol of the Hungarian Nation.|
|The castle’s imposing turquoise dome. In its courtyard was the equestrian statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy, one of the most successful military commanders in modern European history.|
|The castle sits on the top of Castle Hill, overlooking the Danube River.|
|The Lions Court with two guardian lions outside, another two inside.|
|The office of the president of Hungary, located just outside the castle.|
|Guard changing ceremony at the president’s office.|
We then walked along the cobblestone streets of Castle Hill towards a building that caught my eyes from miles away. A tall structure with colorful roof, surrounded by a fortress with cone shaped towers. They were Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion. Between the two structures, a bronze statue of King Stephen I stood tall.
|Matthias Church - King Stephen I - Fisherman’s Bastion|
|The colorful roof of Matthias Church.|
|The Fisherman’s Bastion, which got its name from the fishermen who defended the city walls in the Middle Ages.|
|Lovely view of the streets of Castle Hill. At the end of the road was the National Archives of Hungary.|
|In memory of Abdurrahman Abdi Arnavut Pasha, the Commander of Turkish army and Governor of Hungary during Ottoman era. The empire ruled Hungary for 145 years.|
Spent some time wandering around Castle Hill and visited its many historic sites. Then we crossed the Danube and returned to Pest. After lunch and quick rest, we headed out again. This time to The Great Market Hall, Budapest’s largest indoor market.
|A tram passing by The Great Market Hall.|
|It was such a clean and beautiful market!|
|Hungary is famous for its paprika. Red for hot. White for sweet.|
The night came and it was time for a cruise! I had always wanted to go for a cruise along the Danube, reliving the melodies of “The Blue Danube”, the infamous composition by Strauss. I first heard it when I was a little girl while watching Dunhill’s commercial on tv (back then it was still ok for cigarette brands to be advertised on tv). The song stuck in my head ever since.
|The Hungarian Parliament building facing the Danube River.|
|The Chain Bridge at night.|
One thing that I didn’t anticipate (or simply ignored) was this: Cruise + Winter = Freezing cold! Sejuk gedi ketaq satu badan ok. It was already around -3 C in the city. Imagine that with the wind blowing as we cruised along the river. Our hands were shaking while holding cameras to snap pics. Fortunately we still managed to get some decent shots.
|After the cruise, we headed to Váci Street, the city’s main pedestrian street.|
|Then to the last stop for the night – Hard Rock Café!|