|Opened in 2011, Budapest Mosque is the newest and most modern mosque in Hungary.|
The mosque is located at Fehérvári út 41. Getting there was easy. We took metro (Line M2) to Astoria station. Then we changed to the tram (Tram 47) heading towards Budafok / Városház tér direction. 7 stops later we arrived at Fővárosi Művelődési Ház, the nearest tram stop to the mosque.
It was very early in the morning, thus the mosque was still closed. We could only admire its beauty from the outside. Never mind, just seeing it already made me happy. We hopped back on the tram to return to the city centre and catch the commuter train to Aquincum.
|Welcome to Aquincum Museum!|
Aquincum is located in Óbuda, the oldest part of Budapest, about 8 km north of the capital. A long time ago, it served as military base of the Roman empire. As we walked from the train station towards Aquincum Museum, ruins of the ancient city could clearly be seen.
|There were even ruins in the middle of the street.|
We arrived way before the museum’s opening hours. So we walked aimlessly around the area to find a place to hang out. It was too cold to stay outside, so we had to seek cover. Fortunately there was Auchan hypermarket nearby and it was already open. Went in, wandered around and grabbed some snacks and drinks to fuel ourselves later. I even had time to try on some clothes ;-)
|Thank goodness for Auchan!|
We then headed back to Aquincum Museum and became their first visitors of the day. It was a downside though, because I only had big notes to pay for the tickets and they didn’t have enough change. It took a long while for the cashier to get her colleagues to jointly chip it their own cash to give me back my balance. Finally we got our tickets and went in.
|Some of the Hungarian-Roman artifacts on display.|
|Trying my luck with the interactive quiz. Pretty cool! Felt like Calleigh Duquesne in CSI: Miami.|
Outside the museum was the main site of the ruins of Aquincum. Unfortunately it was closed to visitors during wintertime. We could only view the ruins from outside the compound. It wasn’t too bad actually, as most of the ruins could be seen clearly the observatory deck and the roadside. Yet it would be fun if I could actually admire them up close like Foro Romano.
|This was once the city of Aquincum.|
|Much of it was long gone, yet some of the walls remain intact.|
We hopped back on the train and returned to the city. Went back to the hotel, freshened up, solat and out we went again. The main agenda for the evening was to go to Országház. The word literally translates to “House of the Country”, which actually refers to the Hungarian parliament building. It is only open to public for limited hours and only accessible with guided tour. Furthermore, certain tours are available in certain languages at certain times. So unless you speak Hungarian or Russian or Japanese, be there in time for the English tour. For us it meant skipping lunch.
|Outside of the parliament building, waiting for our turn to go in.|
|A beautiful wooden model displayed inside of the actual building.|
|The great ornamental staircase and elaborate ceiling.|
|The signature dome from the inside.|
|The crown, the sword, the scepter and the globus cruciger – symbols of the former Kingdom of Hungary.|
|Cigars stand outside of the assembly hall. The members mingle here, smoking cigars. When they assembly begins, they leave their cigars outside on the stand. The numbers are essential so that nobody ends up smoking someone else’s stick.|
|Assembly hall of the House of Magnates, the upper house of the parliament (equivalent to Malaysia’s Dewan Negara).|
|Lajos Kossuth Square just outside of the parliament building.|
By the time the tour ended, we were really hungry. Went to have cheap kebabs at a restaurant near a metro station. Then we spent the night walking along Andrássy Avenue, the city’s main shopping street. It was like a smaller version of Champs-Élysées – a long stretch of road, home to numerous luxury boutiques and trees decorated with Xmas lights by the roadside.
|Walked up and down Andrássy Avenue and retired for the night.|