Thursday, August 26, 2010

Last days- Vienna and Budapest

Day 6 was long, grumpy and tiring, filled with quarrels, tension and disagreements which resulted in a failure to visit Vienna. We did at least see the Schonbrunn Palace from the outside. I wasn't impressed. It seemed to me it had sheer isze to compensate for its lack of beauty. Everything was huge... and just huge. But maybe my opinion had been different if I had seen it in a different state of mind.
Further frustated by the fact that the car couldn't fit in any paid parking lot with bicycles on top, we gave up and went on to Budapest. And the highlight of that tense day was soon to follow: my first visit to IKEA! Lovely :) I was also comforted by a serving of Swedish meatballs. Not quite the real thing, but worth a try.

The next day, I felt like a participant in The Amazing Race: very little time, very much to do, could not afford to get lost. But we managed to run from place to place and employ all available means of transportation with maximum efficiency. And this is what resulted:

The Parliament building. Wonderful piece of gothic architecture and recently renovated. I couldn't go too close because there was some official visit going on and everything was cordoned off for security reasons.
Holocaust memorial in front of the Parliament building. Bronze shoes mark the place where Jews were forced to take their shoes off, then shot and thrown into the Danube:
View from in front of the Parliament. Can you realise the insane concentration of sightseeing spots per square km? Yes, seen them all!
The chain bridge, one of the most famous bridges of Budapest, linking Buda and Pesta across the Danube:
And then, then it was the Buda Castle neighbourhood. It looked like it had come out of my sunniest medieval dreams. I could live there and walk those streets every day and not get bored.

The parliament building seen from the Castle:
Matthias Church:

Is this even real?! (yes, it was. In a very out-of-this-world-pretty kind of way)
In the distance here you can see what I called "the lady with the leaf", a kind of Hungarian Statue of Liberty. Very large and very much a trademark of Budapest. On the way to her, in the midday scorching sun, I promised myself that would be the last bit of uphill walking I would do this holiday.
And the view from next to the leaf lady:
That's all , folks! Hope you enjoyed the tour, and we'll see you next time! ;)

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