Today started off on a bit of a downer – I finally got over to Kiraly utca where a lot of interior design stores are, and most of them are closed till January 3rd. ARGH! I did find a few that were open – I have to say that Budapest is way more up-to-date on the home decor front than Ottawa! Kare carries cool contemporary furniture and lighting. One of my favourites is this table lamp with a city skyline in the shade.
After my not-so successful shopping trip, we headed to the Christmas market and had a ham hock and polenta for lunch. Then we walked over the Chain Bridge and finally made it to Buda! I forgot to mention earlier that Budapest is actually divided in two by the Danube river. Buda is on the west side, and is hilly and more suburban. Pest is on the east side, and is flat and more urban. Put them together, and you have Budapest!
I have to warn you that it was kind of misty/foggy here today, so the pictures from today are a bit washed out. We’re going to go back to Buda tomorrow or Thursday – according to the weather network, it’s supposed to be sunny both day (fingers crossed!)
The Chain Bridge was pretty much destroyed in World War II. It was rebuilt after the war, and is one of the bridges that links Buda and Pest…
Over the middle of the Danube…
When we got to Buda, we took the Budavari Siklo funicular to the top of Castle Hill.
At the top of Castle Hill!
A small part of the Royal Palace…
Here’s a full shot of the Palace from the bridge:
I was looking forward to seeing the Parliament buildings from the Buda side, but the fog washed it out. I really hope I can get some good shots of it before we leave…
Matyas Church is one of the highlights of the Buda side. The church was originally founded in 1255 by King Bela IV. It’s been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times, and is currently undergoing some work (I tried to keep the evidence out of the pictures!)
I LOVE the colourful roof!
Beautiful arch and more colour…
Love this window. It’s called Rose Window, and was reproduced by Frigyes Schulek to replicate the original medieval stained glass window from the early Gothic era.
Another beautiful window… love the quatrefoil motif.
Fisherman’s Bastion is beside the church (thanks Paula!)
Some shots from the streets of the Castle District in Buda…
I love this porcelain – I managed to cut off the penguin that I really want from the right side of the picture.
Before we left Buda, we stopped at Ruszwurm for hot chocolate and cake – I had their famous cream cake and hubby had the cherry strudel. Both were yummy, and we’re definitely going back to try more goodies!
Heading pack to Pest…
The swanky Four Seasons Hotel is at the end of the bridge.
Looking back at the Royal Palace from the Pest side…
Remember I mentioned yesterday that we ate rooster testicle stew? Here it is, all cooked up in a great big pan! Notice that the pan is only about half full – must be a popular dish!
Toki Pompos is the foccaccio-type food I couldn’t remember the name of. I’m planning to have a piece for lunch tomorrow, and I’ll try to remember to take a picture.
And this is my favourite food from the market so far – it’s called kurtoskalacs. The best way to describe it is a dough wrapped around a metal tube, grilled over hot coals, then coated with sugar and your choice of toppings (walnuts, coconut, cinnamon, or cocoa) and wrapped in cellophane. You eat it by unwinding it like you would unwind the cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels, and breaking it into pieces. I want to buy a lemon somewhere and squeeze lemon juice onto a sugar & cinnamon kurtoskalacs – I bet it would taste just like a Killaloe Sunrise Beavertail (maybe even better!)
Tomorrow is the last day of the market, so we’ll be going back to enjoy our fave foods one last time. We’re also taking a walking tour (like we haven’t walked enough!), and we’re going Menza again for supper. I’m looking forward to having another Hot Sour Cherry Pie drink, SO YUMMY!
Sorry I’m not putting all the proper accents on the Hungarian words. I’ve been writing these posts late at night, and I have no idea how to even make the accents on this computer, so I’m just skipping them!