Budapest may not take your breath away. It may not let your jaw drop or inspire you to write poetry. But it is one of those places that give your heart a dull ache as the car nears the departure terminal. It is that kind of place that shows you how a river can write the story of a city. A city that teaches one to slow down, hold hands and simply share a kiss.
I must admit, the flight to Budapest was boarded rather grudgingly. After all, what was one supposed to do THERE instead of the more glamorous cities of Europe? The husband’s official conference required us to be Budapest tourists for 6 days. By the time we touched down, it was past midnight, ensuring a completely blurred vision of the city as we were driven to the Intercontinental Hotel, located on the banks of Danube, at the foot of the Chain Bridge.
In the morning, we opened our eyes to a dream spun by the Danube river. She glistened in the kind morning sun, adorned by beautifully crafted bridges. The hills of Buda and the spectacular Royal Palace smiled down at us from the other side. The Chain bridge looked welcoming, the streets promised excitement. It was time to make our mark in the city of Spas.
Our days in Budapest involved hunting down some authentic Hungarian food, gawking at wares of all imaginations in the street fairs and then moon walking along the Kazinczy Utka at unearthly hours. Needless to say, it was a remarkable vacation.
A day was spent traveling to the countryside to a Chocolate maker and a wine tour along the vineyards and cellars of some of the oldest homes in the area. Grapes were plucked off the vines, wines were sipped from some age-old barrels and the juicy chicken was eaten shamelessly.
The Great Market Hall was an adventure in itself. I shall let some amateur pictures clicked feverishly on my smart phone, do the talking.
To say that I have done justice in capturing the sights, structures, food and flora of Budapest, would be silly. The city’s charm may not be unique, but with its thermal baths, ruin bars, splendid bridges and peaceful streets, it has a serene vibe that can easily grow on you. Other factors like fabulous Michelin star restaurants (which I had the good fortune of experiencing), street-eats open till 5am, great currency value and the berserk Kazinczy Utka with the characteristic ruin bars (did I mention that enough?), certainly help build the love for this city!