SUNDAY, 25th June
In Vienna we are three again as Erika has come to join us for the last few days of our travels. Some months ago we had booked a full-day tour to Budapest and she was able to come with us as the bus had not been filled. We all arrived in Vienna yesterday. The shuttle pick-up was at 06:45 and the bus left the Opera House at 07:15 for the 250 km 3 hour drive. The speed limit on the Motorway is 130 kph for cars and 100 kph for buses.
HEROES’ SQUARE has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002. It is an iconic Statue complex including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as a landmark for Budapest. The Millenium Monument in the middle of the square was erected in 1896 to commemorate 1,000 year history of Hungary.
Budapest, Hungary’s capital is bisected by the River Danube. Its 19th century CHAIN BRIDGE (COMMON NAME) connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest. This is a 19th century suspension bridge which spans the Danube. It was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Hungary and was opened in 1849. At the time of construction it was regarded as one of the world’s engineering wonders.
ST. STEPHEN’S BASILICA was named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary. Construction on the basilica lasted for over 50 years and saw the deaths of two of its Architects. It was completed in 1905 in the neo-renaissance style. This stunning church holds an astonishing 8,000 worshippers and its interior is laid out in a Greek cross.The acoustics of this church allows concert goers to enjoy not only the beauty of the church but also the beauty of the music.
MATTHIAS CHURCH is a Roman Catholic Church located in front of the Fisherman’s Bastion at the heart of BUDA’S Castle District. It is over 700 years old and is at the top of Buda Castle Hill. It has been the scene of several coronations. Fisherman’s Bastion is a terrace situated on Castle hill around Matthias Church. The bus delivered us part way up the hill and we were led on a walking tour with a local Guide.
HUNGARIAN PAPRIKA. Paprika is a symbol of Hungary’s Cuisine. It is added to countless dishes from soups to sauces and stews and even to some sweet delicacies. It is a major spice in the world famous Hungarian Ghoulash. The powder is produced by grinding the air-dried fruits (pods) of deep red Capsicum annuum.
For any followers who enjoy photographing unusual post boxes – this one is on Castle hill, Budapest.
Our day was a long one but very interesting and informative. We crossed the border back into Austria at 20:15 without any delays as can sometimes be the case when going through Passport control.