A Bull Terrier in Budapest

A Bull Terrier in Budapest

Budapest. Just saying that word evokes images of a beautiful city rich with culture and great people and extravagant buildings.

And Hungary. Just saying that word makes me….Hungry.

My adventure here followed my journey to Vienna and so we arrived in Budapest on a late afternoon. We had only one full day in Budapest and this time it was just me and Danny because our friend Veronica had returned to Prague. So there we were, two backpacker friends of different species setting foot and paw onto an unknown city.

Smelling Budapest

I only knew that I was hungry to explore Hungary. Get it? Ok, I’ll stop. I’ve said about thirty of these jokes to Danny already.

We arrived at the massive Budapest Keleti station and we were still reeling from our time in Vienna. Upon arrival we both gazed up at the building and I felt so small. It felt like a journey just to exit the station as it was so huge.

Click the link below to see a bit of video from our arrival.

Arriving in Budapest

Our hotel was in the eighth district of the city called Józsefváros. Now say that eight times really fast! It was far walk from our hotel and we were thoroughly exhausted from all the traveling.

Walking through Budapest’s neighborhoods

 

A side view of Keleti station

 

Budapest tram
Racing the trams

By the time we found our hotel and checked in, the sun was nearly setting and so we explored a bit of the neighborhood and then we returned to the room and I was able to rest my weary bones for a bit.

My hotel bed in Budapest. Not exactly the Grand Budapest Hotel, but it works. This was my tired face after all the traveling thus far

After a quick reinvigorating nap, we trotted around the city to see what was in store for us.

Budapest Opera house

After a bit of exploring our own neighborhood, we walked toward the center of the city

More beautiful buildings in Budapest
Walking along the city’s cobbled streets

We discovered impressive architecture that marveled us even at night. We stopped and stared at St. Stephen’s Basilica. The square had a few people walking by, but it was mostly empty. I charged onward toward the center to see more of these cool buildings, practically dragging Danny with me.

Taking a quick breather at the Basilica square which was mostly empty in the evening
Rocky in Budapest, the flash version
The Basilica, in all its Roman Catholic glory

When we reached the river, we were greeted by a massive bridge, known as the Chain Bridge, or Széchenyi Bridge, and it stretches over the River Danube, allowing lanes of traffic to either side of the city. The sides of the city were actually known as Buda and Pest, which were once considered two distinct cities that joined in the 1800’s.

A night in Budapest
The Chain Bridge and its guardian lions. In my opinion they should’ve put in a couple of bull terrier statues. We are indeed the best guardians. Especially when we are Hungary (hungry) 🙂

We walked down the steps in front of the bridge so we can see the other side. From where we stood, I could hear loud music on the side and there were boats cruising through the river and we could see massive and regal-like buildings. I told Danny that we had to cross the bridge, no matter how long it was or how tired our legs were from traveling all day.

“I wish it snowed in Budapest, only so that we can have a sled and you can pull me over to the other side,” Danny said.

 

A view of the other side of the city. Note: this was not our trash on the ground
Taking another rest from all the walking and watching in awe as all the lights shine bright and the people and traffic move around in the city
I took one last look at our side before we decided to cross the bridge
We fell in love with these awesome buildings
The stairs that lead down to the river

So we pulled ourselves back upstairs, took one last look at our side and decided to venture over the bridge and make it to the other side.

 

Crossing the chain bridge

Once we made it to the other side, we realised we were still quite far from the hilltop castle. So we grabbed something to eat to refuel ourselves then made the walk back and we promised to come back the next day and see more. But we still did a bit of sightseeing before we turned back.

Cool light up animals in Budapest
Lots of giraffes
I was slightly disappointed when these animals revealed themselves to be displays
The Basilica was close to our hotel and it was how we managed to find our way back
Budapest just looks so cool at night

When we returned to the hotel, Danny was hungry but it was past midnight and the only places open were kebab shops and McDonald’s, so he chose McDonald’s..in Budapest.

In the morning, we ate a quick breakfast at the hotel and left our things to explore the city. We were in a hurry as we had only the whole day to see Budapest and then we had to take a train back home. We tried to jam everything in and go by foot.

The Statue of Imre Nagy which drew quite a bit of tourists. We had to wait a while just to get this photo of him by himself
A tourist posing by the statue
Taking a breather after walking so much in Budapest and watching the tourists do selfies with the statue
From far away you can tell that there’s a stunning building just waiting for you to see up close
Voila! The stunning Parliament building in Budapest!

The Parliament building was massive. Imagine if I could run around in there all day! I would do circles and run up and down the steps and then I would eat at a large dining table that could fit an endless amount of food and Hungarian Goulash! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! Or Hungary.

Amazed! My jaw hit the floor!
It was a long walk to get here, but completely worth it!

I stopped and sniffed the Parliament building and we stayed here for a good half an hour just staring at it in complete awe.

Danny and I! Look how small we are compared to this building!
A closer look at the equestrian monument
Another angle of the Parliament building
River cruises
We had a fantastic view of the River Danube

We trudged onward exploring the city some more and exchanging pleasantries with the locals. It was perfect weather for a couple of travelers like me and Danny, hot, but still ok for me to walk around. There was so much buzz going on this city. Huge crowds that made me feel like I was a part of a big pack.

A glorious day indeed
Spectacular buildings
Lovely plazas everywhere you go

As in Prague and in Vienna, Budapest had so much precious architecture but it was also very different from those two. The three cities all had distinct flavors and personalities and I loved them all!

A hop-on hop-off tour bus in Budapest in the background
Busy streets of Budapest
I wished we had more time to give this city the touring and discovering that it deserves

After walking around for much of the day all four of my legs were spent and Danny’s two were also worn out. So we walked back toward our hotel and I followed my nose to where the Basilica was.

 

Basilica in the day time. Now we see how popular it is!
We met a few people here while hanging out in the square and chatted with them for a few minutes. They were nice folk and tourists just like us!
Do I look as regal as the Basilica?
Danny posing next to the Basilica
If you look closely, you’ll see a cyclist:)

Our Budapest adventure was short and sweet but we tried to see as much as we could and at least we have a reason to come back! In the hotel we grabbed our things and journeyed up to the station.

 

I must admit I did enjoy my new leash despite my urge to run around and explore the city freely
Hiding in some shade
A small group of tourists stop and stare at a wonderful monument in Budapest. It was quite a common sight to see these crowds everywhere, and there’s good reason for them too. Budapest is beautiful!
Budapest’s Parliament square as we take some more shade from this hot day

The way back to the UK was an adventure in itself! We slept in a couchette and it was the longest train ride that either of us had ever experienced. We sat on a reclinable chair opposite another row of reclinable chairs. We reclined chairs on both sides and joined two of them together to make a bed. I slept on Danny’s legs. Two other people eventually also came into the room and did the same thing. So it was three people and myself sleeping in the same room on a massive rolling hunk of metal headed toward the North-West of Europe. What a ride!

And so ends our adventure in Central Europe. I enjoyed Prague, Vienna, Budapest and all the other cities and towns we visited on this all too brief trip. My paws will now carry all the cool memories I made while traveling around these beautiful countries.

 

Resting in the couchettes on the way back home

I’ll see you guys on the next adventure which takes me to Wales in England!

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