I have arrived early in Budapest, and it is still a long time until I can get my bed at the hostel. With my backpack at the reception, I have decided to explore the neighbourhood. With a bottle of water and a ham and cheese sandwich, which I bought from a very friendly and talkative young woman, I have been enjoying the grey June weather sitting at a bench in the local park.
As the birds start flocking in hopes of getting to my sandwich I come to a startling realisation. The Hungarian pigeons have wickedly evil-looking eyes. They look mean, meaner than in other places. I seriously need some sleep.
Parliament and the Danube
During my three day visits to Budapest, I’ve only seen the sun in glimpses. Even though it is June, the weather is grey and rainy. The hostel I am staying in has a small cinema and a wide selection of movies. A lot of young American backpackers seem to spend their entire visit to Budapest hoovering around the flat screen, watching the collected works of some not so funny American comedian. Why would someone travel halfway across the world to one of the most beautiful cities of mankind in order to re-watch something from home? It is like going to a MacD when in Italy or France. Sacrilege.
After a short time in their company I decided to spite the rain and take a walk through the city. Even though the pigeons still looked mean, and the weather was grey, Budapest is an absolute gem.
The grand Danube river with the majestic Parliament lighting up at night is stunning and I must have spent at least twenty minutes in the cold summer weather gazing across the river. It reminded me of the Thames and the House of Parliament. With the grand building lighting up at night reflected so clearly in the river. Gazing upon this iconic building as it nests at the shores of the powerful Danube, I couldn’t help myself feeling pretty good. Much better than if I’d stayed to watch movies at the hostel.
Sightseeing in Budapest
For the next couple of days, I wandered through the historic city centre of Budapest. It is not difficult to believe that the inner city of Budapest has been recognised a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Though the place is busy and buzzing with modern life, you can’t help yourself thinking that you have stepped into another time, a time of the great empires. And, as a student of history, you find yourself engaged in a constant quarrel with yourself over why you didn’t read more on the history of this great city and its people.
I do hope to one day return. When the weather is better and after I have had time to study the history of this magnificent city. But until then, I wish the best for all the lucky inhabitants of the fair city of Budapest.