about a dream: Day 30: Budapest recap, part I

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 30: Budapest recap, part I

On Thursday we got up bright and early. Bright and early for us anyway, considering the girls were so wound up they didn't fall asleep until almost midnight. We got a breakfast of pastries and hopped on the subway up to Castle Hill to see the Fisherman's Bastion:
and Matthias Church:
It was built in 1015 (!! old!!) and is officially named the Church of our Lady, but unofficially called Matthias church after King Matthias who had it renovated in the 1400s. It was at one point turned into a mosque during Ottoman occupation of Buda. Apparently in the 1600s, when the Ottomans (Muslims) were under attack by the Holy League (Christians), a wall of the church collapsed in front of some praying Muslims and revealed a hidden statue of the Virgin Mary. Their morale was injured and the city fell later that same day. Such a rich history, but did we go inside the church? No. You had to wait on a line to buy tickets and the girls enthusiastically expressed their displeasure at the idea of taking a tour of a church. Anytime I mention seeing a church, Nina's face falls and she asks if we're going to have to do mass? Poor kid. It's because I dragged her to mass at St. Stefan's in Vienna, and she's forever scarred. Well, we heard later that day from some fellow diners that the inside of Matthias is being renovated right now, and paying for tickets is a total rip-off because all you see is scaffolding and the altar. So all's well that ends up unintentionally working out for the best! Anyway, I feel like Catholics shouldn't be charged to see the inside of a church. I should be able to carry around my baptism or confirmation certificate, and they should waive admission.
Well anyway, it was hot, easily in the low- to mid-90s, so we sat and had some ice cream at a cafe inside of the Fisherman's Bastion instead of seeing the inside of the church:
Same price, less religion...
A lovely view to go along with our ice cream! The Fisherman's Bastion looks out over the Danube River (this branch of which is called the Blue Danube) and the Pest portion of Budapest (the city of Budapest was created when two different cities, Buda and Pest, which joined up to make one big city in 1873). I'm not sure if you can make it out, but the beautiful building across the river is parliament. Absolutely stunning!
Then we took a cab back to the hotel for a cooling, mid-day swim. And you know what happens on a hot day with a lot of walking followed by a cooling swim, don't you?
I started it though. I'd put a photo of me sleeping there, but A) no one took one and B) I don't look as beautiful asleep as Maggie does. Perhaps A and B above are really one and the same?
Well, finally, we woke up, dressed, and had a delicious dinner at a little, air-conditioned Hungarian restaurant. Yum! We finished up the day with some time at a playground, fun in a fountain (this link will take you to youtube, be sure to right click and open in another tab if you want to stay on the blog), and one last scoop of ice cream (it was still pretty hot!).

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