Sunday – our second day in Budapest.
We went to breakfast at the NY Cafe, which Anna had found in her book which focused on architecture. And inside was insanely beautiful. It originally opened in 1894, and was completely renovated in 2001-2006 to take it back to its original state. I had french toast, and when it came out it was three neat little squares and no syrup. I asked the waiter for some and he said, “oh no no no…this is hungarian french toast, it is the best in the world, no need for syrup, it is salty not sweet.” It did come with a side salad so I trusted his word. Well it was light, and fluffy and eggy tasting….but I would have preferred it with syrup.
After that we walked across the river to Buda, all around the castle area. Including the National Gallery of Art, which contained all Hungarian artists. I have not heard of a single one, so it was very interesting to see the styles and time periods I have studied and how those movements reached Hungary. They had their own Caravaggio type paintings, their own Baroque and the collection even included a Grand Tour Portrait! Overall the museum was very different than other national museums I have been to. It was very empty, and I felt like the paintings could all use a little TLC. A lot looked cracked, and sometimes dirty. I’d be interested to know what their conservation techniques are…or if they conserve at all. I did really enjoy going, it is always a learning experience!
We walked up to Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion. They had those guys standing outside dressed up, with falcons or hawks with a little chain attached to their foot. Some girls were partaking in having their pictures taken with the small one. Well Ian was contemplating doing it, and decided he felt bad enough for the big falcon that wasn’t getting enough attention, so he did it! All the pictures I took are on his camera so I’ll have to upload those later. But the guy had the bird on his arm, on his shoulder with his wing spanned over Ian’s head. He had him on top of his head at one point, and looked really happy to be hanging out with a giant falcon. He is braver than I am.
From the castle area we decided to go to a Hungarian Bath! Anna had found one that was nearby. It was actually a really great way to spend a few hours. The bath area had one huge bath then smaller ones in the corners. Each had a different temperature. They also had a sauna area that had consecutive rooms that got hotter as you went along. Anna and I walked all the way to the last room, to spend two seconds inside and turn around quickly and run away. That is the hottest I have every felt. It was between 50 and 55 degrees celsius – so almost 131 degrees farenheit! No thank you. Overall I’m really happy we went to the baths. It was super relaxing and great after a long day of walking up the hilly Buda side of town.
From there we went to dinner at a restaurant we found on the way home. It was pretty great inside, they had posters from different bands that have come through Budapest from the Rolling Stones to Jethro tull. We decided to have a dinner of Goulash, which was pretty delicious. Also Anna and I had a glass of wine because converting it to dollars it was .70 cents. Quite a deal!
We headed home after that wonderful and full day!