Budapest by night

I’ve been pretty slack recently with blog posts. Problem is, I had an amazing time in Europe in late January-February and then have been playing catch-up for the time I missed from my PhD. The trip was amazing and absolutely worth it though, so no complaints! And now I am finally getting around to updating this site with some blog posts from my trip.

One of the highlights from my recent Europe trip would definitely have to be Budapest. Although my time there was short, I got a chance to be shown much of it – and taught the history – by a local guide which was brilliant. It meant I saw and learn far more in my too-short visit than I would have otherwise.

There were many great things I saw in Budapest but for now I’ll settle with a short blog about a beautiful dinner cruise I did along the Danube on my second night there.

Firstly, it was pretty cold in Budapest. At night it was getting down to about -11 degrees celsius. I know that isn’t that cold for many people, but it barely even snows in most of Australia AND it was really humid which means the air just pills the last remnants of warmth away from you, especially when you’re out on a river late at night.

As cold as it was, though, it actually made it pretty special. As we boarded the river boat an hour or so after sunset, there were layers of ice, piled slowly upon the banks of the Danube river. I’d never seen anything like that before so it was pretty impressive and it only got better. As we pulled away from the river bank and set our course, you’d feel rumbling vibrations shuddering through the boat, accompanied by loud crunching, cracking noises and the ice sheets on the river fought and broke under the passing of the boat.

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Huge ice sheets extended from the banks and far across the river
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Some ice sheets were broken into smaller parts from the passing of boats

 

The boat itself was set up beautifully for dinner, and the feast (no exaggeration) looked absolutely gorgeous and also definitely too much to eat! Not that we all didn’t try! The food was amazing, both to look at and to eat, but the views from the boat were equally – if not more – impressive. But first, food pictures!

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Tables set neatly with local Hungarian wines available
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The feast! Starting with many cheeses, then salads, meats, seafood and fruit, and (way up the back) traditional stews and other warm dishes great for eating in winter
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Just some of the delicious food up close
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And a little more!

Budapest is an incredible city, and although I refer to it a single city it has (as was explained to me by a local guide) two lovely halves which are both distinct and yet fit together wonderfully; Buda and Pest.

The Danube river slices the city of Budapest into these two halves, and the banks are lined with some of their most impressive buildings and structures, which are all illuminated at night. This makes the river one of the best vantage points to see everything! My camera was sadly struggling in the cold temperatures so I didn’t get a tonne of photos (also I was too excited looking at all the gorgeous architecture and the ice on the river!!!) but there are a few good ones here. You can also easily tell which buildings were my favourites based on photos abundance hahaha!

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Buda castle
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(I can’t remember what these ones were called but will update if I remember!)
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Buda castle again!
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And again, a little closer!
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Sneaky selfie! Can you tell I am a tad cold?

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Retreating into my scarf as I get colder!
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The first of many pictures of the Hungarian Parliament
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Also called the National Assembly
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Isn’t it just ridiculously amazing?
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I am constantly amazed by how buildings like these were constructed and the time it must have taken to complete them.
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Another few angles! I went a bit trigger happy with my camera at this point.
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Any guesses which was my favourite sight?
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And one last picture of this truly gorgeous building.

It was an amazing night, and we had an amazing guide called Katie who told us countless stories about the history of the buildings and of Budapest in general. She was an incredible story teller (and it really is a skill) and had some fascinating insights too. She was also very patient and generous in her praise of our pretty terrible few Hungarian words!

Definitely go to Budapest if you get a chance. I will absolutely be going back again, at least once (if not more)! And if you do find yourself lucky enough to be visiting this beautiful city, try and see some of the buildings at night!

Note: this was an optional dinner cruise as part of the Imperial Europe tour with Trafalgar Tours

 

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