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Maurice Greer’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 20 Sep 2009

Location: Budapest, Hungary

MapOur first visit today was to the Opera House which is quite close to our hotel. The entrance doorways, lobby and stairways are beautifully decorated with lots of gold and rich colours. We walked along the main Andrassy Utca admiring the many 19th century buildings, some in need of cleaning. Next we visited St. Stephen’s Basilica, a beautiful domed church in the classical and neo-renaissance style. The walls and pillars are lined with marble, archways are decorated with paintings and gilded plaster framing and the floors are finished in beautiful marble patterns. The square outside the front entrance is also decorated with marble patterns. We were finding Budapest’s attractions widely spaced apart so we caught the hop-on-hop-off tourist bus and got off on the Buda (west) side of the Danube River at Buda Castle. The castle sits on a hill top overlooking the Pest side of the city across the river and the views from here are terrific. The castle has gone through many phases of construction and destruction over the years but still looks very regal and imposing. We noticed some ruins of foundations, possibly from the Roman times, close to the castle. We walked to the nearby Fisherman’s Bastion built in 1905 as a memorial to fisherman who protected this section of the castle wall. From here there are great views across the river to the amazing Parliament building. We caught the bus back to the city centre, walked back to our apartment and then went for dinner in the theatre district again.