Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Budapest - 10 September 2008

Building on Castle HillWe wandered across the chain-link bridge and rode the funicular to the top of the Palace hill. Chainlink BridgeThe area around the palace was off-limits unless you wanted to buy a ticket to the wine festival that began later in the morning. We decided to explore the rest of the Castle Hill area; now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Fisherman's Bastionand it was great to wander along streets lined with beautiful buildings. We particularly enjoyed the Fisherman's Bastion, a medieval looking viewing platform, which was actually only built in 1905.

Parliament buildingsDropping back down to the river, we crossed the bridge again to visit Gerbeaud, the famous cake shop that has been a must-visit destination almost since it opened in 1858.

Back across the bridge we wandered up the "Buda" side of the Danube to the next bridge which allows access to Church on the Pest bankMargaret Island which we explored before crossing back to the "Pest" bank as far as the Parliament buildings. Just downstream from there is the place where, during WWII, Jews were executed on the bank of the Danube, but before they were shot, they had to take their shoes off; shoes being a valuable commodity at the time. Holocaust MemorialTo remember the atrocities, there are a number of bronze shoes on the riverbank, a poignant reminder that their owners have gone, never to return.

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