Monday, October 15, 2007

Budapest Trip: Day 1, To Buda Castle Hill

After checking into the wonderful hotel, I snooze for the next few hours. Awaking at 1pm, refresh for the start of the trip.

I looked through Lonely planet, and honestly the book sucks BIG time. It was so factual and boring that it actually manage to make the place sound depressing. It comes with unnecessary ( to me) facts that sucide rates here are the highest among the whole European nations. Now, tell me why would I want to know that when I am suppose to be looking forward to my trip. Should I be expecting someone to fall flat on me, dropping from the sky while I walk along the buildings?

So I dump the book and headed towards Buda Hills, walking across the infamouse Chain Bridge, connecting Pest where my hotel is and to the other side Buda, where Buda Castle Hill was my intended first stop. (Picture of chain bridge from room)

As I walk along Chain Bridge (Side note: In 1989 people demonstrated on the chain bridge for freedom and independence. Since then, the bridge has become a symbol of Hungarian liberty), I cannot help but stop to admire the scenery before me. The only thing that slightly spoils the moment was the long and endless stream of cars travelling along side with me on the walkway. The exhaust fumes were pretty unbearable and so I sped thru the stretch while holding my breathe as long as possible.

At the end of the bridge, I was confronted with a roundabout. Cars apparently have pretty huge say on the roads here. I mean, they just keep moving regardless of the traffic lights. It was like a european version of Vietnam HCM (u know what I mean if u have been there). I couldnt half tell if the car was going to stop and let me thru the zebra crossing or zoom past me. I had to wait for some kind driver to stop which fortunately, relatively many budapest drivers still do have affections for pesdestrians.

The Castle Hill rise 48 meters above the Danube, dominates the city. This hill is the place where Budapest was founded. It is a small, densely built rock, with the Buda Castle as the most prominent building.

Not having read a thing on budapest and without a map, I gamely took Funicular, a little cable car like transport up the Castle Hill. From there, I started my self dictated tour.

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