Day 2 of the Journey, leg muscles still in different places with the previous day Beer Bike Pedalling, this day was slated to be a walking tour! First stop was a trip to Heroes Square, which is one of the major squares in Budapest. With its iconic statues featuring the Seven Chiefs of the Magyars and other key national leaders, the venue was simply inspirational. As advised by the guide, the square had played a key role in Hungarian history, with contribution to many key political events, with the Millennium Monument featuring the statue of Gabriel, in the center created to commemorate the 1000 year history of Hungary.
Again a very impressive monument, the feeling of standing there in the middle of the city, surrounded by iconic leaders of the Hungarian Empire, one could only sense what history had most countries gone through, that one now only reads in books. The Square has on its sides the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art, which we heard were quite impressive, however due to shortage of time, we were unable to visit these. Next stop Chain Bridge.
Another masterpiece creation of the 19th Century, the Chain Bridge connects both the cities of Buda and Pest, bringing the East and West together and spans across the river Danube, with the Buda side heading on to Buda Castle. An engineering marvel, impressive and imposing, once again proving of the masters in engineering present during the time, considering the resources available at the time. With stone carved lions at the entrance of the bridge, this was considered as an engineering marvel at the time, being the first permanent bridge and also to add, a suspension bridge. It was damaged during WW II and again rebuilt and reopened. Legend has it that the builder committed suicide when it was pointed out that the lions did not have tongues, however it appears that they do, only that they are not visible from the street. Try as I could, could not validate the claim.
What was also interesting was the artefact across the bridge next to the Sofitel Hotel. Seemed to be noveau art, as they call it, could not get any explanation for this, but was interestingly placed with a face looking across his index and middle finger, as if trying to see the bridge or someone from the bridge trying to see the eye.
Post the Chain bridge the next stop was the Castle Hill Gardens and the adjoining bazaar which led to the Fisherman’s Bastion, called such due to a guild of fishermen who were responsible for defending the entire stretch of the city wall. A terrace build on Gothic and Roman styles, built on the Buda side of the Danube around Matthais Church, with a statue of Stephen I at the center of the Bastion. Yet another gem in Budapest, the gardens and the Bastion provide a gorgeous view of the Danube river, the Chain Bridge, St. Stephens Basillica, the Parliament House, virtually, it seems all of Budapest on a good clear day. As with major historical places, the Bastion, Gardens, Bazaar and the Church Area provide an environment where one could spend hours sitting enjoying the ambience. As luck would have it, it was not a very bright day, hence from a photographers perspective, horrible, but from a weather perspective, brilliant, with a light cool calm breeze supplanted with a light drizzle.
Post lunch follows, on the next post….
Also part of Skywatch Friday, August 13 Edition.