Budapest, Part 2

My brother left Hungary a long time ago. First he was living in the USA, mostly in California. Then a couple of years ago he moved back to Europe and has been living in the UK. So this spring when he finally landed a part time job in Budapest I was really happy, because this meant I would get to see him more.

So finally a couple of weeks ago, we finally arranged to meet each other in Budapest on a saturday. I was anxious to see where he was living etc.

Blackberry #1 had a school trip to Budapest for the same day, so I took him to the train station and took the same train to Budapest as the class πŸ™‚ BB#2 stayed home with his Dad, so I was kid free for most of the day πŸ™‚

My brother lives in the Castle district in Buda.

He lives 2 blocks from this beauty:

WP_004814

This is Matthias Church, a Roman Catholic church, also known as Church of Our Lady, it was founded by King BΓ©la IV. after the Mongolian invaders left Hungary in 1242. Not much remained of the original building due to numerous expansions, wars and reconstructions.

We had lunch in the Manna Lounge, also located in the castle district:

WP_004830

WP_004829

Β Appetizer:
Pumpkin-rhubarb Mille-feuille

WP_004833

Β Main dish:
White wine steamed salmon with spinach strudel and Chardonnay cream sauce

WP_004835

Dessert:

Pineapple tatar with bourbon vanilla and raspberry mousse
After lunch we started our stroll:

WP_004840

The Habsburg Gate.

WP_004846

The Royal Palace.

WP_004849

The Matthias Fountain.

WP_004841

The view from the Castle πŸ™‚ The river Danube, Pest and The Parlament.

WP_004856

We continued our stroll and crossed the Danube on the Chain bridge and found this strange statue at the other end of the bridge.

WP_004859

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences. I have spent many hours here listening to interesting lectures, and was once even invited for champagne with the head of the Academy, when I received a tender for young scientists.

WP_004863

St. Stephen’s Basilica is named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary. Today, it is the third largest church in Hungary.

WP_004865

Before going back to the train station we had coffee. Starbucks: Pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin pie and apple pie πŸ™‚

Have you been to Budapest before?

Budapest, Part 1

I have been blogging for more than a year now and I have not written anything about our country’s wonderful capital Budapest.

A couple of weeks ago I took BB#1 on a trip to Budapest, just the 2 of us. A little one-on-one time πŸ™‚

He has only been to Budapest a couple of times, and we always just went to IKEA, so it was high time to show him something else πŸ™‚

We took the train to see Hungary’s countrside:

WP_004545

The train ride takes 2 hours and 22 minutes. It was interesting that since I was travelling with a child (who has to pay for the train above the age 6, but gets a 50% discount) I also got a 30% discount on my adult train ticket.

An friend of mine (who happens to be a guy) picked us up from the train station and took us to the ZOO. Right next to the zoo is the famous:

The Gundel Patisserie πŸ™‚

The Gundel restaurant has been one of the most famous restaurant in Hungary for more than a century. However only few people know, that KΓ‘roly Gundel created wonderful desserts and cakes too, among others the Gundel crepes and the famous Gundel torte. This heritage is now being continued in the Gundel Patisserie.

So first we had some coffee and cakes:

WP_004547

They even make a coconut ball look exotic πŸ™‚

WP_004549

I had some baked cheesecake πŸ™‚

It was really nice to catch up with my friend, but he had to go to work so we entered the zoo.

The Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden is the one of the oldest in the world.

It has 1072 animal species.

The zoo opened its doors on August 9, 1866. The park has 1–1.1 million visitors every year.

WP_004550

First we took this bus around the zoo, because it started raining.

WP_004557

You could pet kangaroos πŸ™‚ We only looked at them πŸ™‚

WP_004558

The butterfly house was very exciting πŸ™‚

WP_004560

At the zoo even the plant pots have lions on them πŸ™‚

WP_004566

BB#1 with the piranhas πŸ™‚

WP_004575

I never knew a brown bear was this huge!

WP_004577

This is how big the heart of a Blue whale is!

WP_004584

And we ended the day at Starbucks πŸ™‚

The zoo is huge! So we only saw like half of it, so we will have to go back πŸ™‚