… actually before the trip was over. More on that later.
November 17, 1873 marks the unification date of the hilly city of Buda with its magnificent castle on the west bank of the Danube, with Pest, the flat area on the east side of the river. Today on the Buda side, the “Castle District” as its known, is a tourist mecca, and where we arranged to meet Jan and Terry, and Adrian and Kate, our other Carriage H friends, who had arrived from London in the wee hours.
There’s a funicular at the Buda side of the Chain Bridge (the first such structure built to span the Danube) which take visitors up almost three hundred feet to the Castle. Our buddies bought their tickets for the ride, but since dogs are not permitted, Keith and I got a little exercise pushing Carson in his stroller up the winding path. Meeting at the top, the first stop was magnificent Mátyás Church, named for the well-loved 15th century Renaissance king who contributed the towers and was married there.
In an area that might have been rife with pigeons, we noticed that was not the case, and the nearby statue of Mátyás in Holy Trinity Square was devoid of droppings. A note in our guidebook gave a possible explanation: rumor has it that contraceptives are put in the feed distributed for them.
The weather was cool and rainy, so after visiting the church, a stop for cappuccino at Fisherman’s Bastion was in order. Built in 1905, it’s the perfect vantage point to view the Danube and the Pest side of the city, through Neo-Romanesque and Gothic arches. Live music (more violinists) added just the right touch.
Next stop in the Castle District: The Hungarian National Gallery.