Thursday, November 14, 2019

Hungary . . .for a little adventure. . .

The rain against the taxi windows blurred our first glimpses of Budapest. We arrived on a very dreary Sunday morning - the sky, the buildings and streets -- even the Danube River - were shades of gray.  A breeze stirred fallen leaves.

A rainy morning added to the ambiance of Budapest

Welcome to Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. Even with modern vehicles, trams and buses passing our taxi, I still felt like we were characters in one of Alan Furst's novels which are set in a variety of European cities. His plots delve into a shady and suspenseful time surrounding World War II. And this city on that drab morning felt shady and suspenseful!

So many choices and so little time!

We'd arrived here as part of a quick fall getaway: five nights here, to be followed by three in Vienna. We've been landlocked in Greece too long this year. The travel bug, dormant during that 4.5 month wait for our residency cards - our keys to being able to travel outside the country - had definitely gotten restless. You regulars here know one of the reasons we moved was to have a launch pad from which we could explore more of Europe and the Middle East and Africa.  

Euro on the left, Hungarian Forint on the right

We were hungry for an adventure to someplace we'd never been before. Hungary is satiating our appetites! After a flight of one hour, 40 minutes from Athens we are immersed in such a different culture - language, food, currency; everything has just enough foreign feel to it to make this trip most interesting.  

And some things are a bit too foreign for my tastes

With so many layers of history, we are having a hard time absorbing all there is to learn about this once Communist-ruled country.

Buda Castle from our room
It didn't take long to figure out that the five days we gave ourselves here won't be anywhere near enough to visit all the sights within the city of Budapest, let alone to get out and explore the countryside! We've barely had time to sample Hungarian cuisine and sip Hungarian wine.

Free entertainment outside our window

Our room at the Budapest Marriott on the Pest side (pronounced, pesht) overlooks the Danube River and the Castle on the Buda side of the river. We could easily spend our days doing nothing more than watching the never-ending river traffic: tour boats and river cruise boats mingle with barges and other river transport.

Taking a morning stroll across the Danube on Chain Bridge

The November weather has been what one might expect in a Central European country: a bit of sun, quite a few clouds and periodic heavy rain, and chilly for those us basking last week in summer-like temperatures in Greece!  Here we've shivered in temperatures hovering between high 40F and low 50's ( 4-10C).  A morning of sunshine has become a pouring rainstorm by evening.

Street scenes to take your breath away

Aside from the fact I should have followed my instincts and packed our long underwear and heavier clothes, we are enjoying this adventure in Central Europe. . .it reminds us how much of the world there is to see!  Regulars here and FB friends know that Budapest has long been on The Scout's list of 'must see' places. It wasn't as high up on my travel list, that is, before I arrived. Now I am talking about making this annual trip.

I am at a European Christmas Market!
In addition to the multitude of art galleries and museums, the historic sites are many and varied. We've logged more than a dozen miles walking from one to another in just a couple of days and filled most of another day touring by Hop-On, Hop-Off bus and boat tours. 

One of the unexpected treats we have had was the annual Christmas Market. And I do believe there will be another market operating in Vienna when we get there this weekend! I will certainly be telling you about those soon!

Who is this man? What was he playing for us? Stay tuned.
I know some of you were expecting a post on Monemvasia and I pre-empted that with this trip.  We are hopping a train tomorrow to Vienna before returning home to Greece next week. I will get back to it, but I've got a lot of things to tell you about our travels to this amazing part of Europe so hope you'll be back again for the next installment of Travel-n-Write! 

Safe travels to you and yours and thanks for the time you spent with us today.

Linking sometime soon with:

Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday


  1. Freedom at last!! Do enjoy this well deserved break. Looking forward to the next adventure.

  2. I visited Hungary in the summer when it was hot, but I can see that it would have a magical quality later in the year.

  3. We keep working our way east in Europe and Hungary is on the list for sure. Thinking about Christmas markets and the culture in Budapest. Though maybe not the rooster testicle stew;) Love the article.

  4. I also loved Budapest! My two favorite things were bathing at the Gellert Baths and goulash at the wonderful old Central Kavehaz, but every day was an enjoyable adventure.

  5. I love Budapest! I visited in the summer and the weather was perfect. Sounds like you had a great time in spite of the rain.

  6. I also love Budapest and only spent three days before boarding a river cruise.

  7. Have an amazing time!
    Thanks for sharing at

  8. We visited Hungary in the summer. Five days in Budapest, which wasn't nearly enough, and five days in the countryside. It was a super holiday. Hope you had a good time!


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