I guess the intend of gathering with the passengers at the hotel was two fold:While waiting to board the Scenic Space-ship which was to be later in the afternoon, we took the opportunity to do a walk-about around the hotel and see Budapest on our own.
- Firstly for those going on the cruise, an opportunity to meet and start forming friendships for the cruise.
- Secondly to meet with the passengers who are leaving and 'catch' their excitement of their cruise.
The first place of interest we found is the Vorosmarty Square in the heart of Budapest, where the Christmas Market is said to be held every year. The square was named after Mihaly Vorosmarty, a renowned Hungarian poet whose statue is seen in the middle of the square. However the main attraction of the square is the Gerbeaud Cafe, said to be a tenant of the square since 1870.
Not knowing the city very well we thought it's best to walk back towards the river bank. There we found a 50 cm statuette of the 'Little Princess' and Budapest's yellow tram. We then walked along the tram line and took note of some of the other statues and building of interest along the line, such as the statues of Hungary statesmen Jozsef Eotvos and Deak-Ferenc-emlekmu and the Las Vegas Casino, that's correct, a Las Vegas casino in Budapest.
Walking toward the Szechenyi Chain Bridge we then cross the River Danube that separate the Buda and Pest, the western and eastern part of the city of Budapest.
Crossing the bridge takes us to the Buda part of the city where the Buda Castle is located, on the southern tip of Castle Hill. It is a World Heritage site. The castle now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum.
Coming off the Szechenyi Chain Bridge from the Pest side of the city, directly in front is the roundabout to the Buda Castle Tunnel, that allow cars to go under the castle, further into the Buda side of the city. To the left of the tunnel is the Budapest Castle Hill Funicular, a short railway line that takes people up the Castle Hill, in comfort.
Not wanting to venture any further, crossing the Szechenyi Chain Bridge back to the Pest side of the city, we took in the view of the Hungarian Parliament Building. It's an awesome Gothic style building.
It was in one of the streets that we got a glimpse of the St. Stephen's Basilica. It is said to be largest church in Budapest, dedicated to Hungary's first king, St. Stephen.
Here's where I wished I did some research on Budapest. If I had, we would have taken the time to see the inside of the basilica or at the very least walk to the basilica square for a more complete view of the church.
It was not one of Scenic Cruise place to visit when the cruise officially starts.