Many images come to mind when I look back on the places I’ve been to this year. But some of the most memorable were of Budapest, Hungary’s amazing capital on the Danube. The views of the city as you cruise past are spectacular, highlighted by Hungary’s enormous parliament building — you can see it in this photo gallery. But it’s almost as magnificent from shore, if you walk along the waterfront at night.
I spent a few days in Budapest, and one night I strolled down to the Danube and looked along the river, past the Queen Elizabeth Bridge (also called the White Bridge, for obvious reasons). And there, gleaming on the horizon, stood the Royal Palace, looking down over the city it once dominated. Dating from the 1200s — and rebuilt more than a couple of times since — the palace is still an imposing sight. It commands the waterfront from its perch high on Buda Hill, facing the city of Pest across the Danube.
With the lights of the tour boats shining on the water and the spire of the Matthias Church rising up in the background, it was an enchanting scene. But only one of many: looking across the Danube from where I stood, I could see the stately columns of the Hotel Gellert, lit up for the world to see. And heading back to my hotel, I passed Corvinus University and the Great Market Hall, its lovely facade decorated with ornate stonework and ceramic tiles.
It was a warm summer evening, and remembering it now goes a little way toward warding off the chill on a cold December day. If that doesn’t do it, try a hot bowl of goulash soup and some chicken paprikash — guaranteed to warm the stomach and the soul.
Taken with the Panasonic G7 camera: clicking on the photo will allow you to see it full size.