We are getting closer and closer to home. The car navigation system shows just 1200km as the crow flies and counting down. We also now have the navigation system in the car working but still no details as yet. That will come in Austria.
The border crossing was nice and quick from Romania to Hungary via Nadlac. The only thing to watch out for is not to forget buying road tax fignet at one of the first buildings after the border. From there it was still a long slow drive over country roads behind the usual trucks to Szeged where after some searching and wrong turns we were guided towards the motor way (we keep turning to Belgrad or Bucarest instead of Budapest). From there it was a nice smooth drive towards Budapest. Entering the city was no problem. Just straight on and eventually you come against the Danube river. Before we knew it we had crossed the river to Buda and were in the heart of the old castle district. We followed the signs to the hotels but after stopping at several of them we realized that we had to increase our price estimate (rates are all above our budget) and finally found the “cheapest one” (still above our budget but not by much). The Carlton is a lovely hotel on a very small side street with a path which goes up to the top of the citadel. We checked into the rooms and had a short rest before setting off up the hill towards Buda castle and churches. We insisted that the boys come along this time and see something for a change.
We dropped in to the Matthias Church (1896) and saw the crown of the first king of a combined Hungary (977 – 1038), St Stephen. His statue complete with crown can be seen outside the castle. The church is different because it is rather new and all walls are nicely painted. We enjoyed the walk in the evening sun along the Fisherman’s Bastion and the remainders of the city wall with lovely views of the Danube River and the bridges and buildings across it in Pest. A Burger King dinner satisfied the boy’s and JJ and Rudy went around the corner and had a lovely meal in a wine cellar. During the meal we decided that the city was too big and interesting to leave it for 1 day. So tomorrow we will be reporting again from Budapest.