Budapest State Opera House (Operahaz), built between 1878-1884.
Watch it there, buddy! (Actually, I made him do it. Sean's too much of a gentleman.)
Interior ceiling of the Opera House
We got online tickets for the opera "The Marriage of Figaro" but could not manage to stay awake (we'd been up since 3:30am that morning to catch the 6am flight). To make it worse, we hadn't bothered to read up on the storyline so had no idea what the opera was about. We left at intermission, went back to the hotel, and sat in the hot tub.
People in the box seats
Random doorway on Andrassy ut (street)
One side of St. Stephen's Basilica. King Istvan's mummified hand was not open to the public on the day we visited.
The square in front of St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent István-bazilika)
Entrance to the Basilica
One of the colorful domes inside the Basilica. The only light inside the Basilica are from these domes, allowing in natural light.
My camera takes great dark photos, and lightens the photo enough to see all the colors and details. Otherwise, the interior is much darker than this photo shows.
St. Stephen's Basilica by night, walking towards the square from the Danube River.
The Dohany Street Synagogue - the 2nd largest synagogue in the world (the largest is in New York City)
Buildings in the shopping district of Pest (Vaci Street)
An example of Herend ceramic - they are so expensive, but extraordinarily intricate and beautiful.
A shelf-full of German cats
A giant-sized figurine ceramic cat created by Rosina Wachtmeister. She has European appeal as we've seen these cats everywhere in many developed European cities (Munich airport, Vienna, Prague, and now Budapest).
We hopped into a coffee shop to escape the pouring rain.
On Vaci utca (street), walking towards the Central Market Hall.
The Central Market Hall (Nagyvasarcsarnok) - a huge indoor marketplace where you can find food, wine, crafts, souvenirs, etc. It was open in 1897.
A deli stall inside the market
Trinh's two favorite ingredients!
Paprika is Hungary's hallmark spice
The meat stalls, as seen from the second level of the Market.
The Danube River, from the Liberty Bridge (Szabadsag hid), outside of the Central Market Hall.
Looking towards the Elizabeth Bridge (Erzebeth Szabad hid), with barges on the Danube
From the Szabadsag Bridge, looking towards Gellert Hill on the Castle District.
The small monument in the background (center) is the Liberation Monument, commemorating the liberation of Budapest from Nazis, by the Russian Army in 1945. The neo-baroque domed on the right is a tower on the Taban Parish Church.
A shop owner frantically moving her souvenirs inside, due to impending raindrops and winds.
Here comes the rain...
The storm has arrived, yet again.
Photos taken from the safety of an eave, as we waited until the storm calms down before continuing our wandering in Budapest.
A few others also rushed across the street to take refuge under our eave.
Someone found safety inside the telephone booth.
We ducked into this cute (but expensive) restaurant for a bowl of goulash soup.
Inside the Cyrano restaurant
The goulash soup was delicious!
Modern building housing a Cigar Shop at the bottom
It was amusing to see a McDonald's sign above a Burger King restaurant in Budapest. The McDonald's sign was actually on another building a block away, above the true McDonald's restaurant there.
Interesting facade on a building. Forgot what the building was for. Maybe it's the music conservatory as Liszt is Hungary's famous composer.
Trinh found delight in seeing a statue of a man sitting on a bench, with a laptop to the side. Unfortunately, it was too wet to pose next to him in the photo.
Green light for pedestrians and bicyclists
Ethnographical Museum, built in 1896. The statue at the top shows the Roman goddess of justice riding in a three-horse chariot.
The monumental Parliament, Hungary's largest building
Tickets were sold out that day, so we were not able to go inside.
The Parliament was built in 1884 and and took 17 years and 1000 workers to complete. It has 691 rooms.
Lajos Kossuth monument, outside of Parliament.
Kossuth Lajos, 1802-1894, was Governor of Hungary during the fight for independence and democracy, and is regarded as the Father of Democracy for Hungary. He used to say: "All for the people and all by the people; nothing about the people without the people - that is democracy".
Sean trying to catch up with Trinh.
The tourist, Sean, walking around with his guidebook.
1956 Memorial at the Parliament - notice the hole in the flag
A memorial to Hungarians who revolted against Soviet rule, and were killed here by firing squads. (More info explain the hole in the flag, on the next photo.)
English translation in red
A close-up of the 1956 Memorial grave
A closer close-up of the 1956 Memorial shows a man with his wrists and ankles chained and force to submit.
Statue near the Parliament
This sign for the memorial reads, "TO THE MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS SHOT INTO THE DANUBE BY ARROW CROSS MILITIAMEN IN 1941-1945. ERECTED 16th APRIL 2005." It's in front of the Shoes on the Danube memorial as an explanation for the shoes.
Shoes on the Danube Memorial - depicts shoes left behind on the bank when victims fell after having been shot by the Arrow Cross (an Hungarian pro-Nazi anti-Semitic socialist party).
Sean, reading up on Hungarian history, on the bank of the Danube River. The massive Parliament is in the background.
The Royal Palace on Castle District (Buda side), from the Pest side of Budapest.
The Chain Bridge (Szechenyi lanchid) - the 1st permanent link between Buda and Pest. The most well-known bridge in Budapest.
Heading over to the Castle District.
Castle District on the Buda side - the Castle District has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Matthias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion are at the top in this photo.
The Danube River, with Parliament to the right
Instead of taking the funicular up the hill to the Castle District, we walked up. This photo was taken at the halfway point, looking across the Chain Bridge to Pest.
A banana break for Sean - who's the monkey here??
The entrance to the Royal Palace in the Castle District. The bird on the left is the Turul (1905) - it depicts the mythical Hungarian Bird. Supposedly the bird appeared in dreams of two Hungarians and prophesized the future of Hungary.
View of Chain Bridge & St. Stephen's Basilica (photo taken near the Turul monument). If you look closely, you can see the rainbow on the right side in the sky.
Holy Trinity Column in the Szentharomsag square, in front of the St. Matthias Church (Matyas templom). It is a baroque monument built in 1713 to thank God for the end of the pestilence.
A cute, quaint street in the Castle District
Mary Magdalene Tower Bell (Kapisztran ter: Maria
Magdolna templom). This church was built in 1276 but it was destroyed during WWII and now only ruins are left leaving the bell tower with a Gothic window.
I don't know why, but this apparently is the most photographed house in Buda, according to our guidebook. I just upped the photo count by one more.
Matthias Church (Matyas Templom) - this 13th century church has been rebuilt many times (destructions by the Turks 1686 and then the Nazis during WWII). The church was named for the Renaissance King Matyas Corvinus, who was crowned here in 1458.
The steeples of St. Matthias Church - these steeples are tiled with the colorful Zsolnay tiles.
The historical tower that attaches to the Budapest Hilton Hotel. Inside the hotel, are preserved ruins of a medieval Dominican monastery with cloisters - the ruins are visible by walking into the hotel lobby. The hotel is located right behind the Fisherman's Bastion and next to the Matthias Church.
Fishermen's Bastion (Halászbástya) - built in 1902 and named thus because in the Middle Ages, the walls here were defended by the Guild of Fishermen. This site nowadays provide a spectacular view of Budapest, the Danube, the Parliament, and the bridges.
The Fisherman's Bastion has seven round towers symbolizing the seven Magyar (an ancient word for Hungarian) tribes.
It was so windy up there, I had a hard time keeping the camera steady.
The views are so spectacular and beautiful, it's almost unreal.
Inside one of the turrets
View of Parliament from the Fisherman's Bastion
View of St. Stephen's Basilica (the highest building in the photo) from Fisherman's Bastion
Another turret and wall of the Fisherman's Bastion
Buda's Old Town Hall (built in early 1700's) with the distinctive clock tower, on Holy Trinity Square
Chain Bridge by night (after a hard rain), as we leave Buda and head back to Pest.
Roosevelt Square (Roosevelt tér), on the Pest side looking towards Chain Bridge. The statue in front is of Ferenc Deak (1887) - he was instrumental in the "Compromise of 1867 which resulted in the Dual Monarchy".
Our hotel - Corinthea Grand Hotel Royal, by night. Beware, the next 20 or so photos are of the hotel. We love it so much. :)
Corinthea Grand Hotel Royal, by day. It was FABULOUS!
The entrance to the reception area (the dark figure walking away is Sean)
From reception area looking up to the grand staircase.
From grand staircase looking down to the reception area.
The floor of our room.
The balcony (across from the front door of our room) overlooking the reception area/grand staircase below.
Looking down onto the grand staircase.
Welcome to the Scotts' room (3209).
Our window looks out onto the enclosed Atrium.
Windows across the way (Atrium).
Walkway to another wing of the hotel, and to the special elevator for the spa.
The Brasserie Restaurant (and breakfast area) below, in the Atrium. The included breakfast was awesome. Omelets made to order, cappucinos and champagne included, high quality buffet, and exceptional service.
The restaurant at night
Musicians playing in the Brasserie restaurant during Sunday brunch.
We can hear the music waft in through our open window upstairs, so nice.
Rickshaw Restaurant (in the hotel).
We had dinner both Sat. & Sun. nights in the Rickshaw. We had to get as much asian food in as possible, before going back to Sofia. It wasn't the best asian food, but better than nothing.
the Lounge in the hotel. Nice place for a drink in the evening. There's a live quartet group playing in the background.
The upstairs Dance Club in the hotel.
The beautiful pool in the Royal Spa.
Trinh loving the hottub in the Royal Spa, after a long day of walking Budapest.
The sign for the airport restaurant, Sbarro, says "Non Smoking Area".
But I found plenty of people sitting in the restaurant (not to mention the rest of the airport), SMOKING.