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Weekend Getaways from Budapest
If God ever gives me an opportunity to settle down anywhere else away from home , this place would be it . The drive from Salzburg to Budapest was a long one , but on reaching the city , all the soreness just vanished and we were fresh as a horse . Budapest is basically bifurcated into two parts by the river Danube flowing through the middle of the city and housing the most important centres on either side . The Hilly side is called Buda and the plain, Pest . I can't exactly vouch for its authenticity as I'm giving you the guide's version . Our tour bus led us through the important landmarks of the city and dropped us at the city centre . The Hungarian Forint being weaker than the Rupee , we went on a shopping spree and half of my credit card limit got exhausted there itself at the shopping avenues , but wait the highlight is yet to come . Come evening and we were taken for a river cruise on the Danube , and God it was so beautiful with the sun going down and the lights of the buildings beside the Danube ,shimmering . A trivia , I'd like to mention . Many of us have watched the blockbuster movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam , and we were told that the place is Italy , wrong . The bridge over which the famous scene happens with Aishwarya Rai running to Ajay Devgan is the Széchenyi Chain Bridge . I remember every moment of that cruise where we were sitting on the open top of the cruise with a complimentary glass of wine and enjoyed the serenity and the beauty of the place .Etched in my memories forever .
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It’s the most famous landmark of the city and you inevitably spend more than half a day walking around the castle area. More than the castle which was truly magnificent I was fascinated by the neighboring cottages and old houses that lined the castle on the outskirts. I’d recommend walking up to the castle from the Pest side of the city, crossing the famous Chain bridge and then exploring the area for the entire day. At times I did feel that I’d bump into some Herge character or find Snowy sniffing something around the corner. It’s well worth all the effort and the views are to die for.
From there, we hiked up to Matthias Church which is part of the Buda Castle District. When we got up closer to the church and the surrounding area, it is simply amazing. We were allowed to wander all around the exterior, and there were a lot of people sitting out on this beautiful evening enjoying the weather. Even a couple of guys playing guitars and singing. We sat and enjoyed it for a half hour or so. It’s a little pricey, at 1,800 forints ($8.10) for the two of us, but we had been told that it was fantastic. We ended up with mixed feeling. On the down side, there was still a lot of interior renovation going on, and the ticket sellers should have told us that it wasn’t up to standards. So we were a little disappointed with that. On the other hand, it was interesting seeing the renovation work being done.