River Cruise Day 1

River Cruise Day 1           Maidenhead to Budapest           Sunny & Warm

This morning, the limo service/private car company that Janet and Adrian use when they go overseas, picked us up from Maidenhead at 6.30am to take us to Heathrow Terminal 5 for our British Airways flight to Budapest.

We arrived in Budapest at 12.00 local time and were met by a young man from Avalon Waterways, who delivered us to Le Meriden hotel for our extra night’s stay.  We were pleasantly surprised by the high quality of our accommodation – our room is lovely.

We got settled in and went for a walk to the Gerbeaud Café for lunch – it was an elegant restaurant that looked as though it had remained untouched since the 20s.  They also served little cakes etc and several people came in to purchase some to take away and the lady wrapped them in a fine tissue paper and tied ribbons around them.  It reminded us a little of the Shingle Inn in Brisbane years ago.

Then it was time to go exploring.  We found a lovely park across the road from the hotel called Erszebet Square and at the other end of the park, we found a  Hop On and Off Bus stop, with an open double decker bus that was about to depart. So, we climbed on for a two hour sightseeing trip around Budapest.

We saw some of the seven bridges which cross the Danube River, the old Palace, Parliament buildings, the Synagogue and the  Heroes Square, to mention a few.  We were surprised by the number of tree-lined avenues that we travelled through.  While a lot of the buildings are old, the city itself appears to be very clean and green.

There are a lot of statues that form reminders of the many different Revolutions that Hungary has experienced.

When we finished the bus tour, we walked back to the Danube River to the Chain Bridge, which we mentioned in a previous blog – William Tierney Clark was inspired by the Chain Bridge when he designed the bridge at Marlow in England.  We took some photos before walking back to the hotel to do our blog and get ready for dinner – we think we will have dinner in the Hotel restaurant, which apparently is quite popular here in Budapest, and besides which, as guests in the hotel, we get 20% off!

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