Budapest is the baby of Buda and Pest, two cities on either side of the Danube River that merged in 1873 to create today's Hungarian capital.
For tourists, the Buda side is essentially Castle Hill. This collection of attractions resides high above the Danube: the Royal Palace, the National Museum, the National Gallery, Matthias Church, and the Fishermen's Bastion.
Here is the Fishermen's Bastion, on the edge of the Buda side overlooking the Danube River. It's often mobbed with tourists, but here's a look during a quiet moment:
|A bronze statue of St. Stephen's holds court in the middle of the Fishermen's Bastion terrace.|
|Wind through the towers and steps to get nifty views of the river and the Pest side.|
|To the right, the Danube River. To the left — try to guess!|
Above, the modern building on the left side of the photograph is actually a Hilton hotel. The first fancy (the New York Times called it "American-style") hotel to be built on Castle Hill, the Hilton incorporates part of a 13th century church. Odd, and controversial.
We found the curiosity intriguing and opted to stay at the Hilton as part of an Expedia travel bundle. The Hilton itself is nice enough, but the location is fantastic. Looking across the Danube River, you can't miss the majestic Parliament Building. (Well, as we learned, unless the dreary fog descends.)
Here's a view on our lone sunny morning:
A closer shot, just as the heavy fog was beginning to lift:
|A river cruise in frigid November? I'll wait till spring, thanks!|