Sunday morning, Lachlan perfectly executed his signature Fosbury flop double pike onto Nali’s face to wake her and Grandpa DAVE up. After everyone had recovered from the initial shock it was a leisurely start to the day, all six of us were more than happy lazing about the house. Eloise was darting about finishing off her packing.
In the afternoon, Liam made a wet dash down to the train station to get the show on the road.
A couple of hours later the crew had finished packing the car and the chase was on. When Liam hopped off at Edinburgh Park Station the skies had opened. It was a rapid twenty minute sprint to the airport. I had to do a quick detour to check out the Edinburgh Spitfire. I am contractually obliged to mention it was sh*te compared to the Glaswegian Spitfire in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
We timed it perfectly and all arrived at the airport parking at the same time. Luckily Liam had packed a spare pair of shoes.
We checked in our bags, Grandpa DAVE attempted to check in a Lachnado but dangerous goods were not permitted.
It was then almost a three hour flight with an extra hour lost along the way. After covering the plane in stickers we touched down. For this adventure, we tried to pick somewhere that none of us had been before and just like that we were in Budapest.
It was a short wait for the airport transfer to arrive. Eloise must have been tired she was stuck in a loop telling us on repeat “we have been waiting a very long time, Nali, Grandpa DAVE, we’ve been waiting a really long time”, it had only been a few minutes. Eloise’s memory does surprise us, pointing out, “this is like when we waited for Becca for a really long time, Nali, Becca was really late”. Somehow, Eloise was still awake when we arrived at the mega apartment, it was much more spacious than our Glaswegian house. The kids were eventually in bed at 01:00, although technically midnight back in Glasgow for whatever that is worth.
This morning, Lachlan was first up in the new apartment and was not even shocked, we are not sure if we should be concerned about that. He just accepts our plans now, the poor boy never gets to sleep in his bed for a month straight. He treated himself to some Hungarian television while trying to work out where he was.
We were all excited to head out and check out the best of Budapest. The city caught us by surprise, the architecture was stunning, we passed the Hungarian National Museum. We had hardly even thought about this trip and then it was on us in a flash, it was refreshing wandering around with no real plan, free to explore.
We were on the hunt for breakfast, after Grandpa DAVE loaded up on Hungarian Forint we thought the enormous Great Market Hall would be a good bet. However, food wise nothing jumped out at us. The Great Market Hall was interesting and absolutely packed with sweet merch for Nali. Lachlan was getting hangry, we had to move on.
The Great Market Hall is the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest, Hungary. The idea of building such a large market hall arose from the first mayor of Budapest, Károly Kamermayer, and it was his largest investment. He retired in 1896 and participated in the opening ceremony on February 15, 1897.
Across the road, we found a lovely cafe and Eloise was quick to browse for what was becoming brunch.
The cafe was situated in a beautiful square full of pollen. The eagled-eyed Eloise spotted a PG across the square and as soon as we were finished, the kids were off.
After the kids had their exercise fix we mosied down to Danube River.
It was roasting in the sun as we pushed on along the Danube towards the city centre admiring the incredible Eastern European buildings. This is the further east Liam, Super Mum, Eloise and Lachlan have traveled in Europe, we are actually bordering Ukraine at the moment, albeit still a three hour drive from the border.
Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian Kings in Budapest. It was first completed in 1265, although the massive Baroque palace today occupying most of the site was built between 1749 and 1769. The complex in the past was referred to as either the Royal Palace or the Royal Castle. The castle now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest Historical Museum.
We were relieved when we stumbled upon the misters, just what we needed.
It was the perfect day for a river cruise. We have had a hit and miss experience with Lachlan on river cruises. However, Lachlan then fell asleep, he really doesn’t like the heat, so we jumped aboard. Luckily Grandpa DAVE had his travel sarong at the ready.
After the scenic hour cruise we dashed back through the misters and made our way along the Danube.
We had not gone far but the sun was taking it out of us quickly, we managed to get to Grandpa DAVE’s beloved Széchenyi Chain Bridge which was built buy a Scottish engineer.
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is a chain bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Designed by English engineer William Tierney Clark and built by Scottish engineer Adam Clark, it was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Hungary. It was opened in 1849.
A short walk further was the Shoes on the Danube Bank.
The Shoes on the Danube Bank is a memorial erected on 16 April 2005, in Budapest, Hungary. Conceived by film director Can Togay, he created it on the east bank of the Danube River with sculptor Gyula Pauer [hu] to honour the Jews who were massacred by fascist Hungarian militia belonging to the Arrow Cross Party in Budapest during the Second World War. They were ordered to take off their shoes (shoes were valuable and could be stolen and resold by the militia after the massacre), and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. The memorial represents their shoes left behind on the bank.
We were running out of steam, or had too much steam, either way, the pace had dropped. The kids were ready to turn around however they were both amazed by the water bus, the perfect distraction to push on a wee further past the Hungarian Parliament Building again.
The Hungarian Parliament Building (Hungarian: Országház [ˈorsaːkhaːz], which translates to “House of the Country” or “House of the Nation”), also known as the Parliament of Budapest after its location, is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, a notable landmark of Hungary, and a popular tourist destination in Budapest. It is situated on Kossuth Square in the Pest side of the city, on the eastern bank of the Danube. It was designed by Hungarian architect Imre Steindl in neo-Gothic style and opened in 1902. It has been the largest building in Hungary since its completion.
The effect of the misters had worn off and sadly there was not another station. Eloise and Lachlan happily settled for ice cream while we watched the statues cling on for dear life.
Once Grandpa DAVE had finished taking photos of a collection of trees Eloise asked Nali, “Nali, why does Grandpa DAVE like trees? The are just made out of wood” and then we were on our way back. The kids bizarrely ran into Ronaldo Reagan. The statue is located in Liberty Square as the “Hungarian people wanted to show their appreciation for the former U.S. president’s efforts in ending the Cold War, which in turn helped to end the Russian influence in Hungary”.
If we were not impressed enough by how clean and pretty the city was, there was a great amount of playgrounds spread throughout, which certainly helps keep the family moving along.
“Uh oh, Mummy, uh oh”, we ran into another water park, Super Mum made the dash through and they all made it. Lachlan was loving the thrill, he was really in the hot seat.
We passed St Stephen’s Basilica on the beautiful route ‘home’ but did not have the legs to get us there.
It had been a fun and definitely sweltering family day out. We don’t feel like we ever scraped the surface of Budapest, the city has so much to offer. Janet, we did not make it to the baths sadly, Lachlan would have gone a bit wild. We would strongly suggest Budapest on the travel list.
This evening it went from great to even better for Australian cricket as “Ashleigh Gardner has produced the second-best Test match bowling figures by a woman to spin her side to an 89-run Ashes Test victory over England at Trent Bridge”.