Explore Budapest on foot to really get close to the city. Yesterday, we left our hotel, behind the Opera on Andrassy, and set out on foot for the Big Covered Market, near Freedom Bridge on the Danube. As we took short-cuts across parks or squares, sadly we saw quite a few homeless people, living on the streets. Take a side street and you may see a run-down side of Budapest which is not on the normal tourist route. We walked by the Danube from Elizabeth Bridge to the Freedom Bridge, admiring the views, noting the many large river cruise ships anchored along the quay – clearly cruising the Danube is popular.
The Big Covered Market was probably the largest indoor market that we have seen and truly amazing. Both the external and internal architecture were quite beautiful. The size is enormous, perhaps two hundred metres by fifty. The ground floor is given over to huge displays of various assortments of food produce, i.e. paprika in huge bunches hanging like drapes, along with garlic and salami, plus the usual assortment of meat and veg., etc. Upstairs is reserved for local specialities, like lace, collectible dolls and souvenirs, directed more at the tourist market. Also upstairs, there are a large number of mouth-watering cooked food stalls.
After a short rest at a nearby cafe, in the sunshine, we crossed Freedom Bridge, going from Pest to Buda. Pest is flat and the commercial centre, whereas Buda is hilly, with the castle and is full of greenery. We slowly climbed the very steep Gellert Hill, with many twisting paths and breathtaking views of the Danube and the city. We finally reached the Citadel, at the top of the hill, really pleased that we were on foot.
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