No matter, the best part of the hostels are the people you meet. Last night I met a guy from Singapore and we had a nice conversation. He suggested we team up and climb Gellert Hill in the afternoon. It would be nice to have some company so why not? This morning I made breakfast then picked a direction and started walking. The architecture here also has a lot of Art Nouveau like Prague but with a little twist. It feels a little more Eastern. One example is colorful tile roofs everywhere in geometric patterns, the Decorative Arts Museum is a great example. It’s interesting to see the ornamentation in something that is usually utilitarian.
I ran into a really lovely garden behind a very communist era apartment building. As I was admiring and listening to the birds sing, an elderly woman came up and started talking a mile a minute. I understood nothing and must have had a puzzle look on my face so switched to German, still no good. So she patted my arm, smiled, laughed and went on her way. On my way back I found a gluten, dairy, sugar, and xanthan gum free bakery. And it still tastes good. It’s my new favorite spot and my favorite is this traditional pastry that’s filled with this plum jam that’s been cooked down for 12 hours.
Met up with my new travel buddy by the Central Market and crossed the Danube from Pest into Buda. Our goal was to walk up Gellert Hill then over to the castle. We walked just a little ways up and checked out the Church in the Rock. It’s literally a cave dug out of the hill with a church inside. I thought it was really old but turns out it was only built in 1924 inspired by Lourdes. It’s worth a quick peek. Then back up the hill, it is very steep. My heart was pounding so loud I thought it just might burst but I made it. We enjoyed the view and a picnic lunch. We noticed some soldiers in dress uniform goofing off and playing with their swords. Then they marched in front of the Liberty statue and did a saber arch. One of the soldiers walked through and motioned to a woman in the crowd to come over. When she did, he got down on one knee and proposed. She said yes, thankfully, and the crowds applauded.
We walked back down the hill than back up Castle Hill. We wandered around the castle complex but everything was closing soon so we didn’t go in. The area is huge, with a palace at the bottom that was built after being destroyed in WWII. We headed to the top where Matthias Church looms over. We wandered around a bit more and called it a day.