We take a river taxi this morning and finally get onto the Danube River. There are all sorts of boats on the river…
including very long barges… river cruise ships, and whatever this ship is.
Our taxi is quite nice, with tables and chairs on the top deck and a dining room on the main deck with white table cloths. Not what we expected for a river taxi. The ride is only four stops in the winter months so we also ride it back to where we started, just to spend a little more time on the river sight-seeing. There is a great view of the Buda Castle… and an interesting row of houses on the Buda side of the river. We pass right under the Chain Bridge heading back towards the Parliament Building. The workers washing the sides of this river cruise ship waved to me when they saw I was taking pictures. The river was very calm and the sun was still low in the morning sky. We could just make out the Liberty Statue we visited yesterday on top of the hill in the distance. We return to our stop near the Parliament Buildings and I get a great shot of this enormous building. The Budapest Parliament building is the third largest Parliament building in the world. It has 691 rooms, 20 kilometres of stairs and at 96 meters. It is the same height as the St. Stephen’s Basilica. We decided against visiting the interior in favour of spending our time outside. This is our water taxi. We saw several others but none of them looked as nice as this one. I think we were just lucky and happened to catch the best one! The guards in front of the Parliament stand on opposite sides of this big flag pole and then every once in a while they march together round and round the flag pole. We both think it must be quite tedious. We catch a bus back towards the Indoor Market. I forgot to get a photo yesterday. We were looking for the ‘For Sale’ Pub, but when we walked in the waitress told us they weren’t open and refused to let me take a photo. So here is one off of Trip Advisor. If you have something for sale you write it on a piece of paper and stick it wherever you can. This started before there was internet and now people pin whatever they want to the walls. There is straw and peanut shells all over the floor and candles on the tables. Seems like an accident waiting to happen to me!
We walk from the market area back towards our apartment passing a variety of interesting buildings. Some of them were in need of restoration…
and others were well cared for. We stopped to see the University Library. It is in an old palace, and we wandered about checking out the rooms. This was the most interesting one, with its balcony, but I didn’t climb up to it. The stairs were behind the librarian’s desk and I didn’t want to disturb all the people studying. Take a look at this corner…there are big bean bags for reading, or napping! We see flower boxes still in bloom in the middle of November, lots of these grey and black birds (they are Hooded Crows), interesting art work in shop windows, and this sign which translates to One Psalm. No idea what that means.There are so many gorgeous buildings in this city…
it is easy to take too many building photos! After lunch and a rest we are back on the streets, looking for a puppet theatre. We pass several buildings with wooden scaffolding, made with big timbers. There are a lot of buildings that need work, and we see quite a few that are boarded up along one of Budapest’s main streets.
The puppet show is in Hungarian but we know the story and thought it would be a fun things to see. The theatre was full of school kids who really enjoyed the show. We did too. Here are some fo the cast taking a bow at the end of the play… and some of the displays in the lobby. I did some drawing during the play. These drawings were done in the dark so I couldn’t see what I had drawn until the lights came on. Can you figure out what the play was? There is a pretty big clue in my drawings.
I peek into this book store as we walk home after the play. I love book stores that look like this!These photographs were on the wall outside the House of Terror Museum. According ot Wikipedia “It contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist regimes in 20th-century Hungary and is also a memorial to the victims of these regimes, including those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the building.” We pass this rather odd couple on our walk home, not far from the House of Terror.
Our little apartment has a masonry stove that keeps us toasty warm. One box of wood keeps us warm for 24 hours. On our way in to Linz we see this ‘green’ apartment. Lots of gardeners must live here. It took some time to find the bike rental company. They weren’t easy to locate. We pass this big mural during our search. I thought these bikes were quite interesting. They fold up compactly.We start out on our bike trip along the Danube. Bob wants dot take my photo while I was still in one piece! There are some great views along the way… and some wooded trails. I did quite well until the killer hedge tried to get me…and then there was the vortex railing! If I got too close it tried to suck me in! Bob left me at a coffee shop to rest and sketch and he went a bit further down the river, crossed a bridge, and then returned on this strange looking ferry. These flowers are much like the anenomes we grow at home only much larger. We see the long barge steaming down the river. This curious mural is on a building near the café where I waited for Bob.The trees here are so big. I found out that the average temperature here in January and February is -3 Celcius and -4 Celcius. So much warmer than our winters, no wonder the trees grow so large.
Our selfie along the Danube. I need a few breaks on the ride home, so a photo is a good excuse for little rest 😉 These river cruise boats remind us of our cruise on the Nile, where the cruise ships were lined up 6 or 7 deep along the shore. Passengers had to walk through all the ships, sometimes walking across the water on a narrow board between the ships, to get to shore. This wasp was really big! We take our bikes back. They are in a building which is an incubation centre for start-ups. Looks like these steps are a place to relax, or even snooze. We see two souped up go-carts being wheeled into the building. I am happily surprised to discover Gerstäcker, a huge art store, in this building. After our ride I spend at least an hour exploring and find some new drawing pencils, and two really nice hardcover Hahnemühle Sketchbooks, a 10″ square and a 8.5″ x 12″ rectangular one. They were really reasonably priced too! I couldn’t resist even though my suitcase will be a lot heavier.Nearby is an industrial area called Mural Harbor. Artists from over 25 nations created more than 100 works of art on warehouse buildings.
It is getting dark and it is raining so we drive around and see what we can from the car before heading home. There are some pretty impressive works here. These are all at least 10-12′ tall or larger. I particularly liked the cat and mice.
When we get home Bob tells me that I rode 24 km. and he rode 38 km. No wonder I am tired! Good thing he didn’t tell me how far we were going to ride before we started.
This is the view from our apartment window. It is a fairly busy street but as long as our windows are closed the apartment is very quiet. Austria has a “vignette’ sticker for travel on their highways. It costs 24 euros, instead of charging tolls on each highway.. So, we went to put it on our car and surprise, we have a parking ticket! No one else parked on the same street has a ticket and it is where our host told us to park! We can’t figure out why we got the ticket. We contact our host and he says we are legally parked. He thinks that maybe whoever issued the tickets doesn’t ‘like’ our Slovakian rental car and gave us a ticket!
We try to go to the Council office to fight the ticket but it closed at noon, and it is already 12:30, so we decide to just pay the ticket and not worry about it. These things can happen on holidays and it isn’t worth getting upset over.
After we sorted all that out, Bob went for a walk to the Danube River and I stayed home and do a bit of my blog and just take it easy.
It is about an hour walk to the Danube river. There is a hydro-electric dam across the Danube. Bob was able to walk onto the dam see some of downtown Vienna in the distance. He also watched a ship go through the locks beside the dam. It took about 20 minutes for the water to fill the lock so the ship could pass upstream.
I have mentioned before that this blog is a great souvenir for us as well as a way to keep in touch with family and friends.
I have a favour to ask. If you enjoyed reading a post could you ‘Like’ it or perhaps post a comment? It is kind of nice to know others are enjoying our blog too. Thanks so much to the people who have taken the time to comment. I really appreciate it.