In Budapest, we opted for the walking tour with nine other spry folks who were tired of being carted around on buses, too. We hoofed across the bridge adjacent to our dock and saw a beautiful crest/insignia at the base of a hill where we took a ride on the funicular to the top.
The pic above was our view of the Danube and Viking longship when we exited the funicular. We followed the guide past some interesting buildings atop Castle Hill (guarded by troops with CCTV cameras all around it). One of the buildings still in use is riddled with pock marks from bullets, a reminder of the violence during World War II.
We continued past older commercial as well as residential buildings to 14th century Matthias Church with its beautifully tiled roof.
Then we climbed atop the more modern Fisherman's Bastion adjacent to the church for a lovely view of the city.
At this point in the tour, we hopped on a public bus to get back to the other side of the river. We strolled down Vaci Utca to the Nagy Vasarcsarnok (market hall) for a bit of an explore before returning by city tram to the boat where our official tour ended.
At the market, I spotted a tasty looking dessert at this place and we just had to indulge. I have no idea what it was, but it was delicious.
After a really late lunch aboard the ship, we decided to take a stroll on our own to see St. Stephen's basilica, a much more modern church built in the late 1800s.
We were unable to get close to the altar because they had much of the sanctuary cordoned off for a baptism that afternoon.
After checking out the church, we decided to do a bit more window shopping on the Vaci Utca. We found this darling shop with Christmas goodies and I just had to buy the ornament below since the TV screen has Santa in it and the only ornaments allowed on my tree MUST be Santa.
I have tons of Santa ornaments, but collecting is about wants rather than needs. And I couldn't resist the old school TV with the rabbit ears. Add a bit of foil to the ears and it could have been the one we had in our house when I was a kid.
Now I've just got a few odds and ends from Budapest to wrap up my final post about the cruise.
Pretty Budapest manhole cover
Another building with a statue on it, just like the ones I saw in Germany
Finally, a really big statue of a Hungarian turul, or hawk, an important bird in Magyar myth atop a plinth on Castle Hill. And it's my high school mascot. Go HJ Hawks!