Chain Bridge

Late in the afternoon we left the hotel in search of a cafe we’d been told about. I guess we assumed that a cafe named My Little Melbourne would have a touch of class about it and serve the best coffee in Budapest. We got lost in a rainstorm trying to find it, but eventually we located it and were quite underwhelmed by what we found. The coffee was okay, but it was uncomfortably hot in there, there was no pleasant vibe, and the decor was totally unrepresentative of the Melbourne we know and love. If you’re visiting Budapest, don’t bother going out of your way looking for My Little Melbourne.

It was a pleasant surprise to find a woman commemorated by a statue nearby, the first we’ve seen in Europe. Unfortunately the artist has made her look a bit like Mary Poppins, and I was left wondering whether an umbrella was the most fitting object she could be associated with in a statue when all of the male statues we saw featured weapons, horses or implements associated with their chosen field of learning or achievement.

Marg and I kept walking down to the river for our first sighting of the Danube, one of the mightiest of Europe’s rivers. We walked across the famous Chain Bridge, crossing from the side known as Pest to the other side of the river known as Buda. We didn’t do much over there today, other than take in the panorama of the riverbank and admire the fabulous houses of Parliament, but we plan to cross over to Buda again tomorrow and take the bus up the hill so we can explore the castle.

The rain had stopped and ate at a sidewalk cafe directly across the road from St Stephen’s Basilica, just a couple of hundred metres from our hotel. We might also check that out tomorrow. Apparently St Stephen was Hungary’s first king, and his right hand is reputedly on show in the basilica to this day. I hope the queue to view St Stephen’s withered hand tomorrow won’t be a long one, as I don’t want to be discouraged from seeing what has been described as the most important object in all of Hungary.

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