This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 19 November 2015.
Budapest overwhelmed me. I was not surprised though, this is the kind of effect most huge capital cities did on me. The city is huge, consisted of previously two different cities, Buda and Pest, with the glorious Danube streaming proudly in between. There is always something to do and you will never grow tired of it. It is a city like no other.
Budapest felt like it embodied two personalities, and of course no shock there given its history, it was after all two cities combined as one. I can only describe Budapest like two women with very different characters.
Pest would be that popular girl you’d want to hang out with. She would be the one with a sexy black dress with long wavy hair which she would let loose and high stilettos which clicked whenever she walked, making heads turn. Her bright, red lipstick would seduce many, and her bracelets would make soft jingles every time her arms swayed, telling stories of where she got them from. Yes, Pest would be vibrant, loud, talkative, modern but she was not one who would forget her root.
Buda, however, would be a more quieter woman but no less attractive than Pest as she owned her own charms. Her dress would be a vintage one, with her hair up in an elegant bun. She would carry her favourite classic book in her old leather bag. A simple necklace with a bird pendant would dangle from her slender neck, she would happily tell you of the story behind her unique jewellery when asked. Her nude lipstick would fade after several sips from her cup of tea, she would be a witty kind of woman, always alert, always curious and undoubtedly smart.
Buda and Pest were different kinds, perhaps worlds apart, but when they meet, conversations would flow, both their charms would attract people, flooding curiosity across the room.
Though the Pest side has many amazing buildings like the famous Parliament, the majestic Cathedral and the huge Central Market filled with glorious food and unique souvenirs, the Buda side was the one that attracted my attention the most. I don’t know, maybe I find myself more like Buda. I love how it is a little bit quieter than Pest, where the cobbled stones streets are wide and the area around looks like one out of a fairytale story. I am after all a dreamer.
One of my favourite spots while in Buda was the Fisherman’s Bastion with its seven white towers. From the fortress I could see Pest in all its glory. I even returned here twice, during the night, where the atmosphere was different from how it was during the day. It was more romantic, as if I was in a different place.
Oh and how could I forget Matthias Church with its colourful roof, the church complimented the whole panoramic view that made me fell in love with Buda. Not wanting to leave, I sat at the front porch of Ruszwurm, a small but well-known café that serves the most delicious dessert and ice coffee I have ever tasted.
I walked around after having my sweet tooth craving fulfilled. Around the palace area, I was drawn to a huge statue of a bird. It is a Turul bird, an important bird to the Hungarians. My free walking tour guide told us that according to the myth that has been passed down from generation to generation, it was this bird that transported the Magyars, the Hungarian people, from Asia to Europe. She said, excitedly, that many centuries ago the physical appearance of the Magyars were Asians but changed overtime as they settled in their new environment. I don’t know how much of this story is true, whether it was only half right or a mere myth, but I love how my guide, a local, felt very proud of her background, of the stories and history that make up modern Hungary.
After a while, I returned to Pest, where I stayed during my visit. However, my thought lingered in Buda, hoping that I could come back again to be bewitched once more by its charms. Oh Buda!