Throughout the past few years, in discussions of travel, one consistent thread I've always noticed is a fervent love for the Hungarian capital of Budapest.
All the time, I’m told “Budapest is amazing!“ and that because I’ve never been there, I am 100% missing out. Praise is abundant for the city’s stunning architecture, remarkable history, friendly locals, delicious food, and the list goes on. I have to admit, I thought there wasn’t any possible way that Budapest could live up to these dangerously high expectations… but as the MS Vivaldi cruised into the heart of the city, I became an instant member of the Budapest Fan Club.
On both banks of the Danube lie the two formerly separate halves of the city: Buda in the west, and Pest in the east. With the unification of these two in 1873, Budapest is now recognized as one of the largest cities in the European Union, and draws millions of visitors to admire its beauty every year.
Shortly after we docked today, we were brought on an excursion around the city, to discover some of Budapest’s best sights. I could go on and on about how beautiful the city is, but I figured it would be easier to show you, rather than tell you:
After dinner tonight (a delicious Hungarian theme night with meat platters and goulash), I told myself that I would stay on the cruise to catch up on work, but as I stepped out on the sundeck and saw this, I knew there was no way I could possibly stay on board:
As I bolted downstairs to grab my bag, I ran into Franklin and Laura, the young couple I met on my first day, who happened to be leaving on a quest for Budapest’s best cake. With promises of a scenic walk and treat for after, how could I possibly refuse the invitation to tag along?
Strolling on the east bank of the Danube, I think I fell in love with Budapest all over again. The magic of the city really emerges after sunset, as its bridges and monuments light up, illuminating both sides of the river with a gorgeous yellow light. Budapest’s charm is a universal one, with both tourists and locals alike lining the riverbanks to enjoy the spectacular view.
And even though we never managed to find that cake we were looking for… how could I possibly be mad with views like this?
Update you all soon!