Week three sees our intrepid family knocking off the rest of our Must-Do items and having fun at the FINA 2017 World Championships. The Fun Zone became our second home!
We started with the Funicular. It was built during the late 19th Century 1000 year commemoration of Budapest’s founding. It’s a short ride, maybe not really worth the money twice, but worth it once.
The ride up has some great views back to the Pest side of the Danube River.
The kids sometimes love seeing old stuff, but most of the time we have to bribe them with their special activity in order to get them out to see the historic sites with us. Here’s Mr.7 paying his dues for the Zoo. 🙂
On the way back home we knew we needed something to drink, and I remembered how to get us back to the Cat Cafe. Seeing St. Stephen’s Basilica was a pretty sweet landmark.
Janos Pal Papa Ter is an up-and-coming neighborhood, lacking the polish of Old Town/Downtown, but it has a charm all its own. It’s easy to see things haven’t always been perfectly wonderful in Budapest, lots of homeless people and some buildings are crumbling and going unused, but this is not new to us. Much of the Baltics and Balkans are recovering from Russian occupation and are joining the west in the digital age. Our internet, by the way, has been close to the fastest here as any country we’ve been in.
Regardless, I love these old streets that are probably older than the US or New Zealand combined. So many stories locked in these walls, and around every corner.
Speaking of stories, just look up while you’re walking and you catch little gems like this. Guyla Derkovits was a graphic designer and painter in the early 20th century who is commemorated here:
On our walk home there’s a bus satellite station where several buses are always parked waiting for the afternoon rush. What I like about buses here is that they make it clear in a graphic on the back the bus’ status. This one is out of service, frown, but others have a wrench for “being serviced” or a coffee cup for the obvious “off for a coffee break”.
Our time here in Budapest has been dominated too by the FINA 2017 World Championships for amateur water sports. Budapest was a late replacement for the event so had not much time to prepare but they did an amazing job and the event went off without a hitch. What this meant for us was lots to do during the week, for school holidays, and on weekends.
The kids got free activities and face-painting while Mum and I rested in the shade. By this time Budapest is getting summery hot!
This octopus made me laugh every time I saw him; he was so cool! I thought this was a fun touch. Budapest didn’t just host the event, it owned it, and it was super organised and fun, and really busy with plenty of room for all.
Mr.7 got face-painted several times too, those volunteers had their work cut out for them with our two cherubs, but it made me so happy to see both of them having so much fun!
Mr.7’s favourite thing is Zoos. We’ve seen them in Riga, Edinburgh and Athens, and now Budapest. A modest zoo, but done the Budapest way it was really impressive. Hungarians seem to obsess over the little details and this has made things extra special.
Every day we come home to our apartment on the park and open the windows wide to let the fresh, warm air in. Sunsets, as usual are amazingly orange and red.
Our stop is very familiar now, we hear Janos Pal papa ter (I think Pope John Paul street in Hungarian) and know we’re 90 seconds away from our front door.
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