Today was just waiting to happen. Kristen and I always have adventures when we travel, and frankly our first two days were too normal. Today was not. We got a lot of chances to laugh at ourselves, at least!
After a lunchtime breakfast from the bakery, we walked over to Margit Sziget, the largest island in the Danube. It has several miles of paths for walking running, and biking. We went to rent bikes, and were entranced by the Bringo, a two-bike contraption that looks like a golf cart. We figured it would be more conducive to conversation than two bikes, and would be lots of fun. Here are two pictures of us in the Bringo, taken with my camera's self-timer.
Some of the architectural attractions of the island are ruins of churches and cloisters from the middle ages. So we parked the bike and walked around. Here's a picture of us under the remains of an arch.
The trees were also fun to look at, and some of them had grown in really interesting ways. I like this picture:
On the north side of the island, the adventures began. The right pedal of the right bike of the Bringo popped off! The screw threads were completely shredded, it was barely possible to tell that it used to be a screw. We tried everything to put it back on, but it didn't work. The stickiest thing I had was a band-aid, but it didn't hold for long. We tried to tie it on, but it didn't work either. Some of our attempts were witnessed by a very amused toothless Hungarian man, who unsuccessfully tried to help. There was nothing to be done. Sticks sometimes worked for a few pedals, and the pen broke after only two rotations.
Here is a picture of the cloisters. Portions have been restored.
There's also a small zoo on the island, including these fluffy birds, that look like walking wingless stuffed animals.
After returning the bike and its pedal (luckily he didn't charge us the full fee) we walked back to the bridge and to the Buda side of the river, where we went to a supermarket to get something to drink before walking to the castle. This side of the river had a lovely view of Parliament.
We took a funicular up to the castle, which is at the top of a hill. The sun was setting on the other side of the hill:
The view from the top was amazing. Hills on one side, Pest and the Danube on the other.
Here's the Chain Bridge and the Basilica, seen from the castle.
And here are Kristen and I, on top of the hill. There were very few people up at the castle, so it wasn't a problem that Kristen and I sang as we explored.
We walked down the hill and along the river to the hostel, then went to an Italian restaurant that had caught our eye days ago. It's called "Okay Italia" which we thought was a hilarious name for a restaurant. The prices were reasonable, although we tried lots of things so it added up. Kristen got an assortment of bruschetta and a tortellini dish, and I got ravioli in broth and spinach lasagne. We shared profiteroles for dessert. It was all delicious, much better than "okay."
Tomorrow is our last day in Budapest, and we're going to the Ethnography museum, which should be particularly interesting because of the permanent exhibition on Hungarian culture. Then in the early evening we head back to the airport, to fly to Dublin!
Until then, keep the pedals on your bikes and enjoy warm weather when you can!