With only a day to see the splendors of Budapest, I opted for an organized city tour.
When the bus rolled up, we all clambered in, a motley crew of tourists and travelers from all corners of the globe, all anxious to see what Budapest had to offer.
The tour took us through the Castle District which is the old walled part of Budapest. There are two very distinct parts of the district -- the Old City and the Royal Palace. The Old City is a typical medieval town with narrow winding streets, painted houses and old ornate churches. The Royal Palace has been reconstructed after many assaults on it through the years and now houses museums and the National Library.
We disembarked from the bus to climb Gellert Hill to take in the panoramic view of the Danube and the city below. The Citadella and the Independence Monument are at the summit.
Budapest is built on thermal mineral springs and as a result, there are bathhouses everywhere. After a day of touring, we stopped at the Szechenyi Bath, an immense complex of baths near the city center. There are even chess boards mounted so that bathers can have a relaxing game in the baths!
It's time to head south to Athens and then on to the islands......I'm ready for some island time!