Eastern Europe Part 2 travel blog

Gerbeaud Bakery

St. Istvan’s Square and Basilica

Szabadság (Liberty) Square Fountain


Parliament Grand Staircase

Parliament Legislative Chamber

New York Palace Cafe

Lobby of New York Palace Hotel

We have 1:15 tour tickets today for Parliament. First we go to the Vodafone store to see if I can get my four digit code to unlock my phone. Yesterday returning to Budapest I misplaced my wallet which contained my card with with the European Sim card that had the pertinent information on it. I either dropped my wallet at the Szentendre train station or on the train! It contained some Hungarian cash and a credit card also. But luckily I had left some cash and another credit card in the apartment! Back to the metro to head towards Parliament with a couple stops along the way. The Gerbeaud pastry shop is where between the WorldWars well-to-do ladies of Budapest would meet after shopping on Vaci street - it’s still a popular meeting place today. We had to try some of the bakery items, of course. (Just a side note, Gerbeaud shop is in Vorosmarty Square and we misread the metro map and exited at Vorosmarty Street - not only the wrong direction but 5 exits the wrong direction!) Back on track we see St. Istvan’s Basilica (Stephens) Square which is the front of the church we had seen a couple days ago and had already toured - did not realize until we entered the church. We make a stop through Szabadsag (Liberty) Square to see if we can find the US Embassy. There is an interesting water fountain, a memorial for the victims of the German Occupation and the US Embassy plus other rather large business buildings. We arrived at Parliament for our 45 minute guided tour 15 minutes early so were able to sit and rest for a spell. The tour guide was excellent, very informative and kept every one on track. The tour included the main entry way, a legislative chamber, the Hungarian crown (closely guarded by two guards), and the grand staircase. We were required to scan our tickets both entering and exiting. An interesting fact about the Royal Crown (circa 1000) is it was held (along with other Hungarian royal jewels) in Ft. Knox from 1945 until January 1978. The Parliament building is immense but today the legislature only occupies an eighth of it. It’s time for another break so we head off via Metro to find the New York Palace Cafe for caprese and a glass of wine. The ornate cafe (part of the hotel)w was first opened in 1896 and restored to its original splendor in 2006. Time to head back to the apartment, think about packing for tomorrow’s departure and our last dinner in Budapest. jc

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