budapest | walking shoes

Added on by Elizabeth Brunsman.

by foot

In Budapest, children with bowl cuts must hold hands.  

In Budapest, children with bowl cuts must hold hands.  

There's no question--you walk in Europe. But I love it and it's such a great way to orient yourself.  My husband prefers walking with phone GPS in hand, but that drives me nuts.  I feel like we're seriously sticking out as tourists when you hear "in 10 feet, turn left."  My grandpop spent some time as a cartographer for a bit in DC, working on raised relief maps, so I suppose he instilled a bit of a love for map reading.  I prefer to get lost by foot.  Plus, I'm walking off all of those Hungarian dough dessert calories..... ooofff....

by rail

Because if your feet hurt and you're tired of climbing hills (at least on the Buda side of the Danube) you may as well ride stylishly.  

Watercolor study of the yellow streetcar in front of Parliament.

Pencil sketch of the Castle Hill Funicular.

The yellow streetcars trek along the waterfront and around Parliament, but I think my favorite is the Castle Hill Funicular, on the Buda side....aka the hilly side of the Danube.  The first time we tried the Funicular was on a touristy Saturday, so we resigned ourselves to hill intervals. Yay!  A weekday brought us better luck and we took the Funicular up the hill.  It's a fancy little contraption that first opened in 1870.  It took until 1986 to reopen after World War II decimated much of Budapest.  Still, a gorgeous reconstruction.  I should have worn my fancy shoes.

by bike

Remember how I mentioned the steep hills of Buda?  Joe and I did that trek with a little 4 hour bike tour group.  One...and done.  After my fair share of biking hills, the Funicular was a very welcome mode of transportation.

by skateboard

I learned to skateboard when I lived in San Diego.  I suppose that a normal thing to learn if you live in California.  (??)  My husband had the brilliant idea that we should skateboard through Europe.  I (reluctantly) agreed as long as he carried both skateboards.  (There was no way I was adding a nickleboard to my pack!)  He went and bought 2 skateboard carrying backpacks instead...  go figure.

We had a great idea to tour some of the city last night via skateboard.  Cover a lot of ground and save your feet for another day.  Plus, the city is a different kind of breathtaking in the evening with modern inventions like up-lighting.  

Side Thought:  It's also certainly easier (in my mind) to go at night because we won't need to weave in and out of pedestrian traffic...and no one will be around to see me fall on my butt. Seems logical enough...but I digress.

We started at the Opera, working our way along Andrassy Utca (utca = street) to Hősök tere (Heroe's Square) where you'll find patina statues of the original Hungarian tribes and kings of old.  Along the way, old mansions line the street with swirly Art Nouveau style gates.  I suppose they're mainly apartments now, but I imagine some very well-to-do Hungarian elite once resided in the monstrosities.  

That excursion was cool.  I enjoyed myself, secretly.  (Don't tell my husband he was right.)  

Apologies for the blurry photos.  A selfie on a skateboard is probably not the safest idea.

Till next time...Cheers!