We would be flying to Budapest very early the following day.
|The 3 sisters - left 1970 and 2013, and right 2017 and 2018|
Tuesday 10th April, we had to wake up early to get on the road at 7.30 am as we would be encountering a lot of traffic to Lisbon with people on their way to work.
Because of the rainy morning it took us 1,30h to travel the 37km from Cascais to Lisbon!
At the airport my husband dropped us at the Departures terminal and quickly went to the other end of the airport to drop the rented car. We did our check-in as both my daughter and I had a bag to dispatch, and anxiously waited for my husband to arrive as we didn't have much time left, with check in closing at 9.25, but he made it!
Because I didn't even have a chance to eat a delicious custard tart while on holidays, I bought a box of 6 tarts and the 4 of us shared them.
The Air Portugal flight departed at 10.55 under some rain and 3.30h later we landed in Budapest, Hungary.
|Lisbon airport, sitting on the plain with the rain coming down, flying over Lisbon, Portuguese custard tarts|
Just outside the airport we lined up at the very organized taxi ordering booth - they ask your name, how many people, how many bags, the address to be taken to, calculate an approximate fee and give you a paper with the taxi number plate which soon comes along.
Ours was a small van for the 4 of us plus 2 big suitcases and 2 onboard bags, and about 40 minutes later we were deposited in front of our accomodation - Avantegarde apartments, Kazinczy u. 9 (Kazinczy street), right in the center of the VII district or Jewish Quarter, which was very central to walk around the city.
|Just before landing in Budapest and the Hungary sign outside the airport|
|Avantegarde Apartments - our accommodation in the Jewish Quarter, District VII|
We then joined Karina and Thomas and went for a quick bite at the Karavan food market a few metres down the street. It looked like an empty piece of land where a lot of food caravans parked, some tables and benches were set in the middle, simple food and drinks and very popular.
I just had sweet potato chips with a dipping sauce and they were great, but my always hungry "son in law" and my husband ordered a goulash dish served in a round bread.
Generally I found Hungarian food to be a bit heavy on meat, potatoes and bread, but we also had nice food in other restaurants.
Just like in Portugal every Cafe, restaurant or even an outdoor eating area like this has free wi-fi, and the password is usually written on the menus. Apart from the free wi-fi everywhere, in both countries the internet is also heaps faster than in Australia.
One downside was the currency, I knew Hungary had joined the European Union in 2004 but I wasn't aware they didn't use the Euro and I had taken euro notes that I hadn't spent in Portugal.
Their currency is the Forint, so it was confusing always trying to work out the prices in Euros or Australian Dollars just to see if things were cheap or expensive. In some larger restaurants, hotels and shops they will accept Euros, but from the conversions the prices always seemed to be a bit higher than in Forints.
|Karavan food market - food trucks with simple food, desserts and drinks, the free wi-fi sign|
Budapest, Hungary's capital is divided by the Danube river with various bridges connecting the hilly Buda district where you find the cobblestone streets, the castle, the baths, to the flat modern and busy Pest district. Until 1873, they were two cities which were then joined with the name of Budapest.
We still had some time before Thomas's parents and brother arrived, so we took a walk down to the river to cross one of it's dozen bridges.
The Liberty or Freedom Bridge, originally named Franz Joseph Bridge, is the shortest bridge in Budapest's centre, built between 1894 and 1896 with mythological sculptures and the country's coat of arms adorning its side. After World War II the bridge was rebuilt due to heavy damage.
The bridge is crossed by trams and cars, but there are plans to make it a pedestrian only bridge.
|Liberty Bridge - bottom left is the Great Market Hall, the coat of arms on top and sides of the bridge|
On the other side of the bridge is the Gellért Hill with the Liberty Statue or Freedom statue on the top, a statue that commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom and prosperity of Hungary.
|The Danube River with the Elizabeth bridge in the distance and the Liberty Statue atop the Gellert Hill|
After reaching the end of the bridge we returned to the hotel, admiring the monuments and statues along the way.
|Statues, a church and a Museum|
|Interesting architecture, a bicycle in front of a shop window, a "man-statue" hanging from a shop's sign|
The food was nice, prices were reasonable and service was good.
|Anker Club Restaurant - my salmon and two of the desserts|
After dinner we walked to the end of the street to Erzsébet Square park where the Budapest Eye is located. This 65mt high Ferris wheel, opened in March 2017 and is the largest in Europe. Here people (not me!) can enjoy views over the city, with only the Basilica being higher.
We enjoyed a walk around the brightly lit monuments, even thought it was a week day the town was full of people enjoying the balmy night.
|The Basilica, the Budapest Eye, a fountain sculpture at the Jewish Museum, Hello Hungary sign at the park|
|The Basilica (left), The Jewish Museum towers and a statue of a fountain at the Jewish Museum|
Back in our street we stopped for a short while at the Karavan food trucks as the men wanted a coffee, and then it was time to go and rest.
|Karavan food trucks at night|