What a wonderful day we have this morning, we are going to Szentendre! or St. Andrew’s, a small and charming coastal village 20 km from Budapest, on the shore of Pest.
There are two ways to get there if you don’t have a car, by train and by boat. We, my “lovely Hungarian family” and I, will take the H5 train in Batthyány. I arrive early, so I’m going for a walk in the area before entering the station. It is by the river, on the opposite side of the Parliament, so I walk from the bridge, the views and the walk are worth it.
Next to the station there is a square, in it is the church of Santa Ana, which is normally closed, but I am lucky as the parish priest is there finalizing the preparations for a wedding and lets me see it.
When they built the subway they almost got rid of it, I’m glad they didn’t. It was built between 1740 and 1762 in an Italian Baroque style, has endured wars, floods and earthquakes, and here it still stands tall.
Eszter, Naoufel, Lili & Norhane arrive, time to leave. Saint Andrew’s/Szentendre is a charming little village, popular for its museums and art galleries, small shops, and very easy access from the capital, which is why it is very visited by tourists.
In its little streets we find ice cream shops as cute as this one.
Or a cafe as cute as this, which by the way, welcomes pets, like everywherelse in Budapest, I must gladly say.
Or the beautiful Marzipan Museum.
Its most popular photo may be that of this little street with umbrellas hanging to protect walkers from the strong sun that shines in summer.
We walk along the river and stop for a while to splash around on this small “beach”.
The place is ideal to spend a quiet day and stroll through these beautiful streets.
To return we take so we’ll have tried the two options, the train is very cheap, the boat costs about €6, as I told you Hungary is still an inexpensive country for those of us who arrive from the euro, pound or dollar zone.
The mini cruise to the city is done in a slow way, in which we enjoy the green landscape, breathe, and rejoice “being”, I love it.
Upon arrival we are greeted by the beautiful Parliament, (I never tire of seeing it) that puts the icing on a wonderful day trip that I advise you to do if you spend a few days in beautiful Budapest.
On another day, during a hot weekend, we take a short train trip and stop by Lake Velence, where we spend a very relaxing beach day. It is ideal for children since it has almost no depth.
Trying to avoid the heat I decide to go to Margarita Island, I take tram 6 or 4 again and get off right in the middle of the bridge of the same name.
The island is located in the middle of the Danube, it is shaped like a muscle. It is a natural park, with some ruins, a hotel, swimming pools, places to relax and have a drink. There’s also a small fountain that emulates those of the Bellagio in Las Vegas and green gardens.
What I like the most is the 5km running lane around it.
A visit to the island is ideal when you want to disconnect from the city, get some exercise, have a picnic or spend the day in its pools.
The book that accompanies us today is by the same writer as my last post on Budapest, Sandor Marái and his work “Embers” , a wonderful review of the lives of two great friends separated for four decades. Something happened between them that led one to live in the Far East and the other to remain in his sumptuous castle dwelling on nostalgia. On one night Herik invites Komrad for dinner, to question him; he finally wants to know the truth.
A masterful narrative delving into the most intimate truths that hurt and at the same time free throughout the night from their last encounter. The once grandiose castle is now an allegory of the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. An exceptional work that crowns this journey through Hungarian lands.