Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Christmas Market...Budapest


We left Paris on a quick EasyJet flight to Budapest Hungary where we would spend the next 5 nights. Upon landing it was snowing, we were hoping we would have a white Christmas but unfortunately this was the only active snow we would see on the entire trip. We grabbed a cab and were soon checking into the absolutely lovely Hotel Palazzo Zichy. The hotel was modern but built into an old building and we had a great room with a view of the gorgeous church and cute square across the street. It's in a great location too, being very near the Jewish Quarter, blocks from a main trolly line and only a 10 minute walk from our friends Anne & Brian's apartment.

After unpacking we bundled up and made our way to their place for a little Budapest welcoming of Hungarian sparkling wine, chocolate, salami & a delicious paprika cheese. Honestly Dayne hadn't met Anne or Brian before, and I had only met them once via other common friends, but that is one of the many perks of traveling IMHO. You get to meet and become friends with people all over the world who are like minded about traveling.

It was the last night of the Christmas market so after our aperos we all headed down to the main square for some dinner and holiday cheer. There were beautiful lights strung across most of the streets along the way and then at the square a light display was being shown on the side of one of the buildings. There were row upon row of little cabins where local artists showed their wares. And of course there was food. A few huge counters were set up, pretty with hanging lights and smelling of roasted meats and mulled wine. Anne pointed out various things that she knew we'd be interested in and we set to ordering. Sausages, potatoes, pork knuckles, stuffed cabbage, etc.
The snow had turned to drizzle but Brian found a picnic table under an umbrella and we had our first of many delicious meals in Budapest.

Hot wines and hot chocolates in hand we walked our dinner off (or one bite of pork knuckle maybe) by strolling around the market. There were many people out shopping, eating, drinking and listening to the live music. It was absolutely lovely.
Brian and Anne detoured us down a little street and we had our first glimpse of the Danube and its stunning waterfront. I couldn't wait to do more sightseeing the next day!
And then we made our way back, walking through connecting streets where the market continued with vendors, food stalls, even a little pop up bar with a fireplace you could enjoy a drink by, in the middle of the sidewalk.

It was exactly the way I had imagined our first night in Budapest. If you get a chance to go during the Christmas market I highly recommend it.
Budapest photos