Today we arrived in Budapest. From the airport we took a private car to our place. When we unpacked and got a feel for the place we walked around the city. We saw lots of buildings including Parliament House and this big museum thing. We went to some squares including one with a fountain. For dinner we had cake. After dinner we went on a river cruise and saw a lot of things like all the lit up bridges and Parliament House. After that we took another look at this massive bar we saw and there were so many people.

Cake for dinner
Cake for dinner!

The next morning we got up and went to a breakfast place. I had eggs and bacon. It was really good. After my breakfast I had a macaroon. After that we went on a bridge to get to the mini bus stop to get up Buda Hill. We saw lots of places apart from Buda castle like the Fisherman’s Bastion and the church. The Fisherman’s Bastion was a little fortress that the fishermen would defend Buda’s side of the the water from. Near the castle we saw a little parade of soldiers.

After the hill we went to this really cool cafe that had the best hot dogs ever. The fans even had these things that sprayed mist everywhere. Then we went to a military museum and inside was a Hungarian military museum and a Playmobil exhibition. After the museum we went to the really big bar and above it was a pool that you could put your feet in. We got some ice cream and then put our feet in the water. It was nice. There were some people that we jumping around in it, which you are not supposed to, and splashing water everywhere.

At the end of the day, we went to a church that closed before we could get to go inside. It had writing on the top of it and a big mosaic on top of the entrance.

Oli the giant destroying the city
Oli the giant destroying the city

The next day we got up bright and early to have breakfast at this French cafe. I got pancakes, Lucy and mum got croissants and dad got eggs Benedict. The breakfast was really good.

Then when we were walking to Hero’s Square, we stopped in this big exhibition thing of Hungary, Austria and Germany in miniature. It was really fun. You could press buttons that either turned on lights, made movement or started sounds. We took some photos and it actually looks like we were actually taking photos of those buildings from across the street, it was so realistic. My favourite part was the trains and train lines. It was so cool how they were moving around and stopping at the station.

After that we reached our destination at Hero’s Square. It had a big column in the middle with a statue of an angel on top. Around it were statues of people on horses. Behind that big column were two symmetrical curved walls with columns. In between the columns there were statues. It was a really big square compared to all the teeny people walking around it. My favourite part was the knight with the hat with a feather on it. After that we went to the cardboard castle. It isn’t cardboard anymore, it was upgraded to stone because it was so popular. It was made for the world exhibition, like the Eiffel Tower was, and was kept because it was so popular and loved by everyone.

We looked at a synagogue that was so expensive that we couldn’t even go in. It was like 20 Euro per person. I mean it’s just a church, who would pay that much to see marble columns and stuff?

At the end of the day we saw Hungarian folk dancing at this real, really nice theatre. We had really good seats at the back of the first section and you could see the stage clearly. They played traditional Hungarian music on the violin, cimbalom (which is like a xylophone) and the oboe while dancers danced, and sometimes they played by themselves. My favourite song was called ‘Hungarian Folk Dance’.

Ruin bar in Budapest
Ruin bar in Budapest

On Friday, we took a tram to Buda hill. At the closest tram stop we got off and took a bus up the hill. At the top there was a statue. It was called Liberty Statue. Around it were a bunch of other statues but the Liberty Statue was the tallest and most impressive because it was high up. It’s the only statue you can see from down below. Gellert Hill is called Gellert Hill because a priest called Gellert was ordered by the king to convert the Hungarians to Christianity because they were pagan, and the Hungarians were so outraged that they put Gellert in a barrel and threw him of the hill. On the climb down there were a bunch of little sticking out lookout points where you could see the river. It was quite spectacular. We saw a lot of really tired people walking up.

At the bottom there was a cave church that we went inside. We got a little audioguide for it. There are some statutes and stained glass windows inside the church and there are multiple rooms, like the sculpting room and the praying room. It was a very impressive church that was mined out of solid rock. At the end we went in to the store and looked at and played the music boxes, although we didn’t get any because they were quite expensive. For lunch, we went to the food hall at the market and I had chicken with potatoes. It was delicious.

At around 3 or 4 o’clock, we went to a ruin bar. It was the first one to open in Budapest. A ruin bar is a building that was supposed to be destroyed and was turned into a bar instead. Lucy, mum, dad and I all got lemonades.

On the first day of the weekend, we took a tram then walked to the cog railway. It was called the cog railway because it ran on cogs. We took it to get to the children’s railway. The children’s railway is run by children who are supervised by adults. It was pretty cool because all the children had to salute when they passed another child or adult. They checked our tickets and then we got off.

When we got off dad and I walked up to an observation tower. At the top we got a really good view of Budapest. At the first viewing platform, we took a photo of mum and Lucy sitting and drinking their lemonades. After that we got tickets for the chairlift and when on the chairlift. It was really fun. Sometimes I wanted to reach out my hand and touch the trees, we were so close. Dad and I took photos of mum and Lucy as they got off. We took the bus back to where we were in Pest.

For lunch and dinner we had fried bread. The fried bread is a traditional Hungarian food. For dessert after lunch we had crepes.

 

Off to Amsterdam

Svet and Oli on the canals of Amsterdam
Svet and Oli on the canals of Amsterdam

On Sunday we went to Budapest airport and flew to Amsterdam. It was a good time to be leaving because it was bucketing down rain when we left Budapest. When we arrived in Amsterdam it was even colder than Budapest. It was so cold my ears started hurting and I caught a cold. We were looking for ear muffs and we came out of one of the shops and our friend Charlotte was walking by with her parents. We had a little chat and they said they needed to hurry because they had a booking for 6 o’clock for a restaurant. We had dinner really late because it was hard to find a restaurant where we would like the food.

Oli hiding from the camera
Oli hiding from the camera

The next day we bought a beenie and went to the botanic gardens with Cath. The first section we went into was the South African and Australian section. We saw lots of trees that we recognised and lots of trees that we didn’t. Next we went into the tropical centre. There were lots of teeny frogs that made really loud noises when they blew their necks up. It was quite fun. It was really, really, really hot in the tropical area and when I got outside I became really cold. We went outside into this little flower area. I sat on a bench and watched the bees eat the nectar from the flowers. The next section we went into was the potted plants. We got to see one of the oldest potted plants in existence. Mum got a photo with it. We also got to see a plant that is basically extinct. That is one of the last of its type. The next section was an outdoor area with a hedge and a pond. The pond had a lot of water lilies where the dragonflies were landing. The dragonflies were really blue and some were blackish.

For lunch we went to a cafe and I had a really nice toasty and a hot chocolate. After that we walked to the tram station and caught the tram to the cat barge. It was a little floating house that had lots of cats in it. After that we walked into an arcade that had lots of colourful mosaics on the walls and Cath and mummy took lots of photos. Next we went to the main square. There were a bunch of pigeons and monks and the monks were getting filmed feeding them. Went the monks left a bunch of people ran through the pigeons and scared them off.

At the end of the day we got a hot dog and went to an alms house. It is now a private house area where people can buy houses. It has a little garden in the middle. The buildings look really nice. For dinner we went to a seafood bar and had seafood (obviously).

We met Chryss, David and Cath the next morning to rent bikes and ride around a park. There were lots of canals and it was fun riding by them. We took lots of grelfies (group selfies) and photos of our surroundings. There were duckies in the water. The track was a mix between concrete paths and rock paths. The most comfortable to ride on were the concrete paths and we walked our bike on the rock paths.

For lunch we went to Foodhallen and I had a burger, mum had a falafel, dad had pork wrapped in bacon and Lucy had sushi. My burger was good and I think everyone else enjoyed their food. After that we walked around a bit and went to a bar that had boardgames like poker. We took the poker set but we realised it was too complicated for us so we ended up playing ‘cheat’ with the cards.

When we were walking to where we were going to dinner, some butterflies landed on us and we got photos.

Oli and the butterfly
Oli and the butterfly

The next day we walked around for a while and got some food from the market and went to the place we were renting a boat from. The boat ride was super fun. We had 3 hours and I got to drive a few times. Driving a boat is really easy. We took chicken, dips, bread, cheese and olives to eat for lunch on the boat.

After that we wen to the Van Gough Museum. There were lots of his paintings, like his portraits and the paintings he did in the mental asylum. We got a really good audioguide and I learnt why Vincent chopped off his ear. When he was living in the south of France he invited artists to stay with him, including Gaugiun. They both admired each other although they had heaps of arguments. One particular argument resulted in Vincent chopping off his left ear in rage. He gave it to a girl in a bordello.

After the museum we walked around and got some dinner, and went to a dessert place. I had ice cream with a macaroon.

Oli at the wheel of the boat in Amsterdam
Oli at the wheel of the boat in Amsterdam

On our last day in Amsterdam we took an Uber to the airport from our place, said “bye bye” to Amsterdam and flew off to Venice.

One final bonus photo - at the request of Chryss, here is a drawing by Oli of us all in the boat.
One final bonus photo – at the request of Chryss, here is a drawing by Oli of us all in the boat.