Cruising the Danube from the Black Sea to the North Sea
From old Pest we drove back over Elizabeth Bridge and up Castle Hill. Behind the hill we walked up steps to see 120 cherry trees in blossom. From there it was a short walk to the Hospital in the Rock. Castle Hill is limestone filled with natural caves. In late 1930s these were extended to make a hospital for air raid victims. Hungary joined the war on side of the Axis (Germany). The hospital was built for 60 beds but catered for 650 at height of the siege by the Red Army in 1944. Later used for victims of Hungarian revolution in 1956 when Soviets took over Hungary. The Soviets then added a nuclear bunker to the hospital. For a long time the facility was closed but then opened for visits on special days. It proved so popular it became a permanent museum. Our guide was Adam who had a good sense of humour and a good explanation of Hungarians. “Hungary has joined many wars but always on the losing side. So wait for Hungary to decide then do opposite”. “Hungarians are big meat eaters. If it moves we east it. It if doesn’t move we push it aside.”
The other tour we took was a coach and walking tour of old Pest. It passed architectural marvels and Heroes Square.
After lunch the Scenic Jade set sail up the Danube. We passed through old Budapest again and then passed new developments of tall office and apartment blocks and many more bridges. The change in architectureal style from old to modern was quite marked.
After dinner we were entertained by a group of hungarian dancers accompanied by a string quartet. The performers came on board before we left Budapest and we dropped them off somewhere remote just after 10pm. They put on a great performance.
Last updated: 30 June 2023