In the first week of October last year, I spent 5 days in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. I had treated myself to that little spree to celebrate my birthday.
I had already figured out at home that the city of Budapest operates small ships as part of their public transport system. You only have to buy a regular return ticket, which was dirt-cheap, to get a 2-hour-cruise on the Danube.
So I chose a landing stage and waited for my ship to come on the banks of the Danube.
But I had noticed that the city has got two different kind of ships. They have ones with an open deck to sit on, and others are covered and you sit in a cabin. And I wanted by all means an open-deck ship, it’s more romantic (remember Kate Winslet in Titanic!), and it’s easier to take good photographs.
The ships ran every 30 minutes, and I skipped the first one because it was covered.
And the next one…
And the next but one…
In the meanwhile, 90 minutes had passed, and I got desperate. It was windy and the stone steps were not exactly comfortable. So I decided to take the next ship with or without covered deck.
And the next one was…drum roll…a ship with an open deck!!
And what I experienced during the next two hours, was more than worth the waiting: I had one of the most lovely, Kate-Winslet-like ship cruises one could ever imagine. It was the perfect reward and like a present for my birthday.
Enjoy the ride!
One hour had passed, it was getting darker and darker and I knew that we still had a long ride ahead of us before reaching the centre of Budapest again (given the fact that the ship stopped at sereval landing stages along the river).
Budapest is – as far as I know – the only city in the world whose panoramic view along a river has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The banks of the Danube in the city centre are beautiful (as you have seen), and the main touristic attractions are located there.
And when the sun is setting, the banks along with the famous sights are illuminated.
And the question was: Will the ship get back when the city is already illuminated so that I can enjoy this beautiful view, or will we arrive too early?
And the cars had already turned on their lights.
The first lights went on!
And exactly when we approached the Chain Bridge and the city centre, all the lights went on!
I couldn’t believe it, as if they were turned on especially for me. 🙂
Wasn’t I lucky? It was the perfect birthday present.