3) Gasp for breath at the top of Gellert Hill
I’ve read on a couple of guides and articles that the best views of Budapest can be seen from the top of Gellert Hill, but alas, I cannot really say, as on the day when my boyfriend somehow convinced me to undertake the heart-stopping hike to the top, the air was as thick as my mum’s minestrone soup, as perfectly captured in the following pictures.
However, I must admit that there was something quite lovely about crossing Chain Bridge in the rolling fog and then climbing up all those steps and ramps until I could see neither cars, no trams, nor any trace of the bridge’s distictive green steel. Along the way, I got to admire the beautiful Art Nouveau structure of the Gellert Hotel and Spa, and finally when I had made it to the very top and could see absolutely nothing of the city below among the soupy mist, I could take a peak at Lady Liberty holding a palm leaf on her high pedestal. She, put on this very spot during communist times, was the only sculpture that survived the people’s anger after the Soviets left, and has become, despite what it stood for originally, a symbol of Budapest itself.
My boyfriend and I stood there at the top of Gellert Hill for a long time, shivering liberally on a December afternoon, not because there was anything to see but because we wanted to bask in our sense of accomplishment at having climbed up to the top despite the dismal weather. As I stared into the mist, a little girl wearing bright pink clothes brought such an unexpected splash of colour that I could not but reach for my camera and click.
This post is part of the Slow Hungary article series. Click here to view all related articles.
-Text and Photography by Denise Pulis @ www.theartofslowtravel.com