Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Budapest: Margaret Bridge and Island

A couple posts back I showed you this collage of the Margaret Bridge, seen our second day in Budapest while we were out walking about:

Interestingly, it's the Chain Bridge that most tourists want to see, as seen in my post here.
But our tour guide told us her favorite was the Margaret Bridge, because of the kink in it here.
You can also see it in the top-right image above.

To give some perspective, here are 7 of Budapest's 8 bridges:
(click to enlarge)

In the center is the Chain Bridge, where our Viking boat docked.
Right side of the Danube is Pest.  Left side is Buda.

And see the island?  That's where we spent our Easter Sunday!

But first, we had to get there from our hotel, down south and east outside of this map...which we did via public transportation, as you know from my last post here

Along the way...impressions.  Always something to grab the the top-right Liberty Statue.
Truth is, we had planned to take the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus to see her...

...but when we got to those green umbrellas, we were told our travel pass did not include their buses.
Bummer.  So we just got more impressions!

And since we were in the area of the Elizabeth Bridge (south of the Chain Bridge), we had a chance to peek inside the Inner City Parish Church nearby, following their morning service.
It's the oldest church in Pest, founded in 1046.
 And since it was Easter Sunday, after all, I'm glad we had a chance to visit a church!

But our mission for the day was to get to the Margaret Bridge and cross it halfway to get to the island.
It's Budapest's second oldest bridge, from 1876 (the Chain Bridge is from 1849).

Up to this point, it had been raining off and on all morning but stopped the minute we set foot on the island!
Margaret Island is 2.5 km (1.6 mi) long and 500 metres (550 yards) wide, 
in between the Margaret and Arpad bridges.
Our goal was to walk it from one end to the other.
See the mistletoe?  Did we stop and kiss each other?

  The Centennial Memorial from 1973 commemorates the city's hundreth anniversary of unification.

 There is a 5350 metre long, rubber-coated jogging track around the island, marked at 500 metre intervals,
which was nice to see being used.  Other than that, we were alone!
And the farther north we walked, the farther behind the familiar landmarks became.

Margaret Island is a recreational park nowadays, with various sports establishments, like tennis and swimming. However, formerly "the island was dominated by nunneries, churches and cloisters until the 16th century. During the Ottoman wars the monks and nuns fled and the buildings were destroyed."  (Wiki) 

 These are the 13th century ruins of a Franciscan church.

This church is a Premonstratensian chapel with a Romanesque tower from the 12th century.
And yes, we tried to get into no avail.
The water tower, under rennovation/cleaning (?), was built in 1911, at 57 meters high.
To be honest, it felt like the entire island was "shut down" until we got to the hotels at the north end.

But we did pass a tiny zoo with exoctic waterfowl...

...and lots of statues as we neared the thermal spa area of one of the hotels.
The music fountain, bottom-left, was dead as a doornail...but then it WAS still winter.

Once we rounded the thermal spas, we saw the 2 hotels and picked one for our late-afternoon lunch.
Just exactly what the doctor ordered.  (Didn't even take pictures of that, I see!)

And since we were now at the north end of the island, instead of walking all the way back to the Margaret Bridge, we took the nearby Arpad Bridge to catch the metro back to our hotel.

All this on a lazy and Mother-Nature Easter Sunday.


  1. Wow, just amazing what all you two experienced! Don't you just love experiencing it all over again when you do your blog posts! I know we do! Thank you!

    1. Yes, Robin. We call it the "second blessing!" :) Thank you so much.

  2. you two cover so much ground sightseeing in such a short time. amazing sights and details captured by your lens.

    1. When I look back on it now, Maria, looking at all the images, I see how much ground we DID cover. Indeed! Kinda like what you and hubby do while you're out-n-about. :)

  3. You certainly got around the city. I had never seen Budapest before and now feel like I know it a little. Isn’t it nice that you could do all this with public transportation? If I wanted to go from my home to Lenox Square in Atlanta with Public Transportation, what would I do? I don’t think I could do it after all, and greater Atlanta is supposed to be an international destination (not!.)

    1. You raise such a huge and important point for so much of America, Vagabonde. We have not been far-sighted, I'm afraid, with our need for public our great loss.

  4. Great tour. I think Budapest is where my Grossman ancestors came from. I had to look up "Premonstratensian." At first I thought it was a nervous condition, but what do I know? Clearly nothing.

    1. HA! I had to look up Premonstratensian, too, Ted. :) The things we learn! And wouldn't that be interesting if Budapest has your name written all over it. I'll think of you as I continue working on the Jewish Synagogue images from there.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  5. I think public transportation and Shank's Pony are always the best way to see a new city. I've never been to Budapest.... and probably never will.... so it's great to see your pictures and follow you on your adventure.

    1. I know what you mean, Sham, about seeing cities vicariously through each other's eyes. What a way to see the world! Thank you.

  6. It is so true that we walked a lot of miles during that day. Too bad that the watertower was in renovating mode and in scaffolds. The hot water pond was fascinating to see.
    Don't they often say that, after you get married, you should both continue doing, whatever brought you together. We love to go on photo-hunts, and hunting we do.....
    Thank you so much for re-living that day.
    Great collages again, it brings back the memory!

    1. These are places I'll never forget, MLMA, especially now that I have the posts to prove what we saw and did. And yes, we always need to keep doing these photo hunts. We become like little kids each and every time. :) Hartstikke bedankt.

  7. Wonderful details. I love that you did this on Sunday, because I always did Ile de la Cité on Sunday too! In fact Margaret Island reminds me of that island, at least on the map.

    1. Oh, yes, Ruth. Isn't that the truth! Great comparison. It was such a quiet day, away from the hubbub of the city. Just what the doctor ordered for Easter Sunday! Thank you.