I remember it as clearly as if it happened yesterday. But this particular unforgettable travel moment happened last April.
It was a warm, foggy and wet night in Budapest. A seeming gloomy and forlorn mood was cast over the city. The romantic in me just loves days like this, especially in my favorite city in the world.
I was happily strolling across the Chain Bridge with a friend heading from Pest over to Buda for dinner. Breathing deeply, I sighed with happiness and was filled with a deep sense of contentment as I took in the familiar landscape of Buda Castle, the Parliament Building, the Four Seasons, the Danube and well, quite simply stated felt at home.
Breaking my reverie, my friend suddenly exclaimed “Isn’t Budapest romantic? This city is beautiful. In fact, I think it’s even nicer than Prague.”
I stopped, turned and looked at him smiling. It was as if he read my mind and even my heart. I’d never met someone who felt the same way as I did about Budapest! For this reason, I’ll always treasure that moment.
Budapest’s an extremely picturesque and beautiful city which can be best experienced by walking across the Chain Bridge (or “Széchenyi Lánchíd” in Hungarian) either by day or by night. I enjoy doing this so much that I make an effort to walk across this bridge each time I come to Budapest.
This historic suspension bridge that connects the Pest and Buda sides of the city is a monument in itself. Opening up in 1849, it was hailed as a “modern engineering wonder” and seen as a significant achievement further linking East and West, North America and Europe. Guarded on each side by two regal and fierce-looking lions, this bridge almost begs you to walk across it, cruise under it and take photo-after-photo.
As you can see, that’s just what I did on my last trip to Budapest last November. Knowing I was due to return to Canada for a while, I spent three days in my “home-away-from-home“. So naturally, the very first thing I did when I arrived was walk along the bridge.
Alone with bittersweet tears filling my eyes, I walked along the bridge gazing out at the city I loved so much, recalling the times I’d visited there before (ahem, the moment I described above) and wondered when I’d be back.
I can tell you right now, my return can’t come soon enough!