Today, the reason we had come to Budapest when it was cold – the Christmas markets. I believe that these originate from Germany but they are everywhere now. We visited Birmingham’s German Market a couple of weeks ago and the ones in Budapest were supposedly bigger, hence the trip. You could ask why we simply didn’t go to Germany.
It was the first day for the markets today and as such they had got off to a slow start with not all the “sheds” (there’s really no better word to describe them) occupied. Despite that it was still a colourful place to be, as you can see from the pictures below. There were plenty of unusual gift ideas, including jewellery, leather, wood and other mainly candle based items. There was also plenty of opportunity to grab a plastic cup of mulled wine, if that’s your chosen poison.
We left the markets and made off for another walk around part of Budapest. The weather was greyer than yesterday and pretty chilly but a brisk walk up to the Liberty Statue soon sorted that out. The monument celebrates the Soviet liberation of Hungary from Nazi Germany. Given their time under Soviet it’s a surprise that it wasn’t ripped down in 1989. They did, however, change the inscription removing the reference to the “liberating Soviet heroes”. It is a great monument and has a real Soviet era feel to it.
From there we came back down and made our way to the Central Market Hall. The ground floor has numerous market stall, shops really, selling fruit, veg, dairy produce and local meats. Upstairs are stalls selling tourist souvenirs and hot food. Downstairs was an Aldi!
Finally, we made our way back to the warmth of the hotel to thaw out our feet. Based on today I am not sure how I am going to cope once the real cold weather sets in at home.