We exit the huge wooden door to our Pal’s apartment building and get out on the streets of Budapest. Great location right beside the giant central square of St Stephen’s Basilica. McBurger rushes to the middle to do what he does best.
We take a walk towards the Danube and bridges. Yep, this city looks baller af. A little spin around and there’s a long bridge over the Danube to the main castle with a funicular below it. Lots of cathedrals and statues to check out. Looks easily walkable. Perfect.
We get down to the Hungarian Academy of the Sciences and it seems we’ve strayed from our initial intentions of simply finding a place to eat.
We turn back towards the Basilica and start scanning the multitude of food joints along the pedestrian area. We spot a nice looking covered patio at a place called Nonloso Caffé. The hostess motions for us to a seat and we graciously accept. Quick look at the menu. Well that was easy, Hungarian traditional platter, Hungarian sausage plate, and a couple of Dreher beers, please.
Beautiful day and the city is already making a killer impression on us. The pilsner is good too and it’s nice to just sit, crack jokes and people watch for a bit. A second round gets ordered before the food lands and we’re now planning out sights to see and an ordered walking route around the city.
“Looks like the only thing out of the way is the Columbo Statue”, “There’s a Columbo Statue? Like, the detective?”, “Yep”, “What the hell?”, “I mean… what kind of Adventure Detectives would we be if we didn’t even pay our respects to the great masters”, “This is true. Add it to the list, hopefully we get over there.”
The server comes by with a smile and some great looking boards.
The Hungarian traditional platter has spicy dried meat, maybe salami, and a deep fried chicharrón kind of thing. Cottage cheese, a white cheese, brie, purple bean sprouts and some garden veggies.
Great Hungarian sausage plate too. One mild and one spicy. Good sauerkraut with peppers and pickles. Nice amount of heat in these dishes. Not overwhelming but decent. And reasonable portions to split.
We’ve been staring at that basilica down the way over multiple beers now, might as well go check it out. We thank the staff and head towards it.
Up the steps and inside the front entrance. Looks like there are multiple areas to explore. We find an elevator up to the panorama but need tickets first. K, where can we find those. We spot a little booth with some older ladies selling tickets and go check it out.
“Excuse me, is this where we buy tickets for the panorama?”, “No this is for the concert tonight”, “Concert? Who’s playing?”, “It’s a Hungarian band with pipe, organ, violin and trumpet. Tickets for panaroma are there on the left”, “That concert sounds cool”, this lady is starting to feel out our vibe, she says, “Actually, it’s AC/DC”, “Haha” I point at her, “You’ve been…..” I’m waiting for her to finish my sentence… nope, she has no idea what I’m getting at here.. “THUNDERSTRUCK!” and these two older ladies bust up laughing in the best possible way. She keeps the joke going, “After them is Led Zeppelin!”, “Oh even better!” haha this girl is great.
We get tickets to the panorama and wait briefly at the elevator. Exit the elevator into a… missile silo?
There are signs to skirt around the roof of the church interior and take the stairs to another elevator that leads to the other, more roofy roof. This elevator exits to.. the roof. And a wonderful view of Budapest.
Beautiful place. Let’s get a look out in each direction
Looking down on the square
How to be a douche on a roof:
That was great. We take the mini elevator ride back down to the missile silo and skirt the nuke. There’s a decent sized line queued for the next elevator. “Just take the stairs?”, “Yep.” It’s a lot of stairs.
We exit the elevator and the two old ladies that told us there was an AC/DC/Zeppelin concert here crack up as soon as they see us. I give them the ‘two fingers point at my eyes and at them, I see you’ thing and they give it right back. Hilarious.
Alright, let’s get inside this thing. We drop a contribution into the donation box and walk into the main hall of the basilica. Impressive.
Now St Stephen’s right hand is supposed to be on display in here somewhere. We scour the area twice over and don’t find it. Hmmm maybe it’s for non-tourist eyes only? Or maybe it’s just housed in one of these displays and you can’t see the actual hand? Either way, there’s no obvious viewing of a saint’s hand so I think we’re about done here. Cool place, great view, funny ladies, that was fun
It’s getting on mid-afternoon now, might be time for a cocktail. Agent Fetter up in the Bay Area of California (aka Agent Fetter Not Fuck it up) heard we were on assignment here in Budapest and forwarded some intel on the area. He lived here briefly while studying to be an Adventure Detective abroad. He reports that we should try a fried dough dish called Langos, a digestif named Unicum, and find bars located in ancient ruins. Thanks Fetter, we’re on the case… (we’ll try not to fuck it up).