Once familiarised with a city, the pressure is off to cram in all the tourist hotspots. Two and a half weeks (after already being previously here for another two in Winter) seems like the sweet spot to feel like a local. Spending my days freelancing obviously leaves less time for one to experience the city but alas, work-life calls.
If I had finished my work or fancied a walk around midday, I strolled with my camera to the centre, closer to the Danube, stopping at my now favourite coffee place Espresso Embassy, and seeing the usual sights; St Peter’s Basilica, Hungarian Parliament, etc. I found Lumas Art Gallery on one street corner, a tiny shop with contemporary art and photography which is worth a look if you’re in the area.
Rather randomly, I also somehow managed to become the temporary owner of a dog – another way to feel like a local: own a (temporary) pet. Amy, a golden retriever mix, became homeless after her owner died and lives in a dog shelter awaiting adoption but I was lucky enough to become her owner for a week, ie. the best week ever. From helping nurse a sudden and violent cold to keeping me company on my aimless city strolls, this dog was magical.
New dog-walking responsibilities…
One Saturday, after breakfast at local cafe/restaurant Cirkusz, we took a trip with Amy to Heroes square (Hősök tere) in the blistering heat, soon seeking shelter at a restaurant, obviously taking advantage of the delicious drinks on offer. Dogs, however, are not exactly the kind of customer for such an establishment, and so we went to a park just behind, with yet another castle (Vajdahunyad Castle) and the famous Széchenyi Thermal Bath nearby.
French Toast and Eggs Benedict.
The other castle…
The following day we followed suit, and visited another park on Margaret Island, a small island in the middle of the Danube, sauntering through the trees and yanking Amy away from the flower beds and other dogs bottoms.