Woke up early and all set to head out on a Saturday morning after a good night rest. Bye to jetlag and hi to Budapest Central Market Hall (Nagy Vasarcsarnok). The Hungarian weather god seemingly compensated me with a good sunny day after the flight delay boo boo yesterday. The Rays of light made the beautiful yellowish and greenish Zsolnay roof tiles of Museum of Applied Arts (Iparművészeti Múzeum) to glitter with pride.
Armed with The Budapest Card, I took the Metro to Kálvin tér station and the Central Market Hall is just another 5 minute walk away. It’s yet another building with nice Zsolnay roof tiles, very nice!
From what I read, there used to be canals right below the market basement for delivery boats to come in and do their rounds. Gone were the days but Central Market Hall continues to be the place where locals shop for fresh meats and produce.
There’s an amazing display of the usual foodstuff but the star here would be the paprika. A spice made from air-dried fruits of the chilli pepper family of the species Capsicum annuum (source: Wikipedia). Hungarian uses a lot of paprika in their cooking. So it’s no surprise to find another paprika seller every step of the way.
One particular meat stalls with a long queue.
The upper floors are where you will find souvenir stalls and places to eat. Expect to find the typical tourist stuff such as postcards, magnets, glasses, embroidery stuff, leather goods etc.
Perhaps the more interesting souvenir would be the Hungarian secret boxes. These boxes are neatly handcrafted to conceal a hidden key to the lock – very cool. Stall owners will be more than willing to demonstrate how to retrieve the key. There’re also plenty of colours and designs to choose from.
I bought my Hungarian secret box from this friendly stall owner.
Crossing of Danube River via Liberty Bridge
Just a short walk from Central Market Hall is the beautiful greenish iron bridge known as Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd). The bridge was named after Emperor Franz Joseph (Ferenc József) upon completion but it was blown up by the German Army during the end of World War 2. Its current name was given after reconstruction works.
The shortest bridge over the Danube in Budapest links Central Market Hall on Pest side to Gellert Hill on Buda side. There’s the option to cross the bridge in a tram of course but then I will not be able to take my time to admire it.
All the four columns are topped with one beautiful bronze statue of Turul, an ancient Hungarian mythological falcon.
Even the lampposts on Liberty Bridge are nicely decorated.
It’s a very nice and short walk across Danube River which also let you take in great views of Elisabeth Bridge.
A nice short stroll brought me to Gellert Hillside and it’s breezy on the bridge…maybe kinda way too breezy but at least I get to see the bridge up close and I like that!