Day two starts by us looking for food again. All I want is a good croissant and some nutella. France of course has by far the best. Italy’s croissants are passable in a pinch, croatias are similar to Italy’s and Slovenia’s are nothing but glorified dinner rolls with chocolate in them. I thought it couldn’t get worse but I guess no croissants would be worse which is exactly what I ended up with. There are no bakeries, boulangeries, pekarnas or bakeries by any other name here. Apparently Atilla the Baker (Atilla the Bun?) was preoccupied by other things when it came time to conquer Europe. I go one more day without croissants.
After breakfast we head for an island in the middle of the Danube. On the way we surprisingly become hungry so we stop at a Hungarian restaurant and Natalya gets her goulash. I have pasta in a mushroom and apricot sauce. It was a little odd but tasted good. We then ventured on to the island. Supposedly King Bella IV made a deal with God that said if Budapest survived the attacks from the Mongols the King would put is daughter Margit in the convent on the Island. Budapest did survive although in shambles so the King followed through with his promise and Margit lived there until her death in 1271. Her grave is in the center of the ruins of the convent on the island.
She was only 29 when she died. Since the beginning of the trip Piper has wanted to do two things, learn to swim and learn to ride a bike. She can almost float so the other front was attacked on Margit Island. Well, at least partly but it satisfied Piper’s never ending pleads. Her and I rented a bicycle built for two and Jade and Natalya had their own. The island is connected to Buda and Pest both by bridges on the south and north ends of it. It’s quite easy to walk to and buses go there as well. Most European cities have a large city park and this is Budapests.
You can ride bikes, visit the petting zoo, play soccer, swim at one to two pools/water parks, jog the perimeter or just hang out at one of the fountains and enjoy the peace and quite. Half of Budapest seems to visit the island throughout the day though as it’s a very popular place to be. It sort of reminded me of the Champs de Mars in Paris. You see people showing up with picnic baskets, others are jogging and still others riding bikes. We spent most of the day there. When we left we walked down the Buda side of the river and got some great pictures of the parliament building. Dinner came in the form of gyros. Gyros seem to be the food that no two people in Europe make the same. Gyros in the states are pretty much the same no matter where you go but here they’re never the same. These had the gyro meat but I had lettuce, tomatoe and chili sauce on it. I would have loved to have a gyro like the ones we ate in Ljubljana. We once again drag ourselves home to sleep. Tomorrow we see the castle..