Searing bright light, forcing me to squint, making sightseeing almost painful.
And it was absolutely wonderful. After weeks of overcast cold weather this spring day in Budapest was like a huge injection of life.
I wrote on Friday how much the Danube always impresses me. But now in the stunning sunlight with the architecture of Budapest on either side I just didn’t want to stop wandering and taking photos. Almost a shame that I had to go and talk cycling!
Last time I was here was December 2008. It was freezing, overcast and we spent quite a bit of our time cycling in the dark. But even then I remember being impressed by the buildings and bridges of several eras overlooking the water, but today they were resplendent in spring sunshine.
As well as the riverside I had a short time to go into the centre too and I enjoyed the quiet squares just beyond the busy thoroughfares. These grand buildings and statues are typical of these central European cities that were once part of one of Europe’s greatest empires.
Hungarians are a warm hospitable people too, with an extraordinary compulsion to fill visitors with enormous quantities of food. It doesn’t get much better for a hungry cyclist.
If you’ve not been, go.