Another day, another incorrect forecast.

Although, by the time we arrived in Budapest, the skies had brightened considerably, and we were even treated to a few glimpses of the sun.  Our goal today was only to tour the Castle Hill area; we’ll save the rest of Budapest, and Hungary, for another visit.
We began on the Halaszbastya (Fisherman’s Bastion), a stunning white porch overlooking the Danube and Pest. 
In the square below the Bastion, a Bird Whisperer.  We kept Cletus a safe distance away.

 Matthias Church. No castle complex would be complete without a cathedral.

Unfortunately, plunked down adjacent to all of this beauty is a grotesque Hilton Hotel, whose reflective windows made for  little more than a family photo op.

The area around the castle. Cobblestones, restaurants, and stores.
As well as the opportunity to see “Communist Budapest” from a restored Trabant. 
The Royal Palace was quiet today; now it houses the National Gallery and History museums, both of which were closed. 
Horseherd Statue. 
Matthias Fountain. A magnificent monument, no doubt because of the hounds, to Hungary’s King.
The grand entrance to the palace proper. 
View from the terrace of the palace complex with the Chain Bridge connecting the East and West. In its day, the bridge was considered an engineering marvel on par with the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Vienna Gate, as it opens in the direction of Vienna. (Or, maybe the Hapsburgs were directionally challenged?)

In the complex is the Residence of the President of the Republic of Hungary.

We were able to observe a changing of the guards at the President’s residence. One of the guards cracked a smile when Cletus bayed at their movement!

Like much of this part of Europe, Budapest did not escape damage during WWII.  This was an official palace on the castle complex in 1945.

And here is the site today.  The ugly Communist structure in the background is across the river in Pest.

The palace stables were also not spared artillery fire. 
A quick break for refreshments wrapped up our walking tour of Varhegy (Castle Hill), but our day was not over…