We always enjoy seeing sunsets and since we have some wonderful views from our new place, we enjoyed watching the sun go down from our rooftop deck. Sunsets near water are almost always very vibrant due to the humidity in the air and this one was no different. We will certainly have the opportunity to see many more, but we will definitely remember our first sunset in Baltimore. The sun set near the downtown area of Baltimore, which silhouetted the skyscrapers with an orange hue that was quite stunning. Obviously, we enjoy seeing sunsets during our travels, but seeing them at home can be equally calming and relaxing.
Hiking to the Citadella in Budapest, Hungary
The Citadella is a fortress that sits on top of Gellért Hill on the Buda side of the Danube River. The Liberty Statue that is located next to the citadel can be seen from throughout the downtown area of Pest. The bronze statue features a woman raising a palm leaf toward the sky and, although it was built by the Soviet Union, it still represents Hungary’s freedom from Nazi occupation. As interesting as the fortress and statues are, the main reason for making the trek to the top of Gellért Hill is for the views of Budapest. You can see the Buda Castle District, the Parliament Building, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Danube River, and the heart of Budapest.
We walked from our hotel down to the river where we crossed Liberty Bridge to start our hike to the top of Gellért Hill, which is 771 feet above the river below. The winding path is fairly steep and takes you through a wooded area as well as by the St. Gellért Monument. The hill gets its name because it is the location where St. Gellért was brutally killed and apparently tossed from the hill. It took us about an hour to make the walk to the top of the hill, but we stopped several times to take in the scenic views at the various overlooks.
As we reached the Citadella at the top of the hill, we had worked up quite a thirst and were quite happy to find out that their were several vendors selling food and drinks next to the fortress walls. In addition to the Liberty Statue, there were also two smaller statues that remain from the original four statues that were erected at the site. The other two statues were moved to Statue Park some time after 1947 when Liberty Statue was erected. Once at the top of the hill, we spent about thirty minutes walking around the fortress and statues. We happened to go on a Saturday and there was a mix of tourists as well as locals enjoying the beautiful weather.
There are many wonderful sites to visit while in Budapest and the Citadella is certainly one of them. We would definitely recommend going on a clear day in order to take full advantage of the incredible views of the city.
Top of the World in Baltimore, Maryland
As we continue to get acquainted with our new location and finish the process of moving in, we decided to take some time this weekend to be tourists in our new city. One of the things that we did was to go to the observation deck of the World Trade Center near Inner Harbor that is called “The Top of the World”. This is the type of thing that we would do anytime that we visited a city, regardless of where we are in the world, as these observation decks provide amazing views. In addition to the views, the deck also provides quite a bit of history regarding the city and information on many of the famous citizens that have lived there.
Like many cities located on the eastern coast of the United States, Baltimore has a rich history that goes back hundreds of years to the birth of the nation. Clearly it has evolved over time into the modern city that it is today. Inner Harbor is just a short distance from the city center of Baltimore, so the views from the observation deck include both views of the harbor as well of the city center. One of the things that we found interesting was that we could see the landmark of the local brewery in Baltimore, National Bohemian (Natty Boh), which is located near our new location, so we could almost see our new home from the deck.
There are many recognizable landmarks that can be seen from the deck, including the baseball stadium where the Baltimore Orioles play named Camden Yards. In addition to the navy and commercial ships that can be seen in the harbor, there are also several ships that are part of the living classrooms in Baltimore that people can tour that can be seen from the deck. It was definitely an enjoyable way to spend some time getting acquainted to Baltimore. It was also a clear and sunny day, which made the views even better.