We woke up bright and early this morning, 06:00. We had a buffet breakfast and got ready for our first practice on clay. We are staying in the Pest side of Budapest and the clay courts are in the city Buda so we took a tram to them. This was a cool experience and was so much better than our Cape Town trains.
Playing on clay took some time to get used to. The sliding and the odd occasion of a funny bounce are a few things to get used to. I slowly got the hang of the sliding but certainly have to get used to long rallies as the clay is much slower. The Pest side of the river has the Parliament building and the Buda side has the castle. They are both beautiful to look at. We stopped at the hotel to get changed and we then made our way to a hop on – hop off private bus tour. Our first stop was Hero Square.
Hero Square is a square with many sculptures of different heroes for the Hungarians. They are all in different stages of time. Some are for fighting for independence and others are leaders during the golden age which dates back many centuries. Just as we were leaving we saw a couple and their many cars getting ready for a wedding.
We then moved onto a museum area where they have made replicas of famous buildings around the country. As you enter you see lions, this is because lions are symbols of royalty and power. The oldest building was the cathedral. The cathedral is there for people to feel safe. It has very small windows so it’s easier to shoot out than in. This symbolizes protection.
We then drove around the city and crossed into Buda again. This time we went on top of a hill which had beautiful views. You could see most of Budapest from up there.
There was a castle wall on the hill; it is used for many movie sets such as “Die Hard.” This is because of the bullet holes made during WW2.
Finally it was lunch time which was Hungarian soup. It was scrumptious.
To end off the hop on-hop off tour, we went on a boat ride. It wasn’t very exciting but we saw some weird and some cool things. We learnt that all the stairs in the parliament building add up to 20km. The parliament building is also too big for their country so half of it is a museum. The weird thing we saw was an aqua bus. We were on our boat and all of a sudden we saw this bus in the water. We then watched the bus casually drive out and enter the city traffic.
Our tennis group then walked the 25 min back to the hotel. We stopped at a Burger King for supper and once again ended the day at the park. This time we joined in and played soccer not basketball. Tomorrow is our last day in Budapest so we need a good nights rest. So it’s bye for now!