Each afternoon when I am in Budapest, I cross the Danube, walking across the Elizabeth Bridge to reach the bottom of the Gellert Hill, on which since the early 20th century a statue of Saint Gellert, usually referred to in Budapest as the patron saint of commuters, because of his position above a busy junction leading to the city, stands:
I then tramp up the hill, reminding myself how good this is for me and enjoying the views:
until I reach the monument which stands at its peak:
I take no notice of this monument, which is usually surrounded by Russian tourists being lectured to by guides who, from the scraps I hear as I pass, are telling a rather sweetened version of the history of Russo-Hungarian relations to their sensitive charges. I head straight down the steps to the slopes on the other side of Gellert Hill,, which are criss-crossed by a network of different pathways and, at this time of year, radiant with 'autumn colour':
Finally, I reach my real goal - my favourite bridge, once called the Franz-Josef and now the Freedom.
It was renovated not too long ago and looks more splendid than ever, both from a distance:
and on close inspection:
I like the fact that a bird has decided it is also a good place to make a nest and raise a family (no not the one at the top, a bit lower down). Actually, I think you'll have to take my word for that as in the pictures, even though I tried hard to capture them, it's impossible to see the twigs that are so clearly visible on the spot:
I think the Freedom Bridge is one of the prettiest bridges in the world.