Up and out early again for a whistle-stop bus and walking tour of Pest and then Buda. We set off from our prime spot by the Chain Bridge on the flatter Pest side, a little downstream from the impressive parliament building (the location constantly seen on the aforementioned adverts). Our guide Marton talked us through the architecture of Andrassy Street (likened to the Champs Élysées), explaining how ownership had changed hands according to the country's varying political past. Many buildings' elaborate decorations had been rescued and rejuvenated after years of neglect, while others remained down-at-heel. At the end of this impressive thoroughfare, Heroes' Square boasted massive statues and a huge area, backing onto parkland and a lake. In fact large scale was turning into a theme, as we passed a dominating St Stephen's Basilica and the world's second-largest synagogue.
Crossing the Danube to the Buda side, we climbed up the castle district and visited St Matthias Church. The vibrant tiled roof was unforgettable enough but the interior frescoes and wall decorations were extraordinary, with a certain folk art feel to them. Crowds outside were thronging around the distinctive turrets of Fisherman's Bastion, photographing each other through the arches, the river below providing an obliging backdrop.
Back over on the opposite bank, a photo location of a more sombre nature: a sculpture of abandoned shoes commemorating Hungarian victims shot into the Danube in 1944-5.
Our final evening meal aboard was a jolly affair at an all-British round table, although the portions were a little variable according to one's menu choice. Nevertheless, a little calorie-watching wouldn't go amiss after a week of indulgence, and more importantly we managed to get our glasses refilled before adjourning to (the back end of) the lounge for the Hungarian Folklore show. As it happened, a seat by the exit wasn't a bad idea.