This was to turn out to be our longest days walking of the holiday I think. Our aim was to get to what was claimed to be the best resuturant in Budapest which had an all you can eat Sunday buffet that Ed certainly felt he could work to his advantage. This was located near a park the far side of the center so we got our best walking shoes out and started the stroll to get us in the mood for eatting. On the way we went past the great mosque and found the holocaust memorial, a willow tree made from metal. We gave this the respect it deserved and didn;t try to pose for a snap shot statue style. On the way we also went to the house of terror, the old headquarters of the secret police where all sorts of nasty things happened to people. They appeard to have a rather self-defeating attitude to life as far as I can tell. Anyone who was good at what they did was considered suspect and generally taken in for 'questioning', the survival rate of which wasn't too good. Therefore only really incompetent people were safe in their jobs (remind anyone else of political life in England today?!?). However, the best story was that of the head of the secret police who had implemented a rather brutal regime to keep the masses in order. One can only imagine his surprise when his own police knocked on his door to take him in for 'questioning'. Ironically he would have known exactly what lay ahead, because he wrote the guidelines in the first place. It is true that no one expects the inquisition but especially the inquisitor. In the basement there were some of the cells used to hold people which we wondered around and I have to say that it immense force of will not to slam the door shut on people in the cells.
Having escaped the house of terror we pushed onto the resturant we a slight rumble of anticipation of the food to come. We weren't dissapointed, the food was fantastic and true to student traditions we made the most of the all you can eat aspect, some having six hearty courses! After a bit of 'spot the mafia boss' over coffee we wondered onto the park for a walk and a game of frisby to help the food digest. On the way home we took some detours to take in the sights of St Stephen's basilica, which was fantastic inside and out, although Jill seemed more excited to find a 'Club Pie' shop close by. At this point our tired feet were demanding a break and so we found a little cafe where we could also appease our thirst for beer at the same time, who says we don't multi-task?
Between us and home was the parliament building so we passed by for a look. There were claims that it was just like Westminster (by the Rough guide??) but I don't recall Westminster having a dome, or a distinct red tinge. We were exposed to the crack security that surrounds the building when someone srayed over the 'do not cross' line and the solitary guard came over with his very potent whistle. Suitably chastened we moved onto walking down the river. Besides the river was an area covered with metal shoes (welded down, they obviously have students here as well) which seemed very significant - we guessed this was the spot where a large number of Jews had been shot and thrown in the river but closer inspection of the guide book (Rough guide??) seemed to indicate that this was the other side of the river.