Return to Budapest

By Shereen Shabnam

After a few delightful days in Prague, we took a train to Budapest to experience the city’s rich history, natural sites and their thermal springs.  I expected my second visit to Budapest to be an adventure going into areas not discovered in my first trip but I was drawn once again into doing everything I did before and more.

 The Danube cruise is magical and the view of the city from Gellert Hill is a breathtaking experience as always but Budapest has so much more to offer. My first task was to find a hotel conveniently located in the centre of the city and the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel, Budapest fit the bill perfectly. 

My daughter was adamant about going into the House of Terrors and I reserved this for the last day so she could walk there from the hotel while I could shop during her tour. The hotel allows guests to experience history without sacrificing modern amenities as all rooms provide individual climate control and Free high-speed, wireless Internet, while Olive’s Restaurant and Zsolnay Café serve freshly prepared meals and desserts.  

We took a private tour of the city, divided into 2 parts by the Danube. Buda, the hilly area, lies west, while Pest lies to the east of the river and both have historic sites so the tour ensured we cover both sides depending on our interests with an English-speaking guide.

The Castle Hill area is perfect as well to view the city and it houses several museums and galleries showcasing the history and culture of Hungary. It is a great place for taking pictures. Matthias Church, one of Budapest’s architectural masterpieces looks stunning and makes a perfect backdrop while the Fishermen’s Bastion, built on the site where the old fish market stood in the Middle Ages even attracted newly weds doing their wedding portraits on site. The Bastion’s walls, staircases and domed turrets offer picturesque views overlooking the Danube.

Our guide took us to Gellert Hill, a 140-metre dolomite cliff which I feel has the best views of the city. You can also see the statue of St. Gellert and we looked at large blown up images of the city in the past and how it looks today.

We passed the Chain Bridge and later saw it again in all its glory at night during the river cruise at night. Another elegant bridge over the Danube is the Elisabeth Bridge, named after King Franz Josef I’s wife, Elisabeth.

On the other side of the river, Pest has wonderful palaces, churches, monuments and squares, as well as being the commercial hub of the city. St. Stephen’s Basilica has many beautiful mosaics, paintings and sculptures, including one of St. Stephen wearing a halo.

The Parliament Buildings looked stunning in the day and even more majestic at night. It is Budapest’s most famous building with the most beautiful exteriors and interiors. We loved the performance by the Palace guards that attracted bus loads of visitors to the Palace.

Our next stop was the Heroes Monument area, a vast, paved square featuring a 36-metre column with a statue of Archangel Gabriel on top. At the base, there are several statues of Magyar chieftains and behind the column and on either side of it, there are two semi-circular colonnades, with groups of horsemen on top and statues of past Hungarian rulers within the square.

The Margaret Island in the centre of the Danube is a recreational hub that has numerous recreational activities like biking, swimming or visiting a bathing complex, with thermal pools. If you prefer nature, then head to the City Park that has a large lake, which, in winter, is used for ice skating, a fairytale castle, the Transport Museum, the Szechenyi Baths with hot springs, an amusement park and Budapest Zoo.

On our return to the Radisson Blu Beke, we relaxed in the hotel Café that boasts the best pastries. The hotel also offers an indoor pool, a business centre with secretarial services and eight flexible meeting rooms. I loved the one with paintings all over the wall.

Budapest indeed caters to all tastes; there is a thriving theatre culture, classical concerts, jazz, outdoor activities, opera, much to my daughter’s delight and great food options. I need to get back there with more time to soak in the mineral water that comes from various thermal springs surrounding the city.

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Swiss Arabian: The WAAW Collection

The WAAW Collection by Swiss Arabian includes six fragrances with the most thoughtful story to treat mothers on this special day and show them just how appreciated they are. The WAAW collection is inspired by the Arabic letter و (pronounced “waaw”) which is known as the letter of unity as it is used in Arabic to join words, and thus everything, together – and what is more unifying than the bond between a mother and child? This beautiful collection is based on the different forms of love and includes six fragrances that will surely express your appreciation for the mother in your life.  

From luxurious amber notes to delicious floral scents, Swiss Arabian’s Waaw Collection is sure to get you into her good books this Mother’s Day.

  1. Gharaam – meaning infatuation, is a premium fragrance that has soft notes of jasmine, saffron and amber.
  • Hawa – meaning desire, is a fragrance that brings forth a bright citrus scent combined with floral notes including mandarin, rose, orange flower and white jasmine.
  • Hayaam – meaning adoration, is a fragrance that combines dazzling citrus and warm earthy ingredients like warm Irish clove, leather, and woody amber.
  • Wajd – meaning passionate love, is a scent that was created to induce the feeling of deep passion with ingredients such as turkish rose, red apples, and patchouli.
  • Walaa – meaning deep love, is a citrus fragrance that encapsulates happiness with the bright and fresh notes of lavender, mandarin orange and white jasmine.
  • Ishq – meaning the powerful form of love, is a fragrance that represents timelessness of true love with a burst of warm black pepper and spicy saffron. The scent later depletes and diffuses notes of roses and smooth leather.

Benetti Launched M/Y Sunrise, Ninth Unit Of Mediterraneo 116

Founded in 1873, Benetti is the oldest Italian shipyard specialized in luxury yachts, icon of an Italian timeless style and of construction excellence. Every yacht is unique, developed around its owner. The company designs, builds and sells vessels in composite materials from 29 to 44 meters and boats in steel and aluminium from 37 to more than 100 meters.

Benetti launched recently in Viareggio M/Y “SUNRISE”, ninth unit of Mediterraneo 116, a fiberglass 35-meter yacht in the Class category characterised by a timeless elegance. Exterior lines by Giorgio M. Cassetta deliver huge lounge areas and bright interior spaces penned out by Benetti Interior Style Department who personalized the decòr according to the owner’s desires.

“SUNRISE” offers a variety of external spaces, not to mention an 80sqm Sun Deck: an invitation to explore and fully experience the beauty of a close connection with the surroundings at every time. Mediterraneo 116 “SUNRISE” has 3 decks and hosts 10 guests in 5 cabins and 7 crews in 4 cabins. Range at 10 knots is 3,200 nautical miles.

The owner was represented by MARINBASE Yacht Management for the launching ceremony. MARINBASE stated that M/Y ”SUNRISE” will be the third Benetti in their growing fleet in Turkey. 

Benetti belongs to the Azimut|Benetti Group, the largest private-owned luxury yachting group in the world.

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Flybridge Collection

Azimut 66 Flybridge: A Style Icon Celebrates 100!

A perfect mix of function and form, materials and thrills, the Azimut 66 has rapidly established itself as an iconic model in the 60 – to 70 – foot flybridgecategory. Its sleek lines bearing the unmistakable Azimut style and its innovative multi-tier layout have seen it quickly embraced by the market, with over 100 units sold.

What is behind its resounding success?
Could it be the smart use of interior and exterior spaces, designed to deliver fantastic onboard liveability for owners and guests?


Maybe it’s the many different entertainment zones strategically scattered across the boat, such as an American bar positioned forward of the galley or the flydeck with three separate areas including a lounge tantalisingly suspended between sea and sky.

Is it the fourth cabin or is it simply the Made in Italy flair of its design and décor featuring elegant wood, glass and polished surfaces?

The secret may even lie in its high-tech DNA, with features such as the use of carbon fibre in the highest parts, SeaStar electronic power steering and an integrated control and monitoring system by Raymarine.

It’s hard to identify just what it is, but the heady milestone of 100 makes it clear that the Azimut 66 Flybridge has that indefinable quality called the X factor.

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