A magnificent fairytale setting, panoramic views, violins and church bells. Not only sounding and looking like something out of a Disney film, Fisherman’s Bastion boasts some of the best views in Budapest from its seven lookout towers.
Visiting between Christmas and New Years, this ornate, hundred year old looking castle will be remembered for an even more memorable reason in my travels.
Our last day in Budapest, and the first sunny day of our Winter Eastern Europe trip, we caught the tram up to Castle Hill for the highly recommended views looking towards the Pest side of the river. We went early to beat the crowds and watched the fog lift, slowly revealing the Parliament Building across the Danube.
Walking around taking photos (as I spend a lot of time doing), I was unaware Mike was intending on proposing and was scouting around looking for the perfect spot while I was distracted. Having already asked permission from my parents nearly three months earlier, my Dad was recruited during our holiday to help.
The boys said “Let’s look at the views through here”, so with my Dad leading, we walked through an archway onto a balcony tucked away from other tourists. Without me seeing, my Dad placed a sign Mike had made onto one of the low fortress walls ahead. Nearing the wall, I looked down, saw the sign and picked it up. A little confused it took me a few seconds to realise what was going on. The sign was made up of passport sized photos of Mike holding cut out letters to spell ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME?’ and the last photo was of him holding a ring.
Not realising Mike was behind me, I turned around to ask what was going on (I was a little bit in shock as you can see) and there he was, down on one knee holding out a beautiful diamond ring in a box. With the faint sound of violins being played nearby, there were some happy tears at this point as he said a few words and asked “Will you marry me?”. Of course I said “Yes!”. It was the most beautiful, treasured moment to share, not to mention the biggest surprise of my life.
With the most coincidental timing (or really well played on Mike’s part), just as I said “Yes”, the church bells of Matthias Church started ringing out in celebration for us.
Mike slid the ring onto my finger, then there was lots of hugs and kisses!
Meanwhile my Dad was discretely to the side and had filmed the whole proposal and engagement. A few people had gathered behind him as they realised what was happening, so we had a small audience who made excited noises of ‘awwwws’ in approval. I love having the video and being able to watch our engagement all over again. It’s our own real life romantic movie moment. Seeing it still gives me butterflies. My Dad felt very honoured to be there and be a part of it (and I am sure my Mum will have watched the video hundreds of times).
The setting was incredible. Standing on the balcony, we had the backdrop of Matthias Church (constructed in the 14th Century) behind us, then in the other direction was the Hungarian Parliament Building. My Dad did a great job of capturing everything and it was special to have an impromptu engagement shoot while we were there.
A proud Dad and his seal of approval!
We stopped to listen to the musicians playing their guitar and violin to take in all of the moment.
After calling some of our family and friends to tell them the exciting news we went to a cafe nearby – Piknik Pavilon – to celebrate with a bottle of midday bubbles.
I was impressed Mike and my parents had managed to keep it secret for so long and that I had absolutely no idea of what he had been planning. Especially that Mike had researched and chosen the ring all on his own.
So, there on Castle Hill in Budapest, surrounded by views of the Parliament Building and Fisherman’s Bastion we got engaged to the sounds of violins and church bells.
Real life romance,