Secret sights of Budapest
Having the opportunity to visit local sights is a pleasant distraction but we are not easily satisfied. Getting into the Hungarian rhythm and assimilating with the city is the real thrill. Walking confidently the streets of Budapest to be mistaken for a local, breathing in the urban air, walking around for hours, catching details, getting lost in its flair.
Appreciating travel and our new way of life.
When thinking about the recent craziness in my life, leaving everything behind, selling our home, enjoying an aimless journey on this planet, driven by life celebrating motives, I am appalled at my selfishness, not giving anything to society apart from this shitty blog.
Those doubts last about a moment, and then I am thinking: I need this. I need this kind of frenzy in my life.That’s me!
I will share some very personal impressions that will make you wonder if I am legally allowed to vote.
Shsh, secret pics.
These sights and finds by no means represent public opinion. In fact, some are probably very far away from that. But entertaining (no guarantees).
See what I mean:
I love ice cream therefore I am ice cream.
I am a thirty something and I do not approve of stickers randomly put on public signs. Except the bear-head sticker.
There were many angry women around. Cool and scary but definitely a popular sight in Budapest 2012 .
A bar sign. Men are evil, women angels. Hah.
Tattoos and 1898 go together.
Ugly buildings profit from mirror images.
Huge picture walls make for a romantic ambience.
Art nouveau is beautiful and there is plenty in Budapest.
Sacrifice of space for timeless aesthetics – the beauty of art nouveau.
Art nouveau has to put up with totally wrong shop renovations.
Neglected art deco – still looks more beautiful than any modern apartment building.
The examples of neoclassicism can easily take on Athens.
What was that new age architect thinking.
Those old window displays are unique to Budapest.
How to get the most out of a shop window.
Glimpse of a typical street in Hungary’s capital.
This is a supermarket in Budapest.
Just your regular plastic curtain forming the street entrance.
Tomek and I would walk for hours and there was always a surprise around the corner.
You might end up at a Beatles street concert.
The Jewish quarters. Look at the long balcony.
Interactive fountain fun on Szabadság Square. Try to get in and out as the water unpredictably rises and falls.
Learn about Lomography and put the 35 mm LOMO LC-A Compact Automat camera on your Christmas wish-list. I would like the Diana Mini camera (you listening, Santa?). The Lomography Embassy Store is located in a ruin-pub called ‘Fogashaz’ in downtown Budapest.
A great place to hang out is Bar Terrace on Erzsebet ter square in central Budapest.
The Budapest metro is an amazing place and an underground shopping mall.
You can also ride the Ecopolski.
Facing the competition of various street folk, asking for our money, I like to support street musicians the most.
Even if the music is really only enjoyable on the street. Oded Kafri from Israel calls himself the Drumachine and is travelling the world, showing off his drum playing talents as well as strange dancing styles.
There is surprisingly a lot going on… on Budapest’s pavement. Look down and you will see.
Budapest has a special relationship with water being the Spa capital. The ground stones mark the distance to the Danube.
Walk with the beetles.
Michael Jackson shrine (near the exclusive British Embassy) and don’t step on ‘Marilyn Monroe is alive‘ (in front of the Academy of Fine Arts).
Okay, now let’s make this post more useful to you.
THREE MUST DOS IN BUDAPEST
1. SZENT ISTVAN BAZILIKA
St Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika) is named after the first King of Hungary (975–1038). A typically strange church fetish, the Basilica holds the ‘incorruptible right hand’ of Stephen I of Hungary in the reliquary.
The main sight in Budapest – clashing with the ugliest ‘sight’ in Budapest.
A neoclassic beauty with a Greek cross ground plan – it took ages to build, the dome collapsed and had to be rebuild from scratch in 1868. Worth the effort, you can walk up the dome to enjoy a rewarding view after conquering maaaaany steps.
Sweat to some, pheromones to others.
Alternatively take the elevator but do not touch it. Dangerous!!!!!!!!
The Basilica is in the very centre of the city so you cannot miss it. Get best views of Pest from the top of Szent István tér 1.
Apart from the grand view you can enjoy the awesome cartoon-like celestial drawings by Jozsef Pituk (1906-1991) who also designed the stained glass windows of the Holy Right Hand Chapel (the name is hilarious). The artist’s statue of Szent István stands at Gellert Hill, a pagan crazy place during Halloween.
Just don’t try to fly off the dome clinging to a flower.
The Basilica is a place of romance.
It creates euphoria all around. Similar effects are achieved by a visit to the Hungarian State Opera.
2. PARISIAN ARCADE
Párisi Udvar is a stunning shopping arcade with an impressive eclecticism of Art Nouveau, Byzantine and Gothic architecture. There is a security guard who sits in one of those ‘shops’ but the rest of the stores is empty, looking dark and sad.
The interior is dim but beautiful. The arcade features an amazing glass roof and dome, many wooden-carved details and mosaics.
It looks sort of unreal and must have cost a fortune to build. I can well imagine it to be a great place for original cafés, special delis, tiny book-design-and-boutique stores.
Commissioned by a savings bank and designed by German born architect Henrik Schmahl in 1913 it was not only a shopping centre but also an apartment building. Unfortunately, you cannot get to the part of the apartments unless you have some time to wait for a resident to pass and sneak in.
This amazing sight stands at the corner of Váci utca.
3. LITTLE PRINCESS STATUE
The famous Kiskiralylany Szobor (Little Princess Statue) is a bronze statue of a girl in a jester hat. Made by Laszlo Marton, inspired by his daughter engaging in dress-up-pretend-play and placed on the Danube railing by the promenade in 1990, it has become a very popular tourist attraction.
Sure has the charm of a pixie’s dream world and likes to be hugged and photographed.
Look how late it’s got. This is Budapest by the Danube at night.
I hope you dream of the all the amazing places on this Earth. Good night for now!