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Secret sights of Budapest

Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

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...

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Short term rental advantage

Posted by on Nov 17, 2012 in All posts, Hungary, Perpetual travel issues | 0 comments

Travelling is a lot about making yourself at home in foreign countries. A major part of perpetual travel is logistics. Finding appropriate accommodation takes up some time, but renting an apartment can be a lot cheaper and more rewarding than staying at a hotel. Short term rental provides many benefits of a ‘real’ home and has a lot of advantages that hotels don’t offer. Renting worked very well for us in Budapest. Here is why: COMFORT Apartments are usually a lot bigger than hotel rooms. Ours had around 45m2, huge windows, a high ceiling, wooden floor, spacious bathroom, working desk and office corner, a big table and open kitchen. The flat was located in Buda, the quiet side of Budapest, in an old residential area which offered privacy – yet we were close to all amenities. What I like...

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Exclusive! The British Embassy and University of Fine Arts

Posted by on Nov 15, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

Secret places are a pleasure to discover. They are magnetic and alluring and most of all exclusive, like those fancy places where you need a secret code to enter. In a world where everything is open-source, documented and available, taking delight in discovering places not intended for the public eye increases enormously. You can tell how psyched I was to be able to visit two places in Budapest that are not usually open to the commoner. During the European Heritage Days on the weekend of 15-16 September 2012 the University of Fine Arts and the British Embassy opened its doors and welcomed interested guests. Enter into a world of wonder and art. The UNIVERSITY OF FINE ARTS.   I love the idea to walk through mysterious dark hallways of seemingly forgotten places. And to find out that I am...

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Drink, eat, do, see, walk with Style in Budapest

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

For one night in Budapest the coolest shops, bars and restaurants open up after sunset, inviting the honoured public to a night program. The STYLEWALKER NIGHT was a good start to learn about the city centre’s trendiest places to shop and hang out. Let’s walk.   Well, we didn’t walk all the way because we had a lot of places picked out to visit and there was no way to see them all by foot. But thankfully Budapest has the best, oldest, most beautiful and mysterious public transport system in Europe.   Oh, and don’t forget to pick up your free Stylewalker Night PROGRAMME before you run. Most bars or shops stock them days before the night. Most event brochures are in English which is excellent for ‘külföldis’ like us.   While planning our route, Tomek missed out on...

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To the best Men

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

Lisztomania is what you get when travelling in Hungary. Liszt was a classy Hungarian gentleman with great talent for musical compositions. In Budapest, everything is about him. I appreciate and admire lads like Liszt Ferenc. More so, I am lucky to know just as a talented guy, who can work his laptop keyboard just a Liszt did his piano keyboard. This is going to be another sickly-sweet post. Sorry.   But first, Liszt’s high-tech drawer-build-in-piano from the 19th century.   You may know that Liszt Ferenc was a piano virtuoso, composer and music teacher of the 19th century. What I know, is that two centuries later new age has brought about Tomek. A true software virtuoso, administrator and IT specialist of the 21st century. Liszt’s Budapest apartment has been reconstructed and is now the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum.  ...

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Shoes and Jewish monuments in Budapest

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

Hungary shares the grim history of WWII and the tragic fate of a once flourishing Jewish community. It is worth to take a day to walk the Jewish quarters and visit Jewish memorials in Budapest.     The most beautiful and moving memorial are the iron cast shoes located between Szechenyi Istvan Square and Kossuth Square on the Pest side of the Danube.   Shoes that commemorate those who were shot into the river by the fascist Arrow Cross, during a time when shoes were worth more than a life.   The victims were told to take their shoes off before being shot. An absurd scenario.   I was thinking about my grandpa, who lost his brothers, his parents and barely survived the Holocaust himself. Nothing short of a miracle he went through three life threatening scenarios, one involved...

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Budapest’s Opera but Ballet

Posted by on Nov 11, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 2 comments

About a month ago, we went out to the Hungarian State Opera. Not for opera but ballet. Which is totally different despite sharing the same stage. Ballet is the classic art form I prefer, for the delightful sight of excellently shaped bodies and royal splendour of costumes and scenery. Opera, in contrast is a lot about bad acting, combined with forced, unpleasant and unintelligible singing with oversized performers-performing-overtime wearing circus tent. Elegance, grace and delightful lightness is what distinguishes ballet. (You do not have to agree and I might change my mind when I reach opera age.) Ballet, is ‘moving‘ in every sense of that word, especially the romantic classics.  Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle and Sleeping beauty make me weep for the gripping beauty of sound and sight. There is a reason why they are played...

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Train Fetish: Railway Stations and Museums in Budapest

Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 1 comment

I was just reading about the extraordinary world of train fetishism, brought to perfection in Japan (of course! I love the Shinkansen, too!) and will never again be able to enter a tunnel on a train without ‘second’ thoughts. I was wondering if the infatuation with beautiful railway stations marks the beginning of a train fetish? It could do. And I wouldn’t be the least surprised if Budapest is to blame. The railway and metro stations have a long history here and are worth a visit, no matter if you will be boarding the train or not. We didn’t use the train but marvelled at huge halls with interior design from the end of the 19th century, nothing short of aristocratic ball rooms. This is not a palace. This is Nyugati Train Station.   It is a luxury to...

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Passing time on Earth in Budapest

Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 2 comments

Budapest is a vibrant city with an unmistakable cultural life. I can’t get the city out of my head so I hope you don’t mind me dwelling on it just a bit longer. In Budapest, you can find everything to satisfy your mood, from classic to contemporary attractions. No way to get bored. Just get out and going:   On a sunny day, go to Heroes square (Hősök tere) and sit down at the stairs of the monumental Museum of Fine Arts, in between massive Corinthian columns topped by a sculpted tympanum. Feel the greatness of ancient Greek architecture and look over to the neoclassic counterpart, the Palace of Art on the opposite side of the square. If it’s rainy, proceed to the smashing interior of the museums. I recommend the Museum of Fine Arts for some unforgettable drama....

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Pagan spell on Gellért Hill in Budapest

Posted by on Nov 1, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 2 comments

It’s Halloween. The spookiest day of the year. Strange things happen. I thought it would be fun to take you all the way up Gellért Hill, show you some beautiful panoramic pics of Budapest. But some restless souls of the dead messed with my post trying to spoil it all. Frivolous spirits. Well, thank God, we have the pope. The Vatican strongly condemns the traditions associated with Halloween as being “pagan” and “anti-Christian“. And right so. Ghosts, witches, fairies! Fooling around is all you care about! The whole point of walking the Gellért Hill is ‘Gellért’, the Italian bishop who brought Christianity to Hungary and played a major role in converting pagans. He knew all about pagans – poor, uneducated country folk, who eventually got very pissed (not feeling the Christian vibe) and rolled Gellért down the hill in...

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Made in Budapest for Body and Soul

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

Right after I finished the list of cool souvenirs from Hungary I thought: why so materialistic? Screw souvenir hunting. Budapest rewards with many sweet things that will pamper your body and soul. Here is what I enjoyed:     WATER WELLNESS Budapest is Spa capital of Hungary with an ancient bath culture. The Spa capital uses its underground springs of warm water with thermal quality, ranging from 21 to 76 °C degrees. How much is that in Fahrenheit? Well, let’s just say it is about as warm as piss. You can get some curative water treatments for about any physical complaint, the list ranges from damaged joints, all kinds of pains to degenerative diseases. Hell, it should make the blind see and the crippled walk. However, Kneipp and minerals are not the least impressive for a girl from Poland, the...

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Made in Hungary

Posted by on Oct 22, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

You went to Budapest and all you got was a lousy t-shirt? Well, this is not going to happen to you again. Here are my tips to make the fuzziest souvenir hunter happy.         TISZA SHOES Even if you are not the hip old-school-sneakers type, you should know about the cult Hungarian shoes and see if you can spot them, on the feet of  stylish Hungarians. The Tisza brand was established in the Hungarian town Martfű in 1949. Tisza produced boots for the Ministry of Defense in the 50s and 60s until it got a distinctive logo and produced popular sports shoes for the twenty-somethings in the 70s. The factory even produced shoes for Adidas. Now it is back again with a remake of original designs. Location: 1062 Budapest at WestEnd City Center, Széchenyi István nagykörút 27/b...

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Radiation in Hungary

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in All posts, Hungary, Radiation levels around the world | 0 comments

Radiation can be fascinating, scary or simply boring. I think we can classify Hungary’s radiation in that latter category. No spectacular values, just average stuff. That’s why we only took two pictures of the Geiger and truthfully, there was sooo much cool stuff to do in Budapest that we neglected our precious device. After doing some easy background reading on radiation, you will return to this post as a pro and know how to evaluate the figures on the Geiger at a glance. 07th September 2012. At the window of our first flat in Budapest, not far from the city centre on Népszínház utca, Pest side. The windows were covered by a mosquito net, which was only one of many bonus features of the bachelor flat. We also rented a flat on the other side of the Danube river,...

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Fishy food in Budapest

Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

Finding good seafood can turn out to be a fishy experience. We tried out various restaurants in Budapest guided by two healthy intentions: place must have fish and veggie options. A guarantee to find both is obviously at Japanese restaurants, so this is were we started our journey in Budapest. Are you a Flexitarian soulmate? Then you might like these restaurants:   FUJI Fuji is a traditional Japanese restaurant with a Japanese owner/chef  who we talked to about Japan and of course, food. Location: 1025 Budapest, Csatárka street 54. That is a remote area in Budapest, on the Buda side – to get there by public transport is tiring but worth it.   The owner is a sweet young female from Ehime in Japan and prepares the meals herself.  It is the only restaurant in Budapest that has traditional...

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shopping@ruin bar, great market, slow design week, art nouveau house

Posted by on Oct 14, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

Budapest is my dream capital come true. It has style. It has global-modern flair, yet isn’t a clone of repetitive European stores. It is fresh, individual and avant-garde, showing off a free spirited atmosphere, wonderfully framed by historical buildings. Just by walking through the city, you will breath in trends, fashion and mania. Add the overall tourist friendly pricing and Budapest will be on your must-do-before-I-die-list. Budapest has shops of the world-known brands, which are mainly to be found in malls, Vörösmarty square, Fashion Street and Andrássy Avenue. But that is not why you are going to Budapest. You are going to get a richer piece of the shopping capital by looking out for trendy showrooms, designer and vintage stores with creaky floors, markets and next-generation pop-up places. You will go crazy seeing what Budapest has to offer –...

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Memento Park – Remember Communism?

Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

In the 1990s, all eyes turned to the momentous changes in Poland, as the country fought its way from Communism to Capitalism. Hungary was soon to follow, inspired by the historical events in Poland. With the introduction of a free market and personal freedom, life changed for the better (for most). My parents were able to visit family and friends in Poland again, not having to cross two borders, nor fear repressive measures for fleeing the country in 1981. It is amazing that now there isn’t a border at all and we are all part of one Europen Union. School curriculum changed for Tomek, at his gymnasium, in drastic measures, leaving Soviet drill behind. His teacher, who was enrolled to teach Russian, was now speaking English. Lessons, that taught how to put on gas-masks and shooting practice were cancelled....

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House of Terror

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

The House of Terror is a horrifying place everybody wants to see but no one wants to see it really. The House of Terror was once the headquarters of the Arrow Cross Party in 1945, which were the Hungarian Nazis and then became the dreadful communist State Security Authority under Soviet occupation. As if nothing to fear, the house of Nazis and communist horror stands right on Andrássy Boulevard, in the middle of beautiful apartment buildings from the turn of the 19th century. Just like the Gestapo headquarters in my home-town Cologne in Germany, it is a lavish residence, standing in the centre of the city. A symbol of past terror, that saw no need to hide. Location: 60  Andrássy Ave. ,   Under the ideology of fascism, Marxism-Leninism and Stalinism, every idea or view that did not conform...

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Hey, Sugar! Bring it on!

Posted by on Oct 5, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

Looking for candy cake craziness? You have found the right post! Today I am going to make up for the unnerving healthy vegetarian diet posts. This is all about cream, chocolate, sugar and fabulous sweet confections to make you happy. Three must-visit cake stores in Budapest. The best comes first: Sugar! is Budapest’s answer to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, set in a 50s soda shop setting, inspired by Japanese kitsch. Location: Paulay Ede St 48, 1061 Budapest It is the place to dive into a world of sweets and relive your childhood. Sugar! is the most colourful and exciting pastry shop in town, which we visited a few weeks ago and then kept coming back to find out, if snozzberries really taste like snozzberries.   Impressive selection of Jelly Belly and M&M’s.   Be a Sugar! superhero and see, if...

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