I am so honored to be Freshly Pressed! Thank you to WordPress and to you blog readers – so exciting! I love reading all your comments – so uplifting to hear your memories of Budapest, your plans to visit. This city has made such an impact on us all. : )
A few final words about my Hungary visit – I was so struck by the inspirational architecture around every corner! Every street looks different, every building has its own personality.
From shingled roofs and old, colorful buildings…
…to bright, vivid paint…
…and beautiful patterns…
…or even purple accents and highlights…
… and the soaring marble of St. Stephen’s Basilica.
The interplay of colors and attention to architectural detail – both inside and outside the buildings – is fabulous. I could walk up and down the same street 10 times and notice something new with every pass. : )
The first thing I saw when I crossed the river: it reads, “confidence in the ancient virtue,” the royal slogan of Franz Josef I, head of the Austro-Hungarian Empire….
The narrow, uphill streets on this side of the river catch gorgeous shafts of light in the evening….
At the top of the hill, in the Castle District, there are clusters of 19th century buildings…
…along with Hungary’s famous Fishermen’s Bastion, an expansive neo-Gothic terrace with great views of the city and the river. Here’s one of its 7 towers….
And just south of the Fishermen’s Bastion is the Royal Palace/Buda Castle:
Buda, with its small, winding streets and Castle District, has a medieval feel, while Pest is flatter, urban, and more spread out. I loved crossing back and forth across this wide river between the two very different sides of Budapest. : )
I was in Budapest early last week for business, but I also had some free time to explore the city. Budapest has a really great vibe – a laid back, happening place that’s a little reminiscent of Prague with its ornate, colorful architecture.
First things first when I explore in Europe: gelato! One popular shop had this great tulip-shaped gelato – all the flavor, twice the fab. I had the chili chocolate. : )
10,000 Hungarian forint is about $50….
Summers in Budapest are h-o-t! There are lots of fountains all around to give you a chance to cool off…
And outdoor cafes are around every corner! The view at the end of this row of cafes is of St. Stephen’s Basilica, the founder-legend of Hungary and an early promoter of Christianity in the region….
Hungary’s famous Parliament building overlooks the Danube River….
Buda and Pest were two seperate cities on each bank of the Danube River until 1873. These photos all show the Pest side of the river; photos of the Buda side coming soon. : )
I just got back in Prague earlier today after a business trip to Budapest, Hungary. I’m in love with Budapest itself, and the road trip getting there was great, too!
From Prague to Budapest is about a 5 hour drive – across the Czech Republic, through Slovakia, and into Hungary.
From the road along the way, we could see large clusters of old Soviet-constructed buildings around the outskirts of cities. These are outside Brno, Czech Republic….
The Soviets’ theory was to build uniform apartment buildings so everyone would be equal, but today it’s an odd feeling to pass so many identical buildings.
We stopped to refuel in Slovakia, in the midst of vast cornfields….
At one point, we could see Austria and it’s windmills in the distance….
Coming into Hungary, we passed through an old, mostly untended border checkpoint. Because of the open border policies of the Schengen Agreement, this disused border station is falling into disrepair.
The road trip across part of Central Europe was a great way to see some of the countryside here. : )
I’ve been working in Budapest, Hungary for a couple of days – this city is great! I really love it.
When I get back to Prague, I’ll have more time to show you some more photos – but until the big reveal, here’s some sneak-peak photos of where I’ve been walking. : )
In front of St. Stephen’s Basilica…
There was an onslaught of rain tonight! I ran through Budapest in the rain to get back to the tram that would bring me home, and took this photo inside the tram….
I’ll get back to Prague tomorrow evening. Stay tuned for more! : )