Tag Archives: Budapest

Hungary – our last week.

26 Aug

As we wind down our ‘Summer In Hungary’, we were able to spend a couple of days in Szeged this week.  Szeged is a major university town in southern Hungary, located very close to the Romanian border. It was HOT! 100 degrees. We loved the city and met up with our Hungarian teacher from Seattle, AnnaMaria Winters, her brother and mother.

This photo is of the musical clock at the university which celebrates the students and faculty in the figures that you see. 

Here is a YouTube video of the clock.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM45NsMM1fQ

We are impressed with the buildings and architectural design throughout Hungary, as you can see in the photos below.

Here are photos from the Folk Art Festival in Budapest, held this past week, and which coincided with the Hungarian National Holiday.

Advertisements

Hungarian Adventures

19 Aug

Tomorrow is a Hungarian National holiday –  similar to the 4th of July in the US. There will be celebrations all over the city culminating with fireworks over the Danube tomorrow night.

The first photo below is the National Hungarian Flag which flies in front of Parliament. The hole is where a Soviet insignia was cut out during the 1956 revolution.

We visited Pecs in southern Hungary on Friday and Saturday. The second photo was taken in the town square, a very nice pedestrian friendly area. The last photo is of an Ottoman mosque – now a Catholic church – built in the 16th century when the Turks ruled this area for 150 years. There was also a Roman settlement here, a provincial capital named Sopinae,  starting in about 30AD and lasting for about 400 years. We visited a very well pressuvred Roman Crypt.

We found Pecs to be a delightful place to visit. We saw no American tourists, only Germans. The town is quite “laid back” and inexpensive compared to Budapest. And it is not crowded at all. It, too, was preparing for the National Holiday with band stands and kiosks (food, wine and beer stands) being set up around the city for the celebration. We heard a very good street band playing and talked with several of the musicians to find out that they were doing this “street band” for fun. They are music teachers in the area and a few are professional musicians in the local symphony.

Buda and Pest

22 Jul

Budapest was originally two cities, Buda and Pest, separated by the Danube. And, when the cities combined into one, it was first named Pestbuda!

The above photo was taken from the Citadel with Buda on the left and Pest to the right. Buda is much older and more residential today – the preferred place to live and more expensive than Pest (pronounced Pesht). Pest is flat and more commercial with Parliament, universities, the national theater, national museum, parks, and monuments. Pest was devastated by a huge flood in 1838 and rebuilt using the design of Paris as a model. So, the buildings in Pest are relatively new compared  to the 500 and 600 year old buildings in Buda.

View of Parliament building from the west.

View of Parliament building looking north.

Budapest – Jewish Quarter

15 Jul

Dohany Street Synagogue

We visited the Jewish Quarter today including the Great Synagogue, the Tree of Life, the Jewish Museum, and a bit of the Jewish Quarter (Jewish ghetto of WWII).

The Tree of Life is a Memorial to the Holocaust victims with a name on each leaf.

 

Budapest Exploration

14 Jul

It has been hot and we are somewhat tired from the heat – so we take short afternoon naps after venturing about in the morning and early afternoon. We certainly are on European and vacation time,  eating dinner at around 8:30 – 9:00 PM – much later than at home. 

The first couple of days here we picked up a monthly transportation pass good for all methods of public transit, negotiated Metro to get to a large shopping mall – at one time the largest in Hungary – where we found the T Mobile store to procure a SIM card, shopped for groceries, visited the Great Hall (a Pike Place Market kind of place), eaten ice cream on Vaci Street (Budapest’s pedestrian friendly shopping street), and walked around our immediate area (only getting lost once!).  

We  have been back to the Great Hall several times, now, to purchase fresh produce and fruit – it is only a five minute walk from our apartment

Each day we venture further away from our Raday Utca (street) apartment. Julianna, Emily’s sister, is visiting for two weeks, and we are exploring with her. Today we walked the full length of Vaci Street, stopped for refreshments, went down to the Danube River to scope out the Danube River boat tours which we will take today or tomorrow.

In preparation for our trip Emily and I took Hungarian language lessons for four months. Our teacher, AnnaMaria Winters, is a native of Hungary and teaches ESL at Shoreline Community College. We were fortunate to learn a lot about Hungary in addition to our weekly language lessons. Later in August we will visit with AnnaMaria and her mother in Szeged – located in southern Hungary.

Getting ready for Budapest

7 Jul

Leaving on Monday, we are organized, ready and almost packed. We are taking only the amount of clothes that can fit into one carryon suitcase for each of us, two laptops (I will be teaching my online class while in Hungary – Emily will keep up with her authoring and publishing), an iPad, two cameras, photocopies of all of our important documents, cash in euros, florints and dollars, as well as credit and debit cards. We have arranged to be met at the Budapest Airport and taken to our apartment. Emily’s sister, Juliana, will be arriving two days later and will spend two weeks with us, including a side trip to Vienna. And in August, our friends from France, Alain and Roseline, will be with us for a week.