July 2015 BUDAPEST

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I had Budapest high on my "to visit" list for a long time. I first was attracted to the Hungarian capital by pictures of a friend of mine, mainly impressed by the fact that almost every random picture of his had at least one nice building in it. Motivated by my "how bad can it be" wanderlust I find my self on a flight to Budapest right in the middle of a hot summer. Not much later I am flying over the clouds that keep Serbia unexposed to the sun:

Also not much later I already walk on Hungarian soil. My dear host meets me at the airport and we take the bus to the city. On the way she explains to me that those repetitive blue posters I see read "we're sorry for our Prime Minister". Quite a welcome for visitors :)

We arrive at her place where I realise that Gutenberg square's history will surround me for the next days. Look at "Gutenberg Otthon" constructed at the beginning of the previous century:

So graceful regardless the lack of maintenance.

In the evening my host kindly shows me around and we end up touring the ruin bars of Budapest. Quite an interesting local trend converting abandoned buildings into bars where your table that holds your drink might be made out of parts of a Soviet car. Most of them are located in the Jewish neighborhood which was deserted after WWII. What a change of land use through the years...

All feel nice except that next morning is the beginning of a heatwave. Am I new to heatwaves? Born and raised in Athens I'm not a heat virgin but in my intentions to explore the city on foot I could have better conditions than solid unchanged 37C for the next days without any wind at all. Except Morocco this is the only time I leave home for a hotter place. However, Budapest's beauty pays back big time. Just a few minutes walking and I capture the beauty of "Andrássy University":

Greek elements come in various funny formats:

Another old grace neglected:

A few steps later, Liberty bridge keeps my eyes wide open:

As I walk North by the river I see the next one, Elisabeth's bridge:

At this point it is already obvious that Danube's contribution to the beauty of this city is vast. But it's not just the river I have on my left. Just by turning my head right at the same spot I have (from left to right) "Belvárosi Nagyboldogasszony Főplébánia" temple, Sapientia College of Theology and Matild Palace, all of them in just one shot and all of them so wonderful:

And that's only the start. A few steps North on the Buda side is the complex that hosts the Gallery, Library and Museum of Budapest:

The above distant view convinces me that I'll have to dedicate time for it later. At the moment I am busy picturing the statue of the writer József Eötvös located in front of Sofitel and Intercontinental hotels:

Unlike some other buildings this ones are definitely well taken care off:

More than this older and more impressive one that hosts the International department of the Ministry of Interior:

Széchenyi Park offers me a short break from the melting heat:

I said short break not because I don't need a longer one under this hear - it's just that with so much beauty around you can't be a lazy ass (which I am not anyway :) ). I mean, look at Gresham Palace in front of this park which hosts the Four Seasons hotel:

Or the Hungarian Academy of Sciences:

Both too massive to fit in just one picture, too beautiful for the picture to tell the whole truth.

I continue walking up the river on Pest side when...oh my...did I say something about massive and beautiful before? Well, the Hungarian Parliament and its surroundings bring it to another level:

Impressive? Beyond. I'd better not comment it further, I'm sure you won't miss it if you visit the city. Keep in mind you also won't miss those extra long cruise ships touring the river, this one pictured at Margarita's bridge:

Yes, the bridge is no exception to Budapest's beauty.

I wish I had superpowers to keep walking all day at a city that feels like the Sahara at the moment so I decide to go back and have some rest and a bit on something. I wait for the sun to go down and to walk the city again under more human friendly conditions. I love the city lights and how they compliment the buildings regardless if I've seen some of them already during the daylight:

Eötvös Loránd University

Matild Palace

Next morning I start my walk under the same persistent heat and get the chance to picture an exhibition in front of the National museum at the statue of the poet János Arany:

Adorable buildings again all the way:


The gap between old and contemporary can be huge:

Various artistic touches by the river:

Time to cross the river and make it to Buda side as there's so much beauty there to visit, obvious from mile away. I make it via chain bridge:

And that's what attracted me yesterday:

Now I am at the foothill of Budapest's castle hill to enjoy its baroque creations. Lucky pigeons booked their VIP seat in the shade:

There's a nice drawing of the whole complex for the visitors:

And that's how Pest looks like from Buda:

Fancy walking up the Castle hill with me for a better view? Come along:

Seriously, I am not sure I know the right words to make justice for a place like this but I can tell you I already feel like the trip is worth it even if some magic could stop it now and beam me back home. Fortunately there's no such power so I keep walking and picturing. Here's Prince Eugene of Savoy:

And here's his view:

The National Gallery under the penetrating sun:

One more panoramic won't hurt anybody I guess:

The guards at Sandor Palace have a tough time. I've been "there" and done that:

Buda often feels more like an open air museum:

I am not gonna put Buda over Pest though (or vice versa). They're both interesting for their own reasons and I am glad to enjoy this different side of the city which makes the whole experience more diverse. What doesn't help with my experience is the heatwave so I pick this beautiful square behind the Castle hill to have a rest:

I'd sell a kidney for this in such weather but fortunately I don't have to:

After this much needed juice and a sandwich I start making my way back down.

Now tell me if this city isn't beautiful which one is:

History museum is right by the river and it's here to remind us the bloodshed of our history:

I arrive at Elizabeth bridge which will bring me back to Pest but not before I take some more pictures:

There I see Gellert hill and though I am already exhausted by walking all day under the grilling sun, it's a too fantastic view point to skip. Isn't it? :

One more hard but totally joyful walking day is over. Time to rest cause there's more to follow and weather is not changing his mind at all.

Next day I decide to do the city Park of Budapest, in an effort to continue my exploration in the most friendly environment hoping the vegetation will make the whole situation more bearable. The lake of this park is a pleasure under such conditions:

You may have noticed that there's no one pedalling those things around the lake - who would put their kids or themselves in such torture. Vajdahunyad Castle is among the main attractions there undoubtedly:

Jáki church:

I so love reflections on water - thank you Varosligeti:

The park in general is a nice helping hand to my heatwave efforts - the view of the water helps you survive the fire of the weather:

I feel like a hero surviving under this laser sun but the square of Heroes is obviously dedicated to the real ones:

I enjoy my meal under the shade as close to the water as possible and head back for some much needed rest. Heat has taken its toll on my energy.

Recharged enough on the next day I decide take it easy and just fill my folders with a few more shots by the river:

See you on the next one!