Monday, 16 November 2009

"Whaddya mean - 'the giant teabag's a weird idea'?"

Today is grey and murky so I'll stay in for a bit which means - lucky people! - I can continue with posting about my trips around Budapest.

I've not managed to take many pictures of Budapest by night, mostly because I'm not terribly confident of walking around a foreign city on my own in the dark. I have no doubt that I'll come to no harm - it would not be unlike walking around Leicester Square or Covent Garden on your own at about 9pm, perfectly safe but you wouldn't want to walk down too many little roads you didn't know. So I'm being safe, but I did have to pop out one night and took the opportunity to take just a few shots.

The Chain Bridge leading over to the Buda side of town

The Royal Palace

First of the Christmas lights down one of the 'walking streets' off Vorosmarty Ter

The lights are being put up around trees and lamp posts all around this area but only those above were lit. I don't know when all the others are supposed to be lit or, indeed, if they have any kind of big Turning on the Christmas Lights ceremony here like we do at home, with some Turbofolk Z-list celeb being hauled out to press a big button. I'll nip out again a bit later this week after dark and see if anymore have been lit. TLH is particularly entranced by Christmas lights so I said I'd look out for them for him.

Yesterday was Sunday and the weather was completely glorious. Achingly blue sky with a warm wind, it felt more like spring than mid-November. Everyone was out sunning themselves on benches or walking their well-groomed little dogs to meet other well-groomed little dogs in the special dog park. I had to get out and walk around in it. I wandered back to the Basilica as I knew there would be a big Catholic mass going on again as, indeed, there was, only this time Mr 'No Photo' was wandering around so I couldn't take pictures during the service. No matter as the pictures I took last Sunday were far more atmospheric, it being a darker day then so the candlelight was more impressive.

View from the top of the steps of St Stefan's Basilica, looking down toward the Danube and the Buda Hills beyond.

This was a balcony on a building facing the Basilica - still warm enough for the flowers to be in full bloom.

I walked down the side of the church and came across this fantastic looking building, a bank built at the beginning of the 1900s I think - the colours are mouth-watering:

Round the back of the church. I've forgotten what this bit's called, an apse, is it?

Wandering further, I was struck by the contract between the blue, blue sky and the beautiful yellow ochre of this building:

Then further along I spotted this roof, like something out of a fairy tale (you get a stiff neck in Budapest, from craning your head up all the time!) Believe it or not, this is the Post Office Savings Bank building:

Hercegprima utca, heading back towards the Basilica

I headed back towards Deak Ferenc ter, which is a central square where all the metro lines intersect. There is some weird and wonderful statuary around this square and although I've looked online, I can't find any information about any of it, except that the giant teabag won some sort of art prize in Germany or Switzerland (sorry, can't remember). It's very odd though:

Yes, it's a Liptons teabag - the bane of every English traveller abroad - floating in a shallow pond of cold water. Which is generally how you will be served it in the rest of the world.

Budapest is actually a very clean city, there's little if any rubbish lying around, and absolutely no dog crap anywhere (Amsterdam and Paris, please take note). There is, however, loads of graffiti everywhere, such as on this sculpture, which is a shame.

Thought this was pretty groovy - I hadn't noticed it before, it's not very tall, about average person-height but I loved the shadow it cast.

This is it viewed from the other side.

A single boob. No, I have no idea either.

Behind Deak Ferenc ter, there's the most extraordinary mosaic building facade that I saw earlier in the week when it was raining and vowed to return to photograph when the weather was more clement, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity and headed off that way.

For some reason, I glanced up and spotted this, stopping me dead in my tracks:

Marvin the Paranoid Android (from the original TV version of 'Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy')


Still, onwards down this street and turn right at the church:

And you come to this example of art nouveau loveliness (I can't find out any more information about this):

Isn't that glorious? And all mosaic too.

That's it for now, you're all up to date. I'm hoping to walk up Andrassy utca to Hero Square later and maybe visit a museum or two but it'll depend on how much time I've got. But thanks for reading so far, I hope you're enjoying it!


Adrienne Goodenough said...

I'm really enjoying your trip to Budapest - lovely to see you find some of the wonderful places we found - we ate sausages and chips washed down with red wine for BREAKFAST in the market on our first day - doing what the locals did seemed like a good idea at the time LOL

You have found more statues than we did - but have you seen the bronze peter pan boy sitting on the railings on the riverfront? Also the 'rusty' memorial to war dead nearby, and the charming lifesized bronze girl playing with her dog? All near the Gresham Palace.

Mrs Jones said...

Hi Adrienne - yes, I found the boy and the girl, they're up in my post of 9 November. Oh and thanks for the tip about the software, I'll check it out when I get home (which will be tomorrow!) One last trip out today to put my own padlock on the gate and then after dark to get the christmas lights of the market as I believe it opens today.