Tuesday, 26 February 2008

A not-so-gloomy birthday weekend in Budapest

Before this weekend, I knew next to nothing about Budapest, except that it was the setting for the movie Gloomy Sunday, which has a really good (and gloomy) soundtrack, and had mixed reviews from the friends who had travelled there. Lauren had seen Gloomy Sunday, plus two other Holocaust-related movies set there, and - despite being put off Eastern Europe a bit by grumpy Bulgarians - decided it would be a good place to turn 28 in.

What a masterstroke. Budapest is brilliant, in the central city at least much more Austro-Hungarian grandeur than decaying Communist concrete. It's definitely the prettiest city we've seen at night, when the gorgeous buildings on both sides of the Danube River are lit up by scores of lights. The perfect place to wander about and remember that you can still be romantic and goopy when you're old and crusty like us. It wasn't gloomy at all.

No, I wasn't drunk - I had to stick the camera on an angled wall to keep it still.

The Parliament and the Danube.

Fisherman's Bastion

As in any any self-respecting capital, there was many a stone lion to pose with.

The synagogue

The memorial cemetary at the synagogue. All the dates ended in 1944 or 1945.

Gelert Spa - nearly as good as Awakeri Hot Springs.

There was only one lowlight. Before going my workmate Jay told me palinka, the local drink, tasted like mouthwash. He was being generous.

1 comment:

sarah said...

I bet you didn't know the guy who made those lions hung himself not long after. On the opening day, he showed a little boy the lions and said 'how do you like these?' and the little boy said 'they haven't got any tongues.' Which they don't. Which wouldn't matter if one was in a stable frame of mind. Sadly, he wasn't. So there you go.

Nice city, huh!