July 31, 2008

City Girl Turning Country

You may be as surprised as I am how much I enjoy country life. Just spent a week in the city and couldn't wait to get back. Take a look what greeted me:Zucchini are everywhere! To keep things in balance and not get sick of it, these flowers are perfect for a batter dip and deep frying.

Wax beans are hiding under those roaming vines.

Look at this ground cover :) Cucumbers, of course.

Yes, some flowers too for aesthetic pleasure.

Corn and gladiolas around the red currant bushes (remember those?)
Melon on the left and a new planting of corn on the right. (This is Silver Queen and the seeds came with me from my visit on the Cape. Hoping they will turn out as tasty as I remember.)

...and here is looking at the garden from the entrance. All the rain during the month is keeping things looking as fresh as if it were May. The white spot is a water container we pump water into from the stream behind those trees. It comes in handy when there is not enough rain and you have to water plants to keep them alive. Oh, and see the rocks on the mountain side peeking through the trees? I LOVE BEING HERE!

July 30, 2008

If It's Wednesday, It Must be Doors

This elaborately carved structure with a 'roof' is what is known as a Transylvanian Gate. This gate is also located in Bajna. It is the former residence of a well known potter that had been turned into a guest house and camp for children by the Friends of Bajna.

July 29, 2008

Flat or Frizzy

You knew it was natural but I bet you never knew mineral water grew out of the soil in a bottle!!
Well, relax - it does not, not even in Hungary. What you are seeing is my attempt at rooting roses. Those gardeners in the know I spoke to tell me that after the bloom is gone from the rose,
(as you can see that sad stump in the middle of all the buds) one can cut them, stick it in soil and cover it over with a plastic pop bottle (bottom cut out, naturally) and it should take root. It sounded mysteriously awesome enough for me to try it and under those plastic bottles are my cuttings.

Mother's uncle, the Judge, had a famous rose garden. They were all trees and only the Judge was permitted into that garden. Upon visiting him, the visits would always conclude with him taking his scissors, having us wait in front of the gate and he would reappear with a bouquet of colorful, fragrant roses. It is so exciting to try and make this work - will keep you posted.

July 28, 2008

St. Stephen's Basilica

It appears that I'm continuing in an off-beat fashion as this photo is taken from a pedestrian street (many of those in Budapest now) where I judged the view stunning and unexpectedly grand.

July 27, 2008

Walk Along Andrassy Boulevard

Doesn't it look inviting? This is the side walk along Andrassy heading back into town from Hero's Square. It looks good enough to pass on a bus or metro ride, no?

July 26, 2008

A Walk Through the Neighborhood

This is a more intimate view of Hero's square than you are used to seeing as it was taken on a walk rather than seeking out THE spot to take a photo. It is different and I liked it enough to want to share.

July 25, 2008

Body, Soul, Culture

The 'Body and Soul' exhibit poster looks inviting on the side of the museum.

July 24, 2008

Glancing Across the Danube

The promenade shown in prior posts is on the Pest side of the Danube. Glancing across the way are the Royal Castle and a bit to the left the Gellert monument on the hill named after Bishop Gellert (who was rolled down the cliffs in a barrel from this location by the Turks when he would not renounce his faith). That's the statue with the white half-circle back drop in the greenery.

July 23, 2008

July 22, 2008

Continuing Along the Promenade

During the summer this is a beautiful place to be. Lots of people, flowers, greenery, the Danube and the Buda hill are all competing for your attention. The Danube is directly on the left.
This statue of the Little Princess sits on the rail facing the rows of restaurants with her back to the tram tracks and the river. To her right is the Chain Bridge.

July 21, 2008

Revisited in the Summer Time

Some of you may remember this group of statues that sit in the middle of Vorosmarty Ter, the center of much attraction in Budapest. During the winter it is covered over with a plastic tent that is filled with warm air to keep moisture and damage away from the grouping. They look lovely now in the middle of much greenery.

July 20, 2008

Sunflowers on Sunday

Here you frequently see large lots planted with sunflowers while driving along in the countryside. Most of it is produced for oil and some for feed, but the vision of seas of yellow always delight my eyes.

Not long ago I've come across a blog drawing a parallel between the sunflowers and the followers of Christ - how they both seek the source of light. Thought I would also use this visual reminder that today is Sunday.

July 19, 2008

Street Advertisement

Just steps from the Gerbaud on Vorosmarty Ter is this pavement art that turns out to be advertising, but still a colorful and interesting vision in the summer heat.

July 18, 2008

The Danube Promenade

A block away from the buildings from yesterday, heading toward the Danube, there are some more restaurants lining the street. Looks pretty inviting and the view of Buda is great.
This park is to the left of the al fresco dining with the remodeled Marriott Hotel behind it.

July 17, 2008

New Building in Place of Old

There was a nasty socialist style building sitting on this spot for decades. Thankfully, it was torn down and after much wait, the scaffolding disappeared and this is what graces the spot. Not exactly classical architecture, but it is shiny and new.
This is a side street next to it which leads to the Danube and the promenade. On the right are restaurants and casinos luring visitors to spend time and money.

July 16, 2008

If It's Wednesday, It Must be Doors

Cheating just a bit here. As I've not been in the city much, I'm showing you door photos from Rome, Italy that I've taken in April. Equally beautiful - don't you agree?

July 15, 2008

Folk Art

In a separate area reserved for the folk art, there were small shops where artists demonstrated their craft and sold samples of their ware.

Rug weaving, candle making, pottery, textile coloring are just some of the items on display.

July 14, 2008

On the Way to the Vineyard

On our way to the wine tasting, we walked through a variety of cellars and small vacation homes. This one was particularly interesting with a display of old tools.

Nice and refreshing. We've found a sour cherry tree on our way and it was loaded down with ripe fruit. How refreshing.

The facade of this cellar has lovely decor of grapevine with clusters of grapes hanging down, but these are still very green and not edible.

July 13, 2008

The Equestrian Show

The Hungarian Longhorn. Sturdy animals from the Great Plains of Hungary.

July 12, 2008

Finally it is Lunch Time

Nicely set table, inviting aromas, new faces and plenty of red & white wines and conversation.

Traditional instruments and melodies from a century back provide just the right mood.

The pottery with the faces served as the wine vessels. On the plate is paprikas made of gray beef. Very tasty fare with a cabbage salad.

July 11, 2008

Arriving at the Equestrian Farm

These young ladies with trays were waiting for us with locally made apple brandy. It was smooth and strong - especially as it was only 11 a.m., but with a little bit of home made bread...there were no complaints.

On the carriages once more, we were on our way to the vineyards for a wine tasting. There were small family owned places along the way with even a cemetery in the midst which made me wonder whether the town was once out there, or the cometary was for the heroic workers of the grape.

A nice cool spot on a hot day. Remember it was still morning when we bellied up to these tables for a taste of four delightful wines. Then a ride back to the farm for a hearty lunch. More to come...

July 10, 2008

Trip to Solt

You are looking at the inside of the hydrofoil we boarded in Budapest on the Danube for our trip to the City of Solt. The trip took approximately 1.5 hours while we enjoyed the view and refreshments.

Docking at Solt where there is not so much as a cabin at the pier, but we were met by...

four horse drawn carriages to take us to the equestrian farm. The rest of the trip will be showing in the days to come. Do come back.

July 09, 2008

If It's Wednesday, It Must be Doors

Looks like a fresh new set of doors from the center of town.

July 08, 2008

New Chair Covers at the Gerbaud

Walking through Vorosmarty Square a few days ago I've noticed a bright new addition to chairs of the famous Gerbaud coffee house. The new chair covers certainly bring attention!

July 07, 2008

Fast Food - Country Style

Getting hungry here with a large garden in the back is never a problem. Some lettuce, a couple of tomatoes and some cheese from the fridge...voila! Lunch.

July 06, 2008

Revisit St. Stephen's Cathedral

Being Sunday it is appropriate to revisit St. Stephen's basilica. The picture above is of the side altar and the window above it is the photo I've submitted a couple of weeks ago.
This is the main altar of the church with the statue of St. Stephen displayed in the center.
The beautifully adorned cupola above the main altar.