February 29, 2008

29th 'Tis the Reason for Leap Year

Being an unusual sort of day, thought it deserved an unusual photo to match. These are close-ups of the statues sitting in the openings of the Hero's Square monument (see yesterday's photos). For no other reason than the interesting and somewhat intimate view, the colors, angle and texture - think of it as eye candy.
Oh, and gentlemen - just remember you may be proposed to this year! Even an old fashioned girl as I, am contemplating such a desperate traditional move. :)

February 28, 2008

Demonstration on Hero's Square

This photo is taken from front of the gold gilded museum we've seen earlier. Does anything look odd to you in this photo? I was simply stunned by the democracy a la Hungary - the demonstrators are cordonned off!! Hmm

February 27, 2008

If It's Wednesday...it must be doors

There are some fancy companies behind those fancy doors. The building was built in 1899 and renovations were done 100 years later in 1999. I bet it needed it by then. Will it make it another 100 years?

February 26, 2008

Ice Skating in City Park

There is a wonderful facility in the park that gives an appearance of a moat for the Vajdahunyad Castle we saw earlier. This is an artificial pond where there are ducks in the winter and you can rent boats to paddle yourself and friend(s) out on the water. In the winter, however, part of the area is frozen and used as a skating rink. The building is very handsome and as you can see, while others were enjoying the sun - these youngsters appear to be practicing for something on the ice.

February 25, 2008

February 24, 2008

Hero's Square

To the right of the monuments is the Museum of Graphic Arts. As you can tell there was recent renovation on its facade and the facade looks fresh. There is a demonstration going on at the monuments across the way, which is what the people are looking at. Strangest site - the demonstrators were cordoned off and there was heavy police presence - passers by could simply look on from a distance.

February 23, 2008

Szechenyi Baths in City Park

This is my favorite of the Budapest mineral spas and it also happens to be the closest to me. Just a short ride on the underground from the Oktogon under Andrassy Blvd. you surface in front of this magnificent structure.
It was recently given a face-lift and a new coat of bright yellow paint (which, for some reason did not reflect well in my photos) and looks simply majestic. Today being my daughter's birthday, I simply wanted to show you something befitting a celebration.

February 22, 2008

Hazy Friday

Walking close to the river there was a hazy panorama of the Buda hillside and the former Royal Palace (now a museum). But a little closer, a lovely arcade with very tall columns to protect the building and those under them. Have a great week-end.

February 21, 2008

Lonely Statues

The only visitors these lonely statues are seeing are the people who park their cars along the way. Most people walk by them without even seeing them to rush toward the vendors and programs further in the park.

February 20, 2008

If It's Wednesday...it must be doors

The red sign, I believe, is a do not enter sign. The sign vertically in the window next door "Üveges, képkeret" mean windows (glass) and picture frames. This is an apartment building with some offices on the ground floor.

February 19, 2008

Vajdahunyad Castle and One of the Vendors at the Fair

The Vajdahunyad Castle is an interesting composition of many architectural styles in one structure built as an architectural study. It is located in City Park behind Hero's Square and across the park from the Szechenyi baths (we'll also visit there in a few days) It was a nice day to be in the park.
There were many interesting displays of artists and sweets but being sensible for once, I chose the dried fruit offering - we can all stay healthy and not tempted too much. (From the top: pineapple, fragrant cantaloupe, wild strawberries, peaches, apricot and cranberries. You may purchase 10 dkg of any of these delights for 500 Ft. ($1 = 170 Ft.))

February 18, 2008

Monday, Monday - I love this day!

One of my favorites in the neighborhood. This building is directly across the way from the trolley stop I often wait at and it is always a pleasure to admire the renovation that was recently done on it. It is nothing special, just another residential building, but it sure had the favor of the designer.

A Young Cowboy

The little ones have the opportunity to sit on the back of horses brought to the park for this purpose. Parents walk along for their own feeling of security. Behind the horses is the fenced in 'pool' of the summer pond that gives a moat look to the Vajdahunyad castle, allows people to paddle boat and during the winter a part of it is made into an ice skating rink that we will also see later.

February 16, 2008

Before the Cold Spel

Such a busy photo, but take a look at the prominent green shadow on these trees - just before the weather turned to be frosty again. There is a lovely building ahead, LOTS of cars everywhere (taking half of the sidewalk is not unusual), recycling bins on the left, orange trash can on the right - just an average downtown street on any given work day.

February 15, 2008

Romeo, Romeo wherefor art Thou

Must be sentiments left over from Valentine's day - but these balconies just struck my fancy. It is Friday - I hope something is striking yours?

February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day Everybody!

We've succeeded in allowing Valentine's day to become as commercial as all other holidays, but when it comes to romance - any excuse will do....? If St. Valentine only knew what his sacrifice would start.

By all means, get your flowers and chocolates - but do remember that love is a many splendored thing (I Corinthians 13:1-8) do something loving for those around you. Happy Valentine's Day!

February 13, 2008

If it's Wednesday...It must be doors


Tomorrow is Valentine's day! May the doors to your heart and the heart of your loved one open at first knock. Even the trash seems appropriate - we all have things tucked away in the corners of our hearts that we would do much better without. (How about emotional/spiritual spring cleaning?)

February 12, 2008

Return to IKEA

Didn't have to wait too long for the photo of the Swedish meatballs, accompanied by turkey breast with grilled veggies. What can I tell you - food is my favorite four letter f-word. Don't you know it will be a difficult undertaking to keep things in check during Lent. Hope you all had a wonderful start to the week.

February 11, 2008

Re/Max Hungary

It was a familiar sign as I walked through the gray Monday and look what I saw! :) Re/Max is now also in Hungary.

February 10, 2008

Jewish Quarter Revisited

Another narrow street that used to be lined with crumbling, dark buildings. What a difference it makes to have new, straight walls lining the same street with lots of color and a lovely remodeled structure at the end of the street. Take a look at the windows on the roof of the building at the end of the street. Very often, contractors raise a new floor onto sturdy downtown buildings. Space is limited and this way they gain apartments in the downtown area despite the fact that there is no available building lot. In exchange, they remodel the building's exterior - this way, everybody wins.

February 09, 2008

Facelift

This beautiful building was remodeled just 2 years ago and it sparkled in the street. Not sure if it is the weather or the job the construction crew did but look at all the mildew spots all over the face of that beautiful building. It is not pretty and surely, it can't be healthy.

February 08, 2008

Spring Renewal

Weather turned just a little milder and it was amazing to see that the trees already shaded in green. (Not sure if the photo returns this, but it is lovely to see) This street is one in the Jewish district (7th) in Budapest that had many of its buildings torn down and new structures raised in their place. The narrow streets remain, but it is now fresher, brighter and new.

February 07, 2008

Not So Fashionable Areas of Andrassy

These buildings are in the midst of Andrassy Blvd. close to the Opera. The stores that were once here have closed and the battles are going on behind the scene to see which flagship store will show up here with a fashionable brand name. Sad in a way as Hungarians are being squeezed out of their own city.

February 06, 2008

It it's Wednesday...It must be doors

Today would have been my Dad's birthday, so I've found an especially handsome door to remember him.

February 05, 2008

House of Terror

Andrassy ut 60 was the headquarters of the former secret police and thus referred to as the House of Terror. The people taken in there seldom ever reappeared. It was also in the basement of this building that Imre Nagy was hung.

Along the walls on the outside of the building are some of the photos of those visitors who never emerged again. It is a moving monument, as it were, on Andrassy that otherwise spectacular boulevard.

February 04, 2008

Longer Days

Just light enough still to make out some more of the functional and homely development at what used to be the edge of Budapest. The area is being developed with office buildings and shopping centers. Alas, that is what I'm here for - no, not for shopping as I keep mumbling how much I hate IKEA and the way they force you to visit all of their departments. It is for the Swedish Meatball dinner that I came. The only place in Budapest where it is available and occasionally, it is a 'gotta have' item. MMMMMmmmm, good!

February 03, 2008

First Sunday in February

This lovely building is just to the left and behind the bakery we've seen. Stands on a bit of an incline and being that it is Sunday - thought it appropriate to include it among the photographs.
Hope all of you are relaxing and enjoying your day.

February 02, 2008

Happy Ground Hog Day

Here is some interesting comparison of modern architecture. The building in the center across the way may be the oldest and for my money - the most attractive of the three. The one on its right is a decent new structure, made to look like the styles of the past - but the one on the left is the unapologetic horror of the 60s that filled the vacant spots in Budapest. Cement panels piled on top of each other and in no time there were 'homes' built for the people. This is not so much of an eyesore as the then new subdivisions where there are 10 story buildings stand guard of one another.

Bakery at Last!


Been such a strange week, it is late afternoon already and I'm just posting for today - and this after getting my days mixed up earlier. Wheew!

As you can see, the bakery from the outside is less than unpretentious, but oh, the aroma floating in the air. Simple goods inside, croissants, walnut, cabbage and jam rolls and some breads left in the late morning.