June 2023

Budapest (Part 4, still pic heavy)

This is the back end of the controversial recreation of the monument dedicated to the martyrs of the communist Red Terror in 1919, with the buildings of parliament in the background. There used to be a monument to Imre Nagy here that was relocated (more later).

Dohány Street Synagogue.

Budapest has these all over the place. So does Ljubljana. Memories of a terrible time.

(I have no idea who the guy with the chicken is)

The Great Market Hall / Nagy Vásárcsarnok.

So we went to Frici Papa for lunch, had one of each set plate. Good food at a decent price.

Újházi tyúkhúsleves – Hungarian chicken soup
Palócleves – Palóc soup
Csöben sült sonkás kelbimbó – Ham and brussels sprouts bake
Szénégetö spagetti –  Spaghetti carbonara
Szilvalekváros derelye – Plum jam curd pockets

Bamamo Budapest is one of the many local street artists.

On our last night in Budapest we went out to photograph the Houses of Parliament at night. I had pretty good results (and great fun) after overriding the automatic exposure settings on my 100D.

The next morning was dull. I took this picture using the exposure bracketing function, and used Lightroom to make an HDR image (this one you can click-to-embiggen).

We had some time before catching the train to Ljubljana, so we went hunting for more mini-szobor (specifically the russian-hat-grown-frog-legs).

Here’s Imre Nagy (He ruled Hungary for a couple of years, but he rubbed the Politburo up the wrong way and got himself executed for it) on his new site just off the Margit bridge. We looked for Lisa Simpson but I suspect she no longer lives here.

And that concludes Budapest 2023. Until next time (when we will be spending more time in District XIII, maybe even go to the Pinball Museum again).



Budapest (Part 3) A trip to the zoo

If you’re in Budapest, get a 72 hour travelcard. You can get on pretty much anything with wheels and travel for free. Metro, tram, railway, bus… the only exception is the 100E bus to the airport, and the children’s railway.

Take the Metro to Széll Kálmán tér, hunt some mini szobor if you want to, take the tram to Szent János Kórház (you need a copy of this map on your phone). Go left up the hill, turn right at the bridge, there’s a station with a gear track down the middle.

Because it’s steep.

This train runs to Széchenyi-hegy at the top. Turn left, walk past the park to Széchenyihegy Children’s Railway station.

We got there before ten, the service only starts at ten. So we walked to the next station, Normafa, where there is a coffee shop.

Except for the driver(s), the train line is run by school kids. Looks like one older and one younger kid in a team.

Note that they take cash (Forints) only, so make sure you have the right change. It was 1500 HUF per person when we did this.

I asked, sounds like each of them does this two days a month.

The line goes further, but you want to get off at Szépjuhászné. Then when you walk out of the station, turn left. There’s a path through the woods. We didn’t know this and turned right. There is no path towards the right…

Better yet, take the bus. It’s right there and you have a 72 hour pass, right? You want to go to Szanatórium utca (Vadaspark) which is like two three stops down the line. Then you have to walk all the way up Szanatórium utca (the jokes writes itself), turn right at the top, and take the “shortcut” through the woods. This gets you to the zoo.

… assuming you’re into this kind of thing.

And then you walk back and get on the bus and end up back at Széll Kálmán tér.

And if you get on the bus going the wrong way (downhill at this point is the wrong way) and it happens to be the number 22, there’s a Lidl at the end of the line so you can shop for supper then go back the other way.





Budapest (Part 2, pic heavy)

This is the new Museum of Ethnography and the Memorial to the 1956 Revolution.

The memorial was there before, they built the museum while leaving the monument in place.

We walked a bit of Andrassy ut.

Google Maps claims that this is the oldest tree in Budapest, but apparently not.


I would also be this crazy…

…if someone whipped me with a snake (what’s the backstory? Idunno).

The station at the start of the cog railway up to Széchenyi-hegy.


Budapest (Part 1, pic heavy)

Random stuff, in no particular order.

That’s where we stayed, on Fö utca. The Batthyány tér metro station is on the right hand side of the photograph.

The M3 metro line is the deepest of the lot, since it runs under the river (M1, the second oldest metro line in the world, runs just under Andrassi út).

Google Maps tells me that this was originally the tombstone of Lujza Blaha. That’s why the shepherd playing the flute is so sad, and that’s why the first line of Sándor Petőfi’s poem “SAD BRANCH OF MY LITTLE FLUTE” can be read on the side (“Kis furulyám szomorúfűz ága”).

When the Danube river flooded in 1938 Baron Wesselenyi saved lots of people using a boat he had floating around.

(Yea, the grafitti sucks)

This is the monument to Carl Lutz, who saved an estimated 60 thousand Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust.

“Whoever saves a life is considered to have saved an entire world”.

Statue to the anonymous dude who wrote La Gesta Hungarorum / The Deeds of the Hungarians.




Mini Statues of Budapest

Back in 2019, I noticed this little fellow up on the Budapest castle ramparts.

So this time around I did some research. Turns out this Kolodko dude hid little statues all over Budapest, so the search was on.

We stayed in Fö utca, close to the Batthyány tér metro station (Hungarian has 44 letters in their alphabet, I don’t always get it right), so the worm, tank and Rubik’s cube were all right on our doorstep. The russian soldier in the pantry was a short walk downriver (in the rain, which turned out not as bad as forecast).

Brexit teddy in Harmincad u. close to Deak Ferenc.

Not sure what this is supposed to be, maybe a warning? It’s in Dózsa György út next to the Museum of Ethnography.

Not technically a mini statue, the little princess lives on the Pest-side river bank close to Vigado tér.

The balloon dog is not far away from the little princess.

Rattatouille lives on the other side of the river, under the Erzébet bridge.

The dead squirrel lies behind Columbo and his dog on Szent István.

Mekk Elek on Széll Kálmán tér.

There’s a whole collection of dogs at a little park halfway between Széll Kálmán tér and Batthyány tér.

It started out as a Russian hat on a pillow, but a politician called Erik Fülöp took an axe to it, knocked it off the fence, and threw it in the river. Kolodko replaced the statue with an axe on a pillow (more on this later).

In the same park there is also a mini statue of Kermit the frog.

And the moon buggy is not far away, close to the Lajos Batthyányi Eternal Flame.

Tivadar Herzl was a Jewish Austrian-Hungarian journalist, writer and political activist who became known as the father of modern Zionism. His mini-statue lives close to the sinagogue on Dohány utca.

The racecar is rather large, for a mini-statue. It’s in front of the Pesti Magyar Színház (theater).

The story goes that some dude threw the New York Cafe’s key in the river to prevent said restaurant from ever closing. But of course the diver got it back.

King Franz Joseph chills out on Szabadság (Liberty) bridge (which used to be called Ferenc József híd).

Remember the Russian hat that got axed and tossed in the river? Here it is climbing back out, in front of the Houses of Parliament.

We looked hard but we could not find: the urinal, the russian warship and Lisa Simpson.

When it was time for me to fly back, I took the train from Ljutomer, and had to stay over in Budapest . So I took the chance to hunt a few more mini statues.

I stayed in a cheap flophouse close to the Eastern Budapest Station (Keleti) and this back-to-the-future Trabant lives there.

The ark is on Bethlen Gábor tér.

It was pissing down, real miserable — I took this photograph at around nine in the morning, in summer… blargh. This is Jewish war hero Hanna Szenes, at the park named after her.

And then, on my way to the airport on the M3 Metro line, I interrupted my trip to catch this fellow just around the corner from the Semmelweis Klinikák metro station. Why a meerkat, why here?