Saturday, January 4, 2014

Budapest, where another man danced with Adrienne

Whoops. I got distracted by things like Christmas and New Years and haven't written a blog in 2 weeks. I was on a roll there for a while!

I'm sure everyone was dying for part 2, so here's my first blog of 2014! Hopefully by 2015, I will have completed all my blogging about this summer's trip!

After walking down the hill, we headed across the chain bridge to the other side of the Danube.
We witnessed some tight-roping on the way.

This is the Chain Bridge, named because it has chains.

It opened in 1849 as the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest. (After living in Vienna, I have a really hard time calling the Danube the Danube, instead of the Donau.)

It was considered one of the world's greatest engineering feats at the time and is still recognized as important throughout Europe. It's made of cast iron. It was damaged during WWII but reopened again (obviously).

The lion does not look like he has a tongue. How unfortunate that he can't taste his food.

We wandered across the bridge enjoying the view, which is quite beautiful.

Here's Lilly and Nora's in the background.
There's the parliament building.

The view in the other direction.

Everyone walking.
Here are some chains.

Looking back at the palace we had just left.
A lion's butt.
A fancy building.
Another fancy building.

A statue. Of a man.

We got a snack quickly at a cafe near this square and sat in a line along the wall. The ingredients for everything on the menu were from the owner's farm, which was pretty cool.

We then headed to St. Stephen's Basilica, also known as Szent István-bazilika, where Peter, Nora's boyfriend, joined us.

It's a Roman Catholic church named after King Stephen, the first king of Hungary. Apparently, until 1920 it was the 6th largest church in Hungary, but now it's the 3rd largest.

In other news, King Stephen's hand is in the reliquary. Unfortunately, I was unable to see his hand. Apparently it is incorruptible.

The Parliament building and the basilica are exactly the same height and nobody can build a building in Budapest that is higher than them.

Here we are standing in the shadow of the basilica.

Still in shadow. Except for Lilly.

Everyone being ridiculous.

Whipping their hair back and forth in front of the basilica.
More whipping.

The square in front of the basilica.
One of the two towers.
The dome inside.

All the girls smiling and looking normal! I'm shocked!

I always love stained glass.
The church closed soon after we arrived, which was ok for me since I'd been there before. Otherwise it would have been very sad.

A Hungarian Street sign.
The view of the back of the basilica.

We then headed down Andrassy Avenue, which is a famous street in Budapest.
Along the way, we saw Leonardo DiCaprio and his watch.

Andrassy Avenue dates back to 1872. It's a main shopping and food street and has a lot of mansions along the way. A lot of the mansions house various embassies, which was interesting to see. They were all grouped together! In Seoul, the U.S Embassy is smack dab in the middle of an important historical square, which I don't completely agree with.

Gyula Andrassy was the Prime Minister of Hungary at the time the street was built. He supported the building of the street.

The first subway station was built underneath this street and opened in the late 1800's.

The street was renamed 3 times during the Cold War era. It was Stalin Street beginning in 1950, then changed to the Avenue of Hungarian Youth in 1956 after an uprising. The communist government changed it the next year to the People's Republic Street. After the communists left Hungary, they restored the name to Andrassy Avenue in 1990.

This is the National (?) Ballet building.
This is the Hungarian State Opera House.

As ballet dancers, Adrienne and Anna wanted to pose in front of the ballet academy.

Lilly joined in.

Then, a man, seeing them posing with their legs in the air, came sprinting across the street to pose with them. He then hobbled away in pain, hopefully jokingly.
Adrienne failing in her ballet skills.
And they continue.
Adrienne looking on questioningly at Anna.

Anna being dramatic as always.
A lion. I love this.

The side of the Opera House.

This is a beer wagon cart thing. Basically, you pay to drink unlimited beer while peddling the cart throughout the city. I also saw one in Viennaa.

The center for cochlear implants. How do I know? It says "Cochlearis Implantatum."

I like the subtle design on this building, if you look closely.

Throughout our walk, I saw many different owls on the ground. By different, I mean they were exactly the same just in different locations.

At the end of Andrassy Avenue is Heroes' Square. Behind Heroes Square is the City Park.
That's the Museum of Fine Arts, which I visited on my last trip to Budapest.
There is an Orthodox Jewish Man looking at the Museum of Fine Arts.
This is the facade on the outside of the Kunsthalle Budapest Museum.
Kunsthalle means "Art Hall" in German.
Interesting buildings across from the square.
The Kunsthalle.
Heroes Square is pretty cool. It's aptly named because all of the men in the statues along the monument are heroes in Hungarian history.

There are statues of the 7 leaders of the tribes who founded Hungary, as well as other important men and women. It was built when Hungary was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, so the 5 on the right were previously Hapsburgs: Ferdinand I, Leopold I, Charles III, Maria Theresa and Franz Joseph). The Habsburgs were replaced after it was damaged during WWII and rebuilt.

This is the left side. The men depicted are John HunyadiMatthias CorvinusIstván BocskayGabriel BethlenImre ThökölyFrancis II Rákóczi and Lajos Kossuth.

On the right side, the men depicted are Stephen I of HungaryLadislaus I of HungaryColoman of HungaryAndrew II of HungaryBéla IV of HungaryCharles I of Hungary and Louis I of Hungary.

If you'd like to, follow the links to the wikipedia pages of each person. There are too many to summarize in this blog.

You may be wondering why Adrienne was punching Anna in the face.

It's so that the picture below could be taken. It's amazing. The first attempt didn't work out and Adrienne's arm was broken up into many little tiny arms.

Lilly getting involved in the photobombing of the trip.

Somewhat normal, so not quite qualifying for the Hungary Photobomb Blog.

There was a man doing bike tricks in the square. He was not very good. Perhaps he needed a bigger bike

The beards and moustaches on the various men were amazing.

A bird straight out of Edgar Allen Poe.

This is the fake Romanian Castle that I visited when I went to Hungary 4 years ago. It's called Vajdahunyad Castle. It was built between 1896 and 1908 for the Millenial Exhibition, celebrating 1000 years of Hungary. Within the area of the castle, they also have recreations of various buildings from around Hungary. It was interesting to walk around, but we didn't head over there this time.

After completing our walk, we headed back to the house for dinner, where we ate an amazing stew and had crepes for desert. The pot of stew was enormous but between all the people (10 in all) we finished it. We then all chatted for a long time and headed to bed.
Overall it was another fantastic day!

1 comment:

  1. Love it. Makes me smile to read this and see yall. What great memories y'all have. Me too. So blessed.