Budapest, the neglected beauty on the Danube, is a city of friendly people, opulent buildings, golden domes, thermal baths and opera.
Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river with a unification on 1873 of right-bank Buda and with left-bank Pest.
A foreign city robs you of your prejudices about different neighborhoods—you look at everything with fresh virgin eyes.
Let’s start by my posh, but relatively inexpensive, hotel room and its great view:
grand cafés everywhere,
like the Callas :
The Hungarians are Opera-crazy and they have their elegant Opera Houses to show it:
There are plenty of beautiful Hungarian girls,
and very proud ones at that: The Heroes’ Square welcomes you with seven Magyar chieftains (Magyar: Hungary) who led the Hungarian people in their proud history; I highlighted a couple that I liked best:
Now we’ll take the Budapest metro—super efficient and easy to use— to go places.
Like a good muslim, I first went to visit the great Saint Stephen Basilica:
the madonna looks friendlier in orthodox churches—somehow less aloof, more human…
In spite of all the gold in the public places, Budapest has its share of run-down buildings,
this huge metropolis is not as pretty as her smaller sister city, Prague,
but is as rich in history and as breathtaking in sights:
the sunset on the Danube is majestic:
Again as a good Shiite who does believe in Holocaust, I went to visit the Dohany street Synagogue of Budapest, the world’s second largest that caters to a mix of Orthodox and Reformed Judaism unique to Hungary:
in spite of its Byzantine Moorish style, the similarities between this synagogue and a grand church are striking: there is an organ (Franz Liszt played on it once),
and even pulpits!
In the Jewish quarter, you are constantly reminded of the Nazis’ atrocities:
Budapest is known for its 80 geothermal springs but I didn’t have the courage to accompany my friends to these pools in Szechenyi bath:
the Fine Art Museum was more pressing but that should wait for another post; the Hungarian parliament deserves a post all to itself as well.
If you want to stay in great affordable hotels in a great cosmopolitan European city, go to Budapest (or ask my friend, Reyhaneh, who is a champion in finding great deals!)
I leave you with this quote: “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget” and “Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence” by Thomas Szasz.
p.s. I am not writing about food because the only good meal I had worth writing home about was with my favorite Hungarian, Professor Ungvari, at Remiz.
Thank you for taking us to Budapest with you. Great pictures!
I have been to Budapest twice before and now once more with Michelle Roohani. Great photos – great city. (Of Attila, the Hun – Hungaria)
I loved the comment by Dr Thomas Szasz. Here is another one by him : “We, psychiatrists consider a person normal, when he says he talks to God, but abnormal, when he says that God talks to him. If it is normal for people to talk to God, it should also be normal that God talks to people.”
Author of WISDOM IN SMILE, THE SECOND VENICE, STOCKHOLM STORIES, SMALL MIRACLES, LIGHTNING AND A BOUQUET OF ROSES, THE MINI-SUBMARINE
Asalam Aliykum ..yes thank you beautiful one.very wonderful sad about the food though ,smiles
Thanks for taking us first to Paris and now to Budapest.. As always stunning pictures ..
Loved the pictures as well as descriptions. Thanks,
Thank you very much, Michele, for this fantastic tour of Budapest. Such gorgeous pictures!
Wonderful Michele! Gracias! Traveling with you is magnific!,is great, you add color and culture to my knowledge. THanks!
I accidentally came across your blog while looking for Budapest pictures. Congratulations for the gorgeous pictures, the clean layout and your good taste 🙂