09 August 2012

CRF: Budapest

"CRF" is not a crime show you've never heard of, it stands for "Cutting Room Floor." Below are some of our favorite pics that never made the blog. We figured we'd reminisce a little while we're home for a visit. (Back in Europe August 20th).
Budapest beguiled us in a way that left us a little speechless.  Or post-less.  Aside from the subterranean maze below Buda Castle, we didn't feature much of the unique,  charismastic city.  We were too caught up enjoying it.  Testament to the fun we had, our other Budapest-specific post was about garden bars. So, here's a look at all the things we couldn't quite wrap up in a neat bow.   Some of our favorite shots from the city that didn't make the original cut.
Construction being done on the Applied Arts Museum- a building that screams 'applied arts.'
Budapest's Great Market Hall is really impressive.  Outside, its roof is covered in green and yellow tiles with purple flecks.  The inside is just as vibrant.  There are three floors.  The top is tourist-ceentric, with handicrafts and food stalls serving up real deal local cuisine. The ground floor is a heaven of fruits, vegetables, spices, baked goods, dairy products, etc.  The basement is where they keep all the nitty gritty market fare i.e. the butchers and fish mongers.  Budapest is an excellent city to dine in.  So, the fact that we cooked in twice (making Hungarian cherry soup , fish paprikas and mákos metélt) shows how inspirational this market was.
The view from an apartment in the 5th district - a great neighborhood.  If you look closely, you can see the pull down shutters outside every window. That's something we noticed throughout Budapest.
The steep, winding Sikló walkway leads up away from the Danube to Buda Castle. Some tourists stop to rest en route to picture perfect Castle Hill. These two lovebird locals used the benches for other things.
We stayed in a rental apartment in the 8th district, a neighborhood that went from artist colony to prostitution den to the recipient of (what some call) the biggest urban renewal project in Central Europe. It has a big mall, cinema, kindergartens, but also hole-in-the-wall food joints and small businesses. It's cleaned up but not too cleaned up, you know? At night it buzzed with fluorescence and laughter.
The Great Synagogue in Budapest is the second largest synagogue in the world, fitting 3,000 people. It was built in the middle of the 19th century at a time when Jews were banned from the city proper. You can actually see a bit of the old Pest city walls right across the street. The synagogue is bright and beautiful inside. The chandeliers were particularly eye-catching.
A staircase in one of the many old, abandoned buildings that have been turned into a kurt. Many of them were palatial and people were tucked into every corner of every room, lining hallways and - of course - outside under the stars.  Kurt means garden after all.
Orange cable cars whiz across the Liberty Bridge.
River cruises moved down the green Danube and grand bridges stretched over it.  This building stood unused in its blue coat of paint with its round maritime windows.
When we're asked about our some of our favorite cities, Budapest comes to mind.  It's always difficult to explain why.  A city is often broken down into categories - sights, dining, nightlife.  Some cities excel in all three fields but never really stand out as more than a collection of great elements.  There's no connective energy, no character.  Budapest felt kinetic and edgy, but also comfortable and welcoming.  Heck, we couldn't put it into words while we were there and we can't now.  It's just someplace special.

No comments:

Post a Comment