“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Budapest” (Day 2)

Editor’s note:  This missive has been in the queue for over week.  Life happens.

April 19

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Did you know Budapest spelled backwards is tsepadub?  Tsepadub is an herb first planted in the Danube River valley by Hungarian peasants in 1956.  It was never popular, however, so that was the one and only year it was ever planted.  The peasants subsequently emigrated to the U.S. where they all obtained employment in Secaucus summer stock.

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Our first full day in Budapest.  So what do we do?  Leave town!  The Etniers would not be joining us until later in the day, so in the morning . .

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[We decided to leave town?  With Pam and Tom, we left our lodgings in the morning after first documenting the sights on the Buda side of the river.  We walked along the river noting such statuary as above, and below . . . ]

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[Until we got to Chain Bridge.  This would be our first trek across as last year we covered the Buda side by bus.]

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[Crossing the bridge, looking downstream toward Liberty and Elisabeth Bridge.]

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[That’s our Marriott jutting out the furthest on the left side.]

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[Buda Castle with the funicular going up the hill on the right.  Last year the funicular was not in service when we were here.]

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[Looking upstream to the Parliament Building.]

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[And we’ve completed our river crossing at the funicular.]

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[Parliament from the Buda side.]

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[Chain Bridge as we continue our stroll upstream.]

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[I’m going to guess a church?]

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[Extraordinary building, a neo-gothic structure just over a 100 years old and the 3rd largest parliament in the world.]

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[A lovely morning for a walk along the river – Chain Bridge and our hotel retreating behind us.]

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[I’m guessing another church?]

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[We thought this was our destination . . . we were wrong!]

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[Aha, it was underground.  We were looking for the train depot as we going to take a little trip to Szentendre.]

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[It was about a 40 minutes train ride to go 11 miles, as I recall?]

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[And this was our destination in Szentendre . . . ]

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The Open- Air Ethnographic Museum (or Skanzen) is located a little outside the city, it has the largest ethnographic collection in Hungary with 312 buildings in 8 sections. Folk monuments are transported here from all over the country, for preservation. Demonstrations of folk handicrafts are held at the weekends and “calendar dates” of Hungarian folk culture are celebrated.  (From budapest.gotohungary.com)

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[It was a beautiful day . . . so why not go to an outdoor museum?  It was so big I couldn’t scan the entire map!]

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[The Super and Pam decided to play hide and seek with the local ruminants.]

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[Nice view across the Hungarian plain.]

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[St. Christopher, lest you aren’t familiar with the Hungarian language.]

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[Some sort of colorful vegetation occupied by rather large, mostly black, bees!]

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[Ah, here’s a map of the entire place.  We were here for several hours – long enough for me to get a sunburn.]

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[Thatched roof, anyone?  That bad boy looked to be at least a foot thick.  I don’t envy the re-thatcher his job!]

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[Buildings and homes of the age . . . ]

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[Some of the hosts spoke excellent English; others not so good.  But their English always trumped our Hungarian!]

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[The live ruminants!  They continually roam the place as organic lawnmowers.]

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[If we take the next fork in the road . . . ]

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[We’ll find the windmill!]

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[MY HEART BE STILL!!]

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[Where we were, in the grand scheme of things.]

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[We’ll delve into these more in Amsterdam – amazing instruments of science and engineering!]

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[Hey, a winery!]

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[And just walking the village.]

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[Two-horse power.]

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[The Cadillac of its era.]

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[Destined to be my Facebook profile picture.]

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[Very important place . . . ]

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[Universally, the most important sign you will ever run across!]

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[OK, let’s check on that windmill.]

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[But we were looking for the water mill . . . where is it?  Down the steps of the arena . . .]

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[Found it!  And just in time.  It only runs for a few minutes a few times a day.]

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[Now there were indications of a place to quench one’s thirst around here, way over on the northeast side, in section I.]

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[I think the Super has a bead on it!]

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[Found it!  Just in the nick of time.]

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[Local, and quite good!]

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[Now this is a wine cellar!]

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[Trying to find our way back.]

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[This one says left; but the other says right?]

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[I think we’ve found the right trail.]

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[We oughta be able to hop the oxen cart at the next intersection!]

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[Hey, kids, what time is it?  The gift shop called our cab driver, who came and drove us back  to the train station.]

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[And with these tickets . . . ]

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[We were on the rails back to Budapest.  I think they had a good time.]

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[Adios, Szentendre!]

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[Going back into the city, Olympic sportsmen on the sides of apartment buildings.]

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[Remember this guy from the morning?]

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[Brush up your Shakespeare!  John and Helen have arrived!]

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[So, out on the town all now six of us went.  The Budapest Spring Festival was taking place when we were here last year – same time of year, so not surprisingly we caught it again.]

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[I may never climb Mt. Everest, I may never jump from an airplane, I may never go up more than 3 steps on a ladder, but by hoot and by golly I stuck with my pledge to try the “rooster testicle stew” this year! The wind chill was substantial on this Spring Festival night in Budapest . . . and the next morning I awoke with a half dozen eggs in my bed? (P.s., I didn’t finish the stew – something about the consistency of tofu.)]

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[The others, not pledged to the rooster testicle stew, shopped for alternatives.]

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[Fine dining at winter wind chill temps!]

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[We scuttled back to the hotel where the lobby pastry stand underwent severe scrutiny!]

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It’s beautiful here. They said that of course, that Budapest is beautiful. But it is in fact almost ludicrously beautiful.  ~  Anthony Bourdain

Up Next:  This will go on forever and ever . . .

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2 Responses to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Budapest” (Day 2)

  1. Mark Brown says:

    Where is the Hungarian girl walking across the bridge that you previously sent out?

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