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Friday, April 3, 2009

A tourist for a day

We have friends over from Bulgaria and I offered to be their guide yesterday, since this was their first ever visit to Budapest. Because they had not been here before I thought it would be good to start their visit with the "biggies"--the Parliament, Szabadsag ter, the Basilica, Vaci utca and, of course, the panoramic route of the tram number 2.

So we took this well-traveled road and enjoyed Budapest in glorious April sun. It doesn't matter that I've seen these sights a thousand times--they still impress me and make me feel happy that I live in this of all cities.

This is the entrance to the Hungarian Parliament. It was built in late 19th century with a Westminster-meets-Gothic cathedral eclectic look--many Hungarian intellectuals at the time ridiculed the building as too gaudy. Being almost a century and a half removed from those times, we can be more forgiving.

The Hungarian flag flies proudly from the Parliament.

Szent Istvan (St. Stephen) basilica--the biggest and most important church in Budapest. The Austrian emperor Franz Joseph gave the speech at the opening ceremony. The legend has it that he was casting worried glances at the dome of the basilica because the previous one--the first attempt to build it--tumbled down in broad daylight. Fortunately for Franz Joseph and us all they employed a better architect after the incident.

A gigantic Easter egg on St. Istvan square, in front of the basilica.

I liked these flowers on Vaci utca.


willow said...

You certainly had a glorious day for it! Nice shots!

Polly said...

Looks like you're having a glorious day in Budapest, much like in Krakow today! Stunning pictures, you may be right in saying that Budapest may be a place to be for me. And not just because it's far from Nine West and Starbucks

Jelica said...

I have never been to Krakow, Polly--shame, because it is so close, but I needed visas until recently so it was too much of a pain to go almost anywhere. If you decided to move to Budapest, let me know :)

French Fancy said...

Jelica, what a fabulous collection of buildings - I can look at architecture like that till the cows come home (quaint English expression)

Easter Eggs like that should be in streets all over the world