Saturday, October 16, 2010

Budapest, Hungary

For the past week, I was in Budapest, Hungary, for the LISA conference. Never been to Hungary before; was lucky enough to have Sunday free, spent all day walking, climbing, watching, looking, visiting.

Reminded me of Grenoble, only bigger and smoggier. Beautiful architecture with carvings and statues and decoration that must have taken years. Carved giants holding up the next floor of a building; beautiful women bursting from walls or carrying water vessels; giant kings or presidents or leaders fighting off pagans. You could tell the pagans, because their hair is in braids/plaits.

Noisy streets and a wide, flowing Danube river. A bridge protected by giant lions and yet called the Chain Bridge. A castle up on a hill where you can spy on the houses of parliament, the winning building in a competition where the losers were delegated to other government functions. A falling-to-pieces Casino which still has more class than anything built in the 1960's and perfectly maintained. The biggest synagogue in Europe and walls wearing the scars of the anti-Soviet uprising. Cobbled streets and taxi drivers who would be at home in the Grand Prix. Big bowls of goulash soup, and dessert of sweetened chestnut and whipped cream. Signs and words in a language which I couldn't even make a guess at the meaning of.

Pictures to follow....

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