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    CLAIREINPARIS   58,669
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Back from Budapest

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Saturday, October 05, 2013

Hello dear Sparkfriends!

I am home! Just back from Budapest, Hungary, where I spent three days this week for work.

It was definitely autumn in Budapest, much more so than in Paris. It was cold, especially at night, but the sun was shining.

I had been warned not to expect healthy food in Budapest, and I wasn't disappointed!!! The biggest shock was being served a plate of salami for breakfast (with a very white, sweet bread and margarine...). My Hungarian colleagues assured me that salami for breakfast is usual in Hungary. This is totally impossible for my stomach, but I did try a few Hungarian delicacies later, like the Mangalica pork ribs, which were delicious with a chilly sauce...

Mangalica pigs (called 'Mangalitsa' in the US) are an Hungarian breed, originally wild. They look like this:

Then my colleague Gabriella introduced me to the rétes temptation! (Picture found on the Internet, mine didn't make justice to this little marvel!)

These are strudels with a flaky pastry and various fillings: ricotta, apple, poppy seeds and pumpkin, cherries and cinnamon, etc. Choose a good shop - like Gabriella did for me - if you try one in Hungary, it is worth having a really good one! :)

On the Thursday morning, Gabriella and I met in Ráday utca (street), one of the most touristy of Budapest. After our meeting, she showed me a few Art Nouveau treasures in the street...

Then we had lunch in a typical Hungarian restaurant (this is where I had the pork ribs!), where the waiter served us sparkly water in this old soda syphon bottle. I would love one of these!

After lunch, my colleague Otto took me to visit our project among refugees. It was also in the city center and I loved looking at the old buildings on the way.

On the evening, Otto took me to a concert at the Palace of Arts, recently built along the river. (It is the first time ever I am taken to a concert during a work trip, my Hungarian colleagues really spoilt me!)

Without knowing how much I love jazz, he had bought tickets for a famous Hungarian jazz singer, Veronica Harcsa.

Here is a link to her singing Tracy Chapman's 'For my Lover' at a festival last year. It was probably my favorite during the concert:

Yesterday morning, I had a couple of hours to myself before I headed to the airport. Not enough to see the city properly, but here are just a few more glimpses... I followed the Danube river to reach the heart of the city...

... and crossed one of the bridges between Buda and Pest, called Erzsébet hid.

I wanted to visit the Central Market, a beautiful 19th century building with many interesting stalls (you know how I enjoy markets!).

(The red vegetables in the middle aren't tomatoes but a kind of pepper I had never seen before!)

I crossed the street to take the famous Vaci utca shopping street.

Unfortunately, there were extensive building work going on in the heart of the city, which made walking and enjoying the buildings very difficult, so I left Vaci utca when it became too much for me.

I stopped briefly in the Parisian Court ('Parizsi Udvar') in Brudern House. The style of the 1909 Parisian Court is a mixture of Neo-Gothic, Eclectic and Art Nouveau architectural elements inspired by Moorish buildings and motifs. It was sad to see this hidden gem so neglected.

Across the street, I went into the Franciscan Church, but there was a service taking place so I couldn't see it properly.

I continued to walk north, through the famous Vörösmarty tér (square), then Dorottya utca...

... then St Stephen Basilica...

I had hoped to be able to reach the famous Hungarian Parliament, but I couldn't make it, so I turned and followed the river for a while, admiring the Royal Palace on the way...

before turning left in Vämhäz krt., crossing Calvin's Square...

... and taking the tram back to the guest house, just in time to pack and catch a taxi to the airport!

I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of Budapest through my eyes! Have a beautiful weekend!


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MARKATSPARK 8/2/2015 6:38AM


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APRILRUSSELL3 10/23/2013 8:50PM

    So very enjoyable! Thank you for sharing.

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EFFRAYECHILDE 10/20/2013 10:05AM


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REGILIEH 10/16/2013 12:03PM

    Dear Lady, this is the blog that got me behind and no words great enough to tell you how wonderful it all was!

I don't think I would want to see Budapest except through your eyes! You have so much talent in so many things, I think God shortchanged me but he blessed me with finding you so I could experience all the wonderful sights, sounds and expressions you give us.

You are such a sweetheart!

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ARCHIMEDESII 10/14/2013 2:07PM

    Absolutely STUNNING photos !! I am dying to go to Budapest. Thank you for letting me live vicariously through your photos for the time being. I'm totally envious that you got to go on a business trip.

If I'm lucky, I might get to go to New Jersey. LOL !!!

Just beautiful. thank you for posting.

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SARAWALKS 10/14/2013 1:40PM

    LOVE all the art nouveau sculptures and buildings! And the singer...she's amazing, such warm lows, such clear focused high tones, such passion. I've always liked Tracy Chapman and she adds a totally different dimension to this song.
So great to share your trip. I've wanted to go to Budapest for a long time. Maybe it'll happen, you never know! emoticon emoticon

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SBARGANZ 10/13/2013 11:55PM

    Wow. :)

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RENATA144 10/12/2013 10:13PM

  emoticon for showing us how beautiful Hungary is ! emoticon

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BAKER1009 10/11/2013 9:03AM

    Glad you had such a wonderful trip Claire! Thanks, as always, for sharing! Glad to see you got another award for it too!!


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GEORGE815 10/10/2013 9:40PM

    Great architecture. Food would be tough to stay on a diet.

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KAREN91 10/10/2013 9:23PM

    Claire, Great pictures, I loved the picture of the water, the church was beautiful. You have a great job for walking and taking great pictures. Thanks for sharing the beauty of Budapest with us. emoticon

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MADAMES 10/10/2013 5:06PM

    I missed this lovely blog when I was out of town last weekend. Budapest has been on my DH's bucket list for a long time, and I hope that one day we can visit there. I love the pictures of the architecture, the food and the markets. What an amazing voice that artist has...she appears very fragile, but her voice is extremely rich. How nice that your colleagues treated you to the concert!
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TORTISE110 10/9/2013 7:06AM

    You have shown us so much. Thank you! I have been there and want to go again now!

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GUBITNIK 10/8/2013 7:12AM

    This post really brightened my morning. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures. emoticon

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HAKAPES 10/8/2013 1:09AM

    Being from Budapest originally, I had to smile a lot reading your blog! Totally agree with the food, eating healthy in Hungary can be a challenge, although possible.
Fortunately, I see more and more restaurants offering gourmet style good food in Budapest, vs. the fatty-unhealthy options, which are often labelled "typical". I have yet to try the mangalica ribs.
I love your pictures!

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ROXYCARIN 10/8/2013 12:37AM


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WARRIORGIRL121 10/8/2013 12:29AM

    Oh Claire, beautiful blog! And I love jazz too! I love Tracy Chapman's music as well... thank you for the link to Veronica Harcsa's performance.. I enjoyed the video of her version of For My Lover.. that was great! Glad you are once again home safe and sound! :) emoticon Karen

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ZOE13O 10/7/2013 5:20PM

    Thanks for sharing another wonderful trip!

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NORASPAT 10/7/2013 3:52PM

    CLAIRE That was an amazing BLOG. There were many refugees from Hungary in UK when I was much younger. It brought back memories for me too. Your photos are amazing and great compositions. You have brought such a lot we would never have seen and I thank you for sharing so much. Thanks Spark friend, you out do yourself after each blog. They are great!

Many thanks, and ((((((HUGS)))) for the stories and Photos. emoticon

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FIRECOM 10/7/2013 2:13PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed this picture story. My grandmother was born and raised in Budapest and came to the US somewhere around 1885. This brought back some great memories of her.

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BONIFIANT 10/7/2013 2:08PM

    Lovely! I have often thought that Budapest would be an interesting place to visit. Thanks again for taking us along. Is it as clean as it looked in your photos?

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PENOWOK 10/7/2013 1:22PM

    How totally amazing!! You treat us with such beauty!!! And how beautiful you are with your hair down! I have never seen you with hair down before!

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KLONG8 10/7/2013 12:29PM

    Thank you for taking me on your trip! Very special as always!

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    Wow, pretty place to visit. Thank you for sharing the photos

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MRSRIGS1 10/7/2013 12:15PM

    Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for posting these pictures!

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RENATA144 10/7/2013 12:08PM

  Hi Claire ! Thank you for showing us how beautiful & inviting Hungary is. You are a great photographer. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRUCKERWIFE2 10/7/2013 10:42AM

    Thanks again for allowing us to tag along on your adventures. Most wonderful pics. emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 10/7/2013 9:15AM

    Very nice. Thank you for sharing.

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SWTHRT4UDRLNG71 10/7/2013 5:37AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GRACEISENUF 10/7/2013 2:20AM

    emoticon your blogs and gorgeous photography!

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BLUEJEAN99 10/7/2013 1:59AM


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JSEATTLE 10/6/2013 11:12PM

  Love Budapest! Love your blog!

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CICELY360 10/6/2013 10:53PM

  Lovely pictures

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SJKENT1 10/6/2013 9:23PM

    How wonderful to be able to "see" some of the city before you left. Beautiful architecture.

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LISALGB 10/6/2013 6:53PM

    Beautiful city!! I love markets, also and this one looks like it would take hours to tour properly.
I admire you for only taking pictures of those delicious looking pastries. I am not so sure I would have had the same willpower.
I am so happy you had such a lovely trip and are now safely home. Congratulations on another fantastic blog!!

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MILLIE5522 10/6/2013 4:12PM

    A feast for the eyes! Thank you so much!!! emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 10/6/2013 4:01PM

  Oh thank you for including us. I've never seen much of this area. Very lovely.

That pastry looks good too. Oooo emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 10/6/2013 3:16PM

    Another great travelogue - thanks so much for sharing!

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PEGGYO 10/6/2013 2:43PM

    thanks for sharing

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DIANNEMT 10/6/2013 2:40PM

    Again--thank you!!

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HAPPYMENOW58 10/6/2013 2:12PM

    Thank you for sharing!

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MARYJEANSL 10/6/2013 1:53PM

  So lovely! Thank you!

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ESILBO 10/6/2013 1:53PM

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LCRUMLEY81 10/6/2013 1:49PM

  Thanks for sharing

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JOANNHUNT 10/6/2013 1:25PM


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PURRGURL 10/6/2013 12:42PM

    Thank you, Claire, for sharing this slice of life. Lovely. emoticon emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 10/6/2013 12:36PM


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KKLENNERT809 10/6/2013 12:27PM

    Beautiful pics and thank you for sharing with us!

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SHOAPIE 10/6/2013 11:57AM


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LINDAK25 10/6/2013 11:23AM

    Oh, beautiful. Veronica Harcsa has an incredible voice ( I love Tracy Chapman, too). Isn't it nice to be spoiled once in a while? I was in Sopron, Hungary in 1993. I can't believe it's been 20 years. The city was just starting to recover from 40 years of neglect. (Sopron was lovely though, and the people were wonderful to us.) I had hoped that this renaissance would be further along. Perhaps the Parisian Court will be restored, too. The Art Nouveau architecture in Budapest is fantastic. Your photos of the strudels reminded me of my mother-in-law. She used to make her grandmother's strudel recipe. It was divine. (Her grandmother's was from Hungary.) What a delightful trip, thanks for taking us along!

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