Saturday, February 26, 2011

Artistically Old and New Budapest

As our remaining days in Europe are now limited, we decided to make a weekend getaway to Budapest, Hungary. Hungary is just south of Slovakia, about 3 hrs drive from Brno through Bratislava. As the capital of Hungary, Budapest indeed had a lot to offer to us.

One thing significantly different about Budapest compared to Vienna or Prague is that the city does not have a single center point. It even looks as if the Danube that cuts through the city into Buda side (west side of river) and Pest side (east side of river) is the center. Buda side is hilly, and it is where the palace spreads alongside the beautiful Danube river. Pest side is flat, and it is where Parliament and St. Stephen's Basilica are located; both of which were really close to our hotel luckily.

What I loved the most about Budapest was that I didn't see too many modern and ugly looking buildings. Some were very old and ruined which made them even artistic - kind of natural form of Hundertwasser's Kunst Haus in Vienna. It looks like most of the renovation was done by maintaining the original exterior and modernizing the interior. Just like our hotel. The hotel clerk told me that the building itself is over 100 years old but the interior looked very 21st century. 

I also liked the arts here and there on the streets. Budapest really reminded me of the old proverb called "Onkochishin" which basically means something like "examine, learn, and appreciatethe old and understand the new." I felt the sophistication in the city.

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