Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BUDAPEST PART 6: Hungarian Smiles

Budapest is a city with a very quirky personality. It's not exactly where I would expect to see a Hawaiian Santa in late May:

Or a steel building encased in a glass shell in a courtyard otherwise ringed by two-hundred-year-old structures.
However, Chris and I weren't too surprised to see Wolfgang sharing his chocolates:
. . . and somehow these door ornamentations seemed to fit the personality of the city.

On the other hand, it seems that the Hungarian sculptors are a bit clueless as to exact body proportions, although I can certainly relate to that hippy woman on the right:

This is Jozsef Attila.  Never heard of him?  Me neither, but he is one of the best and most famous Hungarian poets of the 20th century.  He was schizophrenic and committed suicide at age 32.
I was touched by the little memorial of red flowers, a red candle, and a red band strapped to Attila's wrist:

I'm always on the look-out for wedding parties when we travel in Europe.  They find the most romantic places for pictures.  Alongside the Danube in the waning light of day is a beautiful setting, don't you agree?

Aslan again!  Europeans sure do love their lions:

Two of these fellas guard the entrance to Budapest's famous Chain Bridge
Photo borrowed from here
In general, Hungarians also seem to like their dogs.  I'm not sure what this statue in the train station is supposed to signify, but I like it almost as much as . . .

. . . this impressive LIVE Hungarian sheepdog (he was huge) waiting outside a grocery store for his owner.

Then there were these ferocious beasts constructed of iron bars:

Bob and I were dwarfed by them.  I like how they are tethered to the building:

On a more pastoral and much gentler note, this shepherd plays his pipe for his sheep:

This portly policeman looked friendly enough, so Bob and Stan posed with him, and Bob even shared his hat:

The only thing better than eating gelato is BEING gelato:

Just in case you are wondering what time it is at the local McDonald's, this clock will let you know:

At first, this statue had me scratching my head:
Luckily, there was a plaque in English at the base that read: "Gabor Sztehlo (1909-1974), Lutheran Pastor saved with God's help around 2000 children and adults during the rule of the Fascist Arrow Cross Party, and later gave the orphans home, faith and dignity."

He did about the same thing that Raoul Wallenberg did, the Swiss man I talked about in a previous post.  He fabricated "Gentile" documents for 1600 Jewish children and 400 Jewish adults, thereby saving them from execution or deportation. After the war, he established an orphanage and continued to provide for Jewish orphans.

On the left is a close-up of Sztehlo's hand pulling up a baby, and on the right you can see Sztehlo's profile facing the right and the general sense of motion conveyed by the lines of the stone:

Again, I was touched by the simple memorial of fresh flowers lying undisturbed at the base of the sculpture:

On QUITE another note, did you know that Anonymous was Hungarian?  I didn't.  Supposedly this was the man who recorded Hungarian history in the 12th century.  His name really was "Anonymus."
Bob absorbing as much wisdom as possible from this erudite author:
Julie had him autograph her guide book, most of which he probably wrote (as he wrote a good part of everything we read these days):

Why is it that in foreign countries, EVERYTHING seems to be a work of art?

Even a man with goblets and water can be a spectacular musician in Budapest:

Isn't he amazing?

 Well, all good things must come to an end.  We had a blast traipsing all over Budapest with these fun people:
Chris, I think you are having a good dream.  Alex, what are YOU thinking about here?

But we had other places to go and other people to meet.

Good-bye to a truly beautiful . . .
magnificent city. . .
. . . and two beautiful and magnificent tour guides!


  1. Budapest was fun. Very glad to have spent time there. When do we go back?

  2. Clearly, I'm dreaming of my next gelato in that picture.

    I thought Budapest had the best statues out of all the places we visited. They certainly had the most unique!

  3. I've enjoyed these posts so much!

  4. I impressed with how much art/sculpture seems to be in the undergound in Budapest. I've seen mosaics and glass art in various placed, but all that sculpture! I have also decided you guys are a bunch of hams, goofy and fun in all the right places (esp. with Anonymous). Love the shot of getting a guide book autographed!