European Capital Hop: Budapest

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The Hungarian Parliament Building behind the silhouette of Rákóczi Ferenc lovasszobra, a national hero who led the uprising against the Hapsburgs of the Holy Roman Empire.

Over the next three weeks we’ll be European capital-hopping, where we have a few days in Budapest, Vienna, and Prague before ending up in Linz, Austria for the 2017 Ars Electronica Festival.  Like Riga, we have little time to get to know each city, but hopefully it’s enough to get a feel for what makes it unique.

First up: Budapest, capital of Hungary and the fusion of two prior towns – Buda, and Pest. Stretched across the Danube, the city is a mix of beautiful architecture, verdant parks, and busy car-filled roads. The most beautiful time for photography is dusk, when the city lights up its most iconic buildings.

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The Hungarian Parliament Building, as viewed from utilitsa Alkotmany.
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The moon rises over the southern wing of the Hungarian Parliament Building.
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Visitors pause to read signage at the the impromptu protest memorial in front of the German Occupation Memorial. The protest memorial accuses the government of rewriting history to make Hungary seem like victims rather than supporters of the Nazis.
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Memorabilia laid out at the protest monument, which argues that many Hungarians participated willingly in the murder of Jews, Roma, and homosexuals during World War II.
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St. Steven’s Basilica at night.
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Moonrise over Buda, on the other side of the Danube.
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The stairwell leading up to our hostel.
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Graffiti drawn on the side of an ornate building.
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A sad robot.
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Possibly some kind of revenge.
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A team  of students participates in a scavenger hunt across the city.
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Protesters occupy the edge of Varosliget, where the city has proposed to remove green space and replace it with a museum.
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A stuffed animal watches over a donations box for the protestors.

 

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A man pedals a Ferrari boat around the pond in Varosliget.
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A typical day at the Szechenyi Thermal Baths in Varosliget Park. They were nowhere near as warm or relaxing as a Japanese onsen.
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Men play cards on a patio at Szechenyi Baths.
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A tour group wanders by a bronze statue in downtown Pest.
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Lunch – lemonade, chicken with spaetzle, and strawberry soup.
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The bank of the Danube.
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A plant grows from a discarded bucket, washed ashore from the Danube.
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Budapest Central Market Hall.