I am now on my way home making connections in Paris.  I am spending 2.5 hours in Charles De Gaulle Airpot.  Country number six.

Eifelturm, Paris

On the way to Budapest we passed hundreds of windmills and miles of flat cultivated fields.

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Budapest is a very large city located on the Danube with many bridges connecting Buda with Pest – pronounced Pesh – t.  It is a grand city, one that reflects it’s history as part of the Hapsburg’s Austro-Hungarian Empire.  There are Baroque buildings as well as 19th century Neo-Classical, Neo-Baroque, Neo-Gothic, and Art Nouveau buildings.  Below is the Opera House, which although a bit smaller than the Opera House in Vienna, is supposed to be even grander inside.  (I did not have a chance to visit it – next time!)

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Here are more buildings that exhibit a variety of grand styles. The one below looks like a bit of French style thrown in – mansard roof.

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And mixed in with all the elaborate styles, are 1950’s Soviet buildings.  Compare the left with the right.

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Here are some building tops. Many buildings have sculptural ornaments.

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The castle is on the Buda side of the city.  Here is the Gothic cathedral on the castle hill.  The tile roof was influenced by the Turks who occupied Budapest for 2 centuries.

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This is a night view of the Neo-Gothic parliament buildings. (I did not take this picture – from internet.)

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Elizabeth Bridge on left and a modern building on right where sculpture is part of the design.

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The major streets are very wide and intersections are large rotaries or squares.  This square is the Hero’s Square with a very Baroque monument.

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And tourists. If I ever I dye my hair, I hope I have the guts to go orange!

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This is the big covered market that carries food of all kinds, including sauerkraut strudel, as well as souvenirs galore. Souvenirs were on the second floor.

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Some of the stuff that was for sale in the market and elsewhere:

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Lots of colorful felt items  inspired by folk art- purses, pillow covers, potholders, etc.

IMG_5155Peppers and paprika everywhere.

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Endless array of embroidered items from clothes to linens.

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Pickles!

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IMG_5222These items are made out of mushrooms!

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We visited a small town outside of Budapest where I visited a museum displaying the ceramics of Margit Kovacs, a well known Hungarian artist who was heavily influenced by folk art.  I found her work charming.

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The group had its last meal together in a Medieval wine cellar.  It was two stories underground!  Food was good, entertainment was fun, wine was freely flowing, and it was a very nice conclusion to the trip.

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It was a great trip and a learned a lot about these counties.  Stay tuned to my return visit to San Miguel de Allende, MX in February and March, and parts unknown after that.

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