Photography / Travel

Buda & Pest

We needed to find a halfway point between Miami and Doha. My top choices were Copenhagen and Prague, but the various ticket combinations weren’t working out. Budapest turned out to be a great consolation prize and I’d happily go back.

The entry process was standard European – easy and no drama. I nodded at the first taxi driver I saw who took me straight to the hotel in Pest. I didn’t stay in there for long.

My first of many walks took me past the main market and across the river into Buda. The main tourist attractions in town are mostly on that side of the Danube. But given the chance to go back, I’d do it all over the same way – stay in Pest and walk to Buda.

We walked an average of 15-20 km a day, mostly because the weather was pleasant and the surroundings were relatively nice. Budapest isn’t the prettiest city I’ve been to, but it’s littered with gems and other places of interest.

Unfortunately, our visit coincided with preparations for the 17th FINA World Championships, which were being held in Budapest for the first time. I didn’t realize how proud they were of their swimmers in Hungary.

The bad news was that many streets, sidewalks, and bridges were blocked off. Not only was scaffolding a blight on an otherwise picturesque setting, but certain vantage points to key landmarks were completely inaccessible.

The good news was that on the way back from the Buda village one night, we saw thousands of people lined up along the river. Most seemed to be locals, and we felt fortunate to be part of the experience. They were obviously out for a reason, and since it wasn’t for the CeeLo concert, it must have been for the fireworks that followed.

Most of the people we met on the trip were nice enough, and I don’t remember ever feeling unsafe – quite the contrary.

I think I ate some sort of goulash every day of the trip. Some bowls were much better than others. Overall the food was average. Thank goodness for the trusty kebab spots!

There’s a lot to see in Budapest  and we barely scratched the surface in our four days. We took a quick trip to small town of Vac, but most of our time was well spent in the capital.

The photos below were taken with my Fuji X100F and X70. I would have brought my X-Pro2 and few lenses, but I thought I’d be dealing with an electronics ban on the final leg of my trip. Luckily that’s now a thing of the past.

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