12.10.16 

Following a night spent at Antalya International Airport, caught the early morning service to Budapest. An abiding memory from my youth was the Hungarian uprising of 1956 when the country decided to leave the Warsaw Pact and become neutral. Budapest saw the arrival of Russian T54 tanks and troops to quell a popular uprising. Over 3000 died, however, in 1989/90 following the fall of the “Iron Curtain” Hungary became truly independent.https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cd/Parliament_Building%2C_Budapest%2C_outside.jpg/303px-Parliament_Building%2C_Budapest%2C_outside.jpg

Szecheniy Bridge

Szecheniy Bridge

History oozes from the fabric of the city. From early settlement by the Celts in the 1st century AD to Roman occupation until C106 AD. The Ottomans pillaged Buda in 1526 and Turkish occupation lasted until the Habsburg empire reconquered in 1718.

The city has beautiful architecture with imposing buildings evocative of its turbulent history.First impressions of the people are that they are welcoming and affable. However, I haven’t heard much laughter or “merrymaking” in the streets or on the trams and tube. Having said that, the weather is pretty cold and miserable. A lot more overcast and grey than Antalya. People are quite serious and tend to keep themselves to themselves. Perhaps this is a vestige a long time under soviet control, who can say.

A theatre on Andrassyut

The Budapest Opera House on Andrassyut

Booked a tour around the Opera House, which I’m looking forward to. It’s a neo-renaissance building opened in in 1884. Emporer Franz Joseph commissioned the structure. At the time Budapest shared the administration of the Austro Hungarian empire with Vienna.

Budapest Opera House

Budapest Opera House

Treating us to a mini "taster" of what opera can sound like in a brilliantly acoustic environment.

Treating us to a mini “taster” of what opera can sound like in a brilliantly acoustic environment.

Will be heading back to “Blighty” on the 16.10.16 for a few days before getting down to Valencia in Spain by the 26.10.16

 

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