Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Budapest, Hungary: The Capstone

I end my trip to Budapest with a visit to Heroes' Square at the nothern end of Andrássy út.

As is evident from the name, this square is a momument to all the great heroes of Hungarian history:

Mostly, now, it serves as a convenient hard, flat surface for skateboards, bicycle-tricksters, and rollerbladers. Oh, and kids playing bicycle polo?

Not far from Heroes' Square, I saw this post-modern looking building. I can't decide if I love it or hate it, but I'm leaning towards liking it, but thinking it's in wrong neighborhood, sandwiched near the classical Heroes' Square and the greenery of the City Park:

I think it would look better in a more urban setting. Anyway, I walk into the City Park (Városliget).

I see the Vajdahunyad Castle, built for the 1896 Budapest millennial celebration, and which was such a hit that they couldn't tear it down afterwards.

I spy the notorious eyesore "Time Wheel":

This was built in 2004 to honor Hungary's admittance into the European community. It's supposed to be some some of extremely slow-emptying hourglass, except because of the local humidity, the works got gummed up. An eyesore to eyesore comparison?:

Anyway, I continue walking through the City Park and who do I see? Looking great. Looking larger than life. Looking, ummm, out of place:

That is George Washington. The Father of Our Country!

And with that, my tour of Budapest came to a conclusion. My tour of Central Europe has ended. I went to dinner at a place called Menza, nearby at Franz Liszt Square off Andrássy út. I ordered the "traditional Hungarian turkey ragout," which was turkey meat, a brownish gravy, served over steak fries. It was Hungarian poutine! Which, apparently, must be the traditional Hungarian way of eating turkey. It was delicious, I must say. And so was the Raspberry Soup. I love these Hungarian fruit soups. It's like having dessert as your appetizer course.

Anyway, good-bye George. And good-bye Budapest.

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