Sunday, May 9, 2010

Budapest, Hungary: A Trip into Commie Nostalgia (the Prequel)

While waiting for the bus on Saturday to take me to Memento Park, I wandered the environs of Deák tér, a central square in Budapest where all three lines of the underground metro converge, as do a number of surface transportation.

First of let me say that Budapest is a very simple city in which to master the mass transit. Case in point: suburbanite me figured it out in no time. Subways, trams, buses. I am riding them all on my 72-hour pass.

First stop on my wandering-around-waiting-for-the-11:00AM-bus was St. Stephen's Basilica, Szent István-bazilika, an enormous cathedral in the heart of Pest:

The outside is spectacular:

But the inside more so:

I snapped those two pictures before I saw the sign that said "no flash photography." (Other kids were doing it, so I thought I could.) Anyway, I had a previous bad experience with using flash photography inside a church when there was a sign that said not to -- I had a roll of film that ended up getting ruined in development back in the old days -- so I immediately put away the camera until I was back outside.

Note the attention to detail in the Basilica:

They've got saints carved into the doors!

Next, I wandered to some public park because I heard some interesting music. It sounded like Eastern European instruments playing a melody over top of a throbbing modern bass line and beat. It sounded "intriguing":

It was Deladap! They advertise themselves as having an "urban gypsy" sound. They were headlining some sort of Pan European cultural festival Saturday night and this appeared to be their soundcheck. I want to check out more of their sound.

I listened for awhile longer, but soundcheck was winding down and it was getting close to the time to catch my bus.

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