Sunday, June 12, 2005

Beautiful Budapest

Close-up of Attila the Hun, founder of Hungary.

St. Steven.

This is the story of St. Steven's right hand.

That's me, Sofie and Sofie's mom with the Cardinal of Budapest. I got to meet him, and he gave us a special tour and a look at St. Steven's right hand.

More from St. Steven's Basilica.

And quite a church!

Quite a pipe organ.

Csaba took me to St. Steven's Basilica to hear his girlfriend sing in the choir. We walked these stairs to get to the choir area high above the church pews and just below the giant pipe organ.

Hero's square in Budapest. Atilla the Hun and his band are of horsemen are flanked by Hungary's past kings and other national heros.

Hungary - days 1 & 2

At ruins of a Roman ampitheatre in Budapest.

Yummy Hungarian raspberry cookies.

Oh yeah, Hungarians, such as Csaba's friends here, like to drink a lot. Hungarian beer bottles dwarf American beer bottles.

Shooting pool with Csaba's sister, Csaba and his friends. EVERYONE smokes in Hungary when they go out. But they do know how to have fun.

The view over Budapest from the my guest room at Csaba's house.

Aren't they frickin' everywhere? "McReggeli" is Hungarian for "McBreakfast." Csaba says in Hungary McDonald's food is on the expensive side.

They don't know how to make an ugly church in Budapest.

Hungarian mailbox (scroll down to compare it with Swedish and Danish mailboxes).

The lovely Danube River flowing through Budapest.

This giant eagle is a Hungarian war memorial.

Sofie and I in front of the Hungarian parliament building on the Danube River.

A Russian Lada car, holdover from the communist days. Csaba says they are sometimes referred to as 'Gypsie Mercedes.' Before communism ended in Hungary, Csaba's family had a Lada -- but they were on a waiting list for seven years before they got it.

Budapest detail.

The beautiful Hungarian parliament building.

Standing in front of Saint Stephen's basilica in Budapest.

My hosts in Hungary - Csaba and his girlfriend Sofie. I met Csaba four years ago in San Diego when he was there studying English.

Today smaller, friendlier animals frequent the place where once fearsome lions tore into human flesh.

The Roman Empire reached its furthest boundaries in central Europe right in the middle of modern-day Budapest. Romans once watched gladiators and beasts duke it out in this ampitheater.

The goulash is followed by this equally deliscious Hungarian desert - moist cake smothered in rich custard, cream and chocolate pudding. Can desert this good be legal?

My first meal in Hungary - a scrumptuous bowl of authentic Hungarian goulash.

Dreary grey Communist-era apartment blocks like this still abound in Budapest.