Our first day in Budapest! Guess what we did? A free walking tour, of course! Now, I’ll admit it, this is not my first time in Buda(and)Pest… Did you know they once were two cities, one on each side of the Danube? It’s true! My first time in town was with ten of my closest friends from Prague (during the year I lived there) for a weekend away. It was in the middle of winter, about six years ago. Before the days of free walking tours and ruin pubs. So, I felt like I had just as much to see as Andrew. As always a ‘free walking tour’ is only as good as your guide and the others on the tour with you. Both were fairly ‘meh’ but the tour gave us a better understanding of the layout of the city, and the tour company provided a pamphlet of additional things to do, see, eat, and drink in town which made up for the ‘meh-ness.’
We started our tour in front of this statue (above) and I was somewhat intrigued when we were told it’s actually a girl AND it’s a communist statue. Usually communist statues are BIG and commanding and without facial expressions, this defied every communist statue I had ever seen before. It also made me wonder at what point she was put here, because there were a few statues scattered along the riverside that I had not remembered on my first visit. Walking through a small park with a ferris wheel and fountain, more locks were on display. Again, this was not a thing the last time I visited. When did ‘locking up your love’ become a thing? It’s everywhere these days. It started at some point during our time in Korea because that’s when I first noticed it… But I’m surprised at how many cities around the world we’ve seen it in! Andrew refuses to lock up our love. He did raise his hand when asked Who was in love though, so I guess that’s something…
The best part about walking through Budapest is looking up. Always. Look. Up. You never know what kind of beautiful architecture you’re going to see or at least some interesting juxtaposition between the beautiful architecture and the communist block housing type structures.
This guy was pretty good. He made slack-lining look so easy!
This view is a gorgeous one and much warmer to admire in the middle of summer!
We made our way over to the Fisherman’s Bastion, one of the sights that has been atop the hill on the Buda side of the city for quite some time. I had visited it with my friends, but it was dark and quiet. There weren’t any other tourists around and it was quite magical. This time around wasn’t the same, there were so many milling about, and it seemed as though some construction had been completed giving parts of the Bastion a Disney-like amusement park feel. I was even more disappointed when I saw the best part of the Bastion (a row of beautiful arches) had been roped off for a restaurant, taking away any possibility of a decent photo opportunity.
I settled for a picture of this dude on his horse instead. And the view, well, the view was still lovely.
On our way back through the same park (with the locks above) towards the ruin pubs (more on the ruin pubs later!) we saw the somewhat small skate park had been transformed into an event drawing lots of onlookers. We stopped to see what was going on, and then snuck in closer to see if these skaters were any good. I’m not into skating, but I can appreciate the sense of creativity and expression that goes with it, I’m also down for some good shots of dudes in the air. I guess these guys are somewhat well known or possibly famous? because the crowd was pretty big and there were lots of people taking their picture with some of the skaters. Andrew found this video online that was made about the event:
I was impressed (and jealous) that they had a video up the day after. And then I remembered that they had at least four different videographers and an army of others working together to make it happen.
I was able to sneak in between and below a few people to sit right by the edge of the ramp they were all coming down. It made for some good angles. This dude above kept trying to spin around on the ledge though and his skateboard kept shooting out from under him. One of those times the skateboard shot directly at me and hit me in the arm. I wasn’t phased, I mean, I was the one who decided to sit there while he was doing his thing, right? He came over to get his board and said apologized to me, something he didn’t have to do at all, but I appreciated. I told him not to worry about it, and then he looked back and told me that I should ‘Be Careful’ in a tone that kinda threw me off a bit. It was like he gave me a once over and decided I wasn’t a skateboarder, therefore I didn’t know what I was doing sitting in the front row taking some pictures.
“Why did he tell me to be careful? Can he not tell I am in my THIRTIES?” I ranted to Andrew.
“Since when are you in your thirties?” Andrew asked, teasing me.
“Since now. Thirty counts as being in my thirties. You don’t tell people in their thirties to be careful! I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing when it comes to endangering me and/or my camera. I do it all the time.” I continued my rant.
“Exactly what ages is it not ok to tell you to be careful?” Andrew asked, simultaneously teasing and humoring me. (He does this all the time)
“Well, obviously thirty. Unless you’re out with your friends and one of them has had too much to drink and she’s hanging out with someone dirty.” I pondered out loud.
“Right. Obviously.” Andrew responded.
“Until maybe seventy… I don’t know though, ask me when I turn seventy if I want people telling me to be careful or not.” I concluded.