Budapest | Photo Journal (First Days)

Like so many European cities, or anywhere in the world, it is easy to capture brush strokes and details that are unique, if not in subject, at least in perspective, interpretation, and expression. Budapest is no exception. We decided to stay in Hungary’s largest city for a month, and for the first time, will keep an ongoing photo journal of the experiences we have and moments we capture. All of these images were captured on my iPhone 4S.

One of the things I like about European cities is the active bicycle culture. This exists in some American cities as well, like Washington DC and New York, but is practically extinct in other cities. You pretty much need a car to get anywhere, or there are no bike lanes. Many US cities are making efforts to accommodate cyclers more, which is a great trend. I suppose the US is younger than most European cities.

Bicycles outside a cafe in Budapest
Bicycles outside a cafe in Budapest

There are certain things that serve a purpose, but are also expressions of art. Money is one of those things, so are manhole covers. I take pictures of myself standing above them if they are decorative – these taken wearing my Adidas.

James Watson standing over lion and griffin | Budapest
James Watson standing over lion and griffin | Budapest

 

Patina Öntöde - James Watson, Budapest
Patina Öntöde – James Watson, Budapest

 

Standing over another manhole cover in Budapest
Standing over another manhole cover in Budapest

 

We woke up the next morning after a night out with friends and needed to make breakfast for our group. We had no idea where a grocery store was, but figured there would be one close. We walked out the apartment, took a right, and saw a large warehouse that we assumed to be part of a university. We decided to look inside, out of curiosity, and found ourselves inside Grand Market Hall. Designed and built in 1897, this market offers meats, cheeses, fruits, breads, and much more under its 10,000 square meter (107,639 feet) area.

Cured meats at Grand Market Hall, Budapest
Cured meats at Grand Market Hall, Budapest

 

Grand Market Hall - Budapest, Hungary
Grand Market Hall – Budapest, Hungary

 

Inside Grand Market Hall
Inside Grand Market Hall

We originally mistook the place below for the opera house. Saint Stephen’s Basilica is named in honor of the first king of Hungary (975 – 1038), built in 1905. It is stunning at night. We’ll make sure to go inside and show you what it looks like from there too. Stay tuned!

Saint Stephens Basilica at night | Budapest
Saint Stephens Basilica at night | Budapest

 

Saint Stephens Basilica at night
Saint Stephens Basilica at night

The Danube River originates in Germany and flows southeast for 1914 kilometers, emptying in the Black Sea in Romania and Ukraine. Here you can see Buda on the right, and Pest on the left – united into a single city, Budapest, in 1873.

Looking down the Danube Rive | Buda on the right - Pest on the left
Looking down the Danube Rive | Buda on the right – Pest on the left

The Boscolo Budapest Hotel, formerly the New York Palace Hotel, was built by the New York Life Insurance Company in 1894. This is a small glimpse at the grandeur of the place. Wait till we take you inside for coffee next week…

Demon lamps outside of New York Palace Hotel | Budapest
Demon lamps outside of New York Palace Hotel | Budapest

I’m not quite sure what this means, but it reminded me of a homeless man. With all the beauty and splendor around us, we must not forget those left behind. There are many homeless here; many people roaming the streets in tattered and oil stained clothes, the scent of alcohol trailing behind them. This is everywhere in the world, in different forms; people we see as silhouettes against the backdrop of monuments, carrying everything they own in bags.

Street sign | street art
Street sign | street art

 

 

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