Here are a few impressions of the city-
- computers are not as commonplace. At both the train station and at metro ticket booths, ticket people hand write receipts and do calculations with an adding machine. The internet cafes are busy with many Hungarians as well as tourists.
- this is a human city. There are many pedestrian streets and beautiful squares filled with cafes. People sit and enjoy the outdoors. Cafe furniture is much more charming than in North America
- Pansies seem to be the flower of choice - in city squares, in front of Parliament, in boxes.
- Stores close around 2:00 pm on Saturdays - while it's hard on the shoppers, it does leave the workers with family time.
- There are many sculptures around the city. - large statues in squares, smaller sculptures on main streets. Nice to be in a city that values art.
- Church bells are a constant - every hour, every quarter hour, from many churches
- The city is not particularly clean. Graffiti is everywhere and the buildings are coated with a grey soot.. There are many empty shops, particularly away from the tourist area and most small shops have bars on the windows and doors.
- The architecture is what continues to surprise me - despite the state of some buildings there is much to admire with neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance buildings.
A visit to the main Synagogue was a highlight. The architecture and decoration were unique and the visit to Raoul Wallenberg Square behind, a memorial to the Hungarian Jews who suffered and perished during the Holocaust was a very moving experience.
Budapest has been a good experience. Tomorrow on to Zagreb.