(Post) Lockdown Budapest Rambles

This talk about locals reclaiming their cities now that the throngs of tourists are gone, well, it is real. Forced by circumstance, we took exultingly and frankly excruciatingly long walks. No public transportation and, in a first phase, no restaurant pit stops involved. Up and down the hills of Buda, into the long straights of…

More Notes from a Budapest Lockdown

We may have reached some sort of turning point in the crisis. After about two months of fruitless quests, my favourite hand sanitizer is back on the shelves, albeit only the purple orchid scented version, not the flamingo one. It’s not flamingo scented, of course (I wonder what that would be like, salt marshes and…

Notes from a Budapest Lockdown

I crack open my front door and inspect the immediate proximity. My possibly Ukrainian neighbours, often prone to unsettling fits of what I hope is merely smoking induced coughing, are not around. This releases my tension somewhat, I do a last careful inspection of my pockets: sanitizers, handkerchiefs, my ID, just in case the authorities…

No Forest for Old Wolves- A Visit to Farkaserdő

Farkas-erdő (Wolf Forest) is not really a forest and obviously does not have wolves. Its most canine touch are the distant barks occasionally to be heard from the Rex Animal Shelter (actually called Rex Animal Island, though it’s not an island), situated at the Ócéanárok street end of Farkaserdő. Óceánárok means ocean ditch, but it’s…

A Story of Chalk and Crystal: Day Trip to Fox Mountain

Just when we thought we had finally run out of Budapest hills (or mountains, as per the local parlance) to summit, we were made aware of the existence of the poetically named Róka-hegy (Fox Mountain), situated very close to the city’s administrative border with Üröm. This seemingly extreme location is actually fairly easily reachable by…

Best of 2018- Budapest

End (and beginning) of year lists are a great way to measure just how much you failed at whatever you set out to do, so let’s commence by saying a silent prayer over the demise of my plan to check out more exhibitions this year. Their grand total being a fat, rotund zero. In all…

Never Too Early for Some Morning Mist

  Should you decide that having woken up with the sun on a Sunday morning (or what you assume to be the sun, hidden by a thick veil of golden-yellow mist) you might as well go out for a walk, and some pictures while you’re at it, you will learn some important facts about Budapest…

(Un)godly Lights over Gellért Hill

There is a category of ideas which look excellent both before the event itself, like a hopeful promise yet to be fulfilled that will surely feel just right when it finally comes to pass and in retrospect, when all the wrinkles and annoyances are smoothed over by the candyfloss hues of remembrance. This category of…

Garden City of the Octopus People: A Walk in Wekerletelep

Having explored the villas of Mátyásföld a couple of weeks back, we decided it was now time to investigate another leafy peculiarity of the city: Wekerletelep, lying in district XIX, and easily accessible from the blue metro’s Határ út station. Provided the metro is running, which on the weekends it is not, so we ambled around…

Fainting Chairs and Russian Spies: The Villas of Mátyásföld

The best thing about going on a city walk with a historian is that they will enthusiastically convey anecdotes about the places you’re visiting, throwing in a couple of juicy details for good measure, and then, with a much more matter of fact tone, they will also inform you that your exciting trivia is just…