Hungarian Rhapsody

September 2010: I spent a full week in Budapest, on vacation - good weather (especially for the season), great food and wine, fantastic company...
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Skanzen [Gallery]

I visited the Skanzen (a word describing the reproduction of a village, i.e. an open-air ethnographical museum) close to Szentendre, a few kilometers from Budapest.
This ambitious skanzen, the largest in Hungary, represents rural life from all regions of the country. There are several reconstructed 18th- and 19th-century villages, with thatch-roofed houses, blacksmith and weaving shops, working mills, and churches.

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Szentendre [Gallery]

Szentendre (i.e. "San Andreas") is a cosy little town (24000 inhabitants) some 20km. north of Budapest.
After the visit to the Skanzen I spent the last few hours of the day here. Unfortunately there was not enough time to visit the many galleries and museums (the town as been a sort of artist colony since the early 20th Century.

Even a brief walk like I did will surely show you ample reasons for that: in fact, the place is so good looking that even accidentally sneezing while holding your camera can result in an Impressionist image.

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Budapest [Gallery]

I rented an apartment in Vácy Utca - a no-traffic street parallel to the Danube. It is a sort of "tourist trap" but it is also very central, and the place was extremely convenient.

Budapest on Wikipedia
Novels set in Budapest (through "Books set in...")
Amadeus (Apartment rental in Budapest)
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Museum of Applied Arts [Gallery]

Housed in a beautiful Art Nouveau style, designed by Odön Lechner for this very purpose, as well as housing the School of Applied Arts, that had been founded in 1880.

The collection, started out mainly with furniture (to be displayed on the World Exhibition in Vienna), but now includes also metalwork, ceramics, glassware and textiles along with musical instruments and toys.

From what I gather not all the collection is on display, and the place also hosts events and temporary exhibitions (I saw one by Hungarian/Indian painters Sas-Brunner Erzsébet and Brunner Erzsébet, a mother-daughter pair) and another about rugs and Turkish-influenced craft work in Hungary.

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Food & Wine [Gallery]

Even if I tried to prepare myself for the trip (by a sort of fasting that allowed me to shave off 4-5 kg.) I have to report that the Hungarian delicacies were a bit too much to resist.

I am Vegetarian but I had absolutely no problems eating in Budapest. I may surely thank my lovely guide and guests for this, but I can assure you that most restaurants have some Vegetarian-friendly dishes (Vegans may have more problems though).