Monday, July 6, 2009

Budapest: Dumbfoundingly Beautiful and Kind of Creepy

It couldn't have been a more perfect drive into Budapest on Sunday evening with the always-friendly DJ Pozsi -- the sunny skies gave way to rain clouds, and as we approached the outskirts of Budapest, a rainbow appeared in the distance in the direction of the city. Entering from the southwest on the main highway, you come upon the city suddenly, with the suburban malls and car dealers giving way suddenly to old buildings, and then you're crossing the Danube. The view to the north from the bridge was just stupefying, unlike anything I've ever seen -- the small rainstorm had just passed and the sun was shining orange-gray from under dark clouds, backlighting the hills of Buda, the castle and crazy statue on top of this almost-mountain right next to the river. The bright, angular light threw the city itself into a weird darkness, and add the gothic architecture and suddenly you have something from a vampire movie.

Pozsi is putting me up at his just-finished vacation rental apartment, and we walk into the building, and my jaw drops even further -- the building is out of The Hunger, with huge archways surrounding a tall central courtyard and an old iron cage style elevator. The apartment itself is done up ultra-modern style, and couldn't be more awesome except it's not quite finished and so doesn't have internet, TV, radio, or hot water. :)

I walked up to the chain bridge after the sun se, and still just can't even believe this city. It's stunningly beautiful, and not in that tourist-postcard way Paris can be sometimes: gritty and sometimes dirty, with abandoned buildings and stuff, so "beautiful" really isn't even the word. Like something out of a movie, and the weirdly creepy gothic factor totally works in its favor. Amazing.

Now unfortunately instead of sightseeing or getting relief from the sweltering heat at one of the many public baths, I have to go try and buy a new laptop battery since mine took this opportunity to up and die for good, which makes sense because I'm in fucking Hungary so of course this isn't going to be difficult at all, I'm fluent in the language and know where all the technology stores are. DARRRRRRR

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