Brian dropped me a mail months ago that he read about me in the Guardian article and would like to book a tour with me on the special occasion that he and his wife are visiting Budapest on their one year-delayed honeymoon and they would like to have a walking-tour with me to get an introduction to Budapest on their first day at their first time here.
Finally I parked up with 3 bicycles in front of their rented apartment at 2 pm, 14th of July. I waited them with 2 heart-shaped marzipan bonbons placed on the saddle of their bicycles. When they came down, I IMMEDIATELY knew that they gonna be so fun. . . and of course they were! I also very much appreciated that they seem to form a perfect couple and this has such a nice feeling when you are with people who match so well. Simply good to see! 🙂
As our first stop we looked through the buildings at Kodály Körönd and wondered all how it is possible to have such beautiful buildings left abandoned. After also getting to know who really was Kodály himself, we carried on to Heroes’ Square and to the City Park. Naturally we didn’t miss the most romantic spot of the area neither, so we explored the Vajdahunyad Castle and its surroundings too.
After elaborately exploring the area we cycled back towards the centre and seen the sights on the Avenue, like the House of Terror, the Opera House and went to see also the Basilica, where we naturally couldn’t pass by the legendary police statue without rubbing his belly to bring us luck as well as his moustache that guarantees luck in your love life too 😉
Finally we had to see the river before turning back that impressed us so much that we felt like that was the crown on top of the day.. and indeed it was with the Parliament building, the most beautiful jewel of the whole city.
We finally all got so thirsty that I invited the happy couple for a drink in one of the most popular ruin bars among locals. A non-touristy one fit into our day perfectly where we spent an hour at least in such a pleasant company. I gave them recommendations, and booked also a table for them for their dinner straight after the tour.
I hope to see you soon again ANDREA & BRIAN!
I am sure that they will always look so cute on all photos like the first one that I received from Brian during the e-mailing we spent 🙂
Click here if you would like to read their opinion about our afternoon.
14th of July
One day I received a nice e-mail from Lynda which said that her brother recommended me to guide them around Budapest’s jewish sights as they enjoyed my Jewish tour so much last summer. So we started to e-mail and get to know each other more and more and finally we set the date. Already after the first e-mail I felt that she is one of the loveliest ladies I will ever meet.
The day finally came on the 12th of July and when I went to pick them up at their hotel in the morning, I could hear a very nice voice which I immediately recognised! I straight away knew that was her. We hugged each other and after being introduced to her husband, Mike and their friends, Larraine and Clive we set off to explore the 7th district.
First we started at the Great Synagogue, where I guided them around and learnt about the Golden Age of the once 2nd largest Jewish community of Europe, yet I also had to introduce them to the horrible years of the Jewish Holocaust by going through the cemetery and visiting the Wallenberg Memorial Park with the beautiful and touching Weeping Willow Tree.
Very soon after we left, we bumped into the most courageous jew saver’s monument who the World simply forgot and had to die without being acknowledged at all. This is kind of 1 of my missions to let all my tourists know about him, to remember and to reach that one day everybody will know who is Carl Lutz!
Our next stop was the Orthodox Synagogue which we didn’t just visit inside but also explored the behind scenes of the building where everybody got remarried 🙂 under the oldest hüpe of whole Hungary that survived all the past 100 years’ of trials.
To treat ourselves next we popped into the only existing kosher pastry shop to try the typical Hungarian jewish pastry that nobody on Earth can resist to.
Last but not least we also payed our respect to all the victims of the former Budapest Great Ghetto by visiting the last standing segment of the original wall.
I don’t think I even have to mention that after such a long tour we all got hungry, but because the most legendary traditional restaurant is very well hidden and is outside the centre, finally we took a fun rickshaw ride.
I am very happy that I had the chance to host and guide these 2 couples from South Africa, and very much feel thankful to them for being such a curious audience.
Hope to see you all again Lynda, Larraine, Mike and Clive!
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12th of July
A family from California travelled over the Ocean to explore the roots of Americans and of the parents in the beautiful Europe. A Polish mom and a Hungarian-rooted dad with their two beautiful boys with blond hair decided to explore this part of the World a little bit.
To make sure that the boys will enjoy the sightseeing as well, I picked them up with two rickshaws and we raced through the whole city 🙂 Apparently not just the kids enjoyed it 😉
We had visited the ’56 monument, driven on both Avenues of Budapest, crossed the city centre, seen the Opera House, the Basilica, the Chain Bridge and the Great Synagogue as well. Riding the rickshaws we had lot of fun and me as a tour guide had a great chance to show a lot of things while going.
Naturally we didn’t miss the most popular contemporary piece of the city neither, so we took a photo with the Little Princess as well and learnt the touching story of little Eve.
Finally, right after we had seen the most beautiful Holocaust monument of the city in the shape of a weeping willow tree, we had a very surrealistic experience. Just starting our way from the backyard of the Synagogue, we ran into Géza Röhrig, Saul himself, who had just won the Oscars this year in the category of the best foreign language movie.
After all we felt complete…
Hope to see all of you again!
(More info about our rickshaw tours HERE)
We have found the answer to the above and many more questions on CurioCity’s Communist Tour with Lydya. The two of us had a great time as we followed the route of the freedom fighters of the 1956 revolution.
Lydya is observing the memorial symbolizing the bullets that were shot during a peaceful demonstration on Kossuth Square by the Parliament, and caused the loss of many innocent lives.
We also had a taste of the esthetics of the socialist times admiring the interieur of a retro pub in the Fifth District.
In Hotel Astoria that had a significant role in just about every regime from the beginning of the 1900’s, let it be the few month of Council Republic in 1919, or the Nazi Regime during the second World War, or the Communist Era that followed afterwards.
It’s time to chill out and have a drink on this sunny day at the very pleasant garden of Károlyi Kert.
We also walked around the park and I told about Károly (Charles in Hungarian) who was the bunny of the park, taken in a few years ago as someone abandoned him here after Easter. Károly now has a statue in the park.
We had a great time together! Hope to meet you again Lydya!
With a great recommendation from the Swiss Embassy in Budapest, I was privileged to host 8 Swiss gentleman for a half day CurioCity programme in our beautiful capital on the first real sunny day of the year. We started our day on a speedboat on our beautiful river for about a whole hour. While enjoying the sun, the breeze and the speed we even bumped into a desperate boatman whose motorengine gave up and was floating down with the river, further and further away from the “mother ship”. After saving his life by trailing him back with our beautiful speedboat now we could lay back and enjoy, knowing we are done with our daily charity 🙂
As good guys go to Heaven I took them up to the Castle to see the most beautiful church with of the city and walked around the area while having a look of the beautiful view over the city.
Look but it wasn’t just the view which was stunning 😉
After the “exhausting” programme all of us got hungry and we were driven to the restaurant where my favourite Hungarian writer’s famous waiter-character works himself 🙂 Not just the view was unforgettable but this way the service, the wine and all the 3 courses including the crispy duck confit with braised red cabbage.
But because all of us likes wines and because I was the Hungarian embassador for this day, I had to prove my guests that Hungarian wine indeed deserves to be in in a leading position of international competing scene … so we also did not miss the chance to taste 6 different excellent wines in the tasting restaurant of an internationally acknowledged, many times prize winner winery.
21st May 2016.