Places to be

After recurring cautions to watch out for (and not get eaten by) the wildlife in Romania, today in Hungary I encountered a big, very unhappy, bear.tmp_16972-rps20150719_190042-1247862587

I woke late, 6:30 am. I went back to sleep, but by 7:30 the day caught up with me. On Sunday not much happens before 10 am, so I puttered about on the Internet and mapped out the day. While doing so, two of the room’s occupants came in for the night, and the rest began to stir about 9:00, focused on the free walking tour at 10:00.

My goals scattered across the reaches of Budapest, no pedestrian today! A quick jaunt to Heroes Square in the City Park and the associated Museum of Fine Arts, closed for renovation, but with a festival in the square. Not quite bagpipes, but not that dissimilar in sound, needing to be heard from the other side of a hill.

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Vajdahunyad Castle, also located in the City Park, was built in the 1900s to demonstrate the different eras of castle, a weird collage of construction, or a typical example of Hungarian restoration – take your pick.

Running out of things to do on that side of town, and not having done anything yet, I visited the National Zoo. They had foxes, and tigers, and bears, … and tigers. The Budapest Zoo exemplifies a microcosm of Budapest itself. In great repair with only a few exhibits closed. Items of interest scattered far and wide, with little organization and little of the safety nets provided in similar circumstances. The ostrich sat in wait for people to get close enough to make a jab at them.

Next the Széchenyi Baths across the street, highly recommended by others, confirms that I’m still not much of a Mineral Bath and Spa person. Not quite sure why to visit a Turkish Bath in Hungary instead of, say, Turkey. The last time I visited a mineral bath was 25 years ago, and at least located in Baden-Baden (literally Bath Bath); there was also a girl involved. Theoretically rested and relaxed, I cycled 5 km to the National Art Gallery on the other side of Budapest.

Located in the Royal Palace, the National Art Gallery closed yesterday before I finished my review of the palace. Today I learned I do not like modern or recent Hungarian art. The museum did not allow photography (although clearly dependent on the monitor at each part of the museum). I assume this restriction assures the purchase of books and postcards at the gift shop. I likely shouldn’t post the image of the purchased postcard because of copyright, but my own photo of the original suffers no such restriction. Skylark.

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Almost spent the night locked in an ATM kiosk. Unbeknownst to me, after the bank closes, the ATM located in the bank entryway locks the external door after you enter as a security measure. The Hungarian instructions proved less than useful, but I eventually found a button and managed to escape.

With nothing in the plan for the night, I wandered. I’ve mentioned previously the prevalence of fountains. I found a music and lights concert, where the fountain was part of the show. Looked a lot like fireworks, without the poodke-frightening booms.

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Tomorrow I head back out on the open road. As always, I feel the urge to move forward, as well as the desire to stay put a while longer, living the easier life.  I choose wherever the road takes me. Now to figure out where that might be, and yet still likely to be not quite what I expect.

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