The Ongoing Battle Between East and West

As promised, the next blogs is coming to you from Budapest, Hungary. Almost centre of the world.
I’d like to say keeping my promises was a new years resolution I’ve managed to stick to but alas, it’s not. Just me wanting to ramble on about my experiences. That’s what this blog is right? A Young Journalists Experiences? To begin…

One would have thought that the strong iron fist of soviet power and Stalinist Socialism had at least begun to be put to bed near the end of 1991. Over twenty years later however, we only have to hop over to the Czech Republic or Hungary to be reminded of the sheer force and size of the old style communist machine. Driving through Budapest from the airport to the centre there was a constant struggle architecturally between useful communist buildings left over from the KGB years and traditional Hungarian gothic, classical architecture. The city seemed at a cross roads, wanting to recover and move forward from the communist days and not letting people forget the hardships incurred under the red eye (I’m sure there’s a LOTR pun in there somewhere, no, just me?) One could argue like Britain, Hungary is a country of mongrels first being invaded by the Romans, Turks, Germans and Russians absolutely centuries ago so one cannot really say what is truly Hungarian.

The deep, omniscient battle is soon forgotten however once one reaches the centre of Budapest. The Hungarians really did take the Roman influence on board when they first invaded with their baths and classicly tall buildings of Grandeur! The National Opera House could easily have been a kings country retreat (I was impressed untill I saw the Jewish Synagogue and seriously wondered whether it was bigger than Buckingham Palace- one of the most picturesque, grand, proud synagogues I have ever seen). The National Museum was also a magnificent building and when I dropped my bag off in the cloak room I could not help but be a little kid and run up the grand set of stairs and spin at the top to take in all the murals . The museum was so informative and really took you from the beginnings of the Carpathian Base to the fall of the iron curtains and joining the EU in 2004. I knew Hungary played a big part in the last century but I did not know it held almost perfect temperatures for evolution and was well positioned in getting to many places in the world. With its hot springs and green hills, perfect for beauty, relaxation, health and agriculture.

After the museum, I checked out Heroes Square which was a tribute to the seven tribes who created Hungary and who made it what it was today. Walking over to a park on the other side I somehow got talking to a Polish guy and ended up helping him with an English paper. As we walked back to town we decided to have dinner in a typical Hungarian restaurant. After somehow angering a waitress over the bill we said goodbye and I gladly went back to my hostel to check up on home, write this up and soon, sleep (I’ve been up since three thirty :-().

Ill see you on the Buda side tomorrow along with the castle district.

Over and Out
Nathalie Lot

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