Favourites of April 2018

Book experience of the month:
I was very curious about Margaret Atwood’s The handmaid’s tale, so I started the month by reading that. It turned out to be less disturbing than the series, but I’ll get to that later. Even though the book sets place in the dystopian America, it poses painfully real questions the current situation of women.
When I was in Budapest, I bought a Poket book called Dairy of a madwoman by Géza Csáth. Although I like the novel, I think it can be very hard to read and understand for people who has never learned psychiatry before.

Audiobook experience of the month:
I got to the 6th Harry Potter book, the Half blood prince, and I know it means that this series will soon end… So I try to enjoy the story as much as I can. I still can’t forgive Ron for fooling around with Lavender Brown. Seriously, what was he thinking?!

Movie experience of the month:
I want to catch up with the Oscar movies, so I watched Three billboards outside Ebbing. Previously I thought this will be a very sad movie, but I was positively disappointed. The movie focuses on the characters, they have enough time to develop until the end and all together gives a great opportunity for the actors in it. I really liked the performance of Woody Harrelson.
Then I moved on to The shape of water and I liked that movie even better. This one became the best movie of 2017 and it won three more Academy awards: for directing, best music and best production design. Very impressive, isn’t it? The story takes place in the 1960’s and is about two extraordinary lovers. Extraordinary, because Sally Hawkins plays a deaf cleaning lady who falls in love with a creature from the sea.
Last but not least I finally got to see last year’s fashion movie, Phantom thread. It is a very interesting story about a dressmaker (Daniel Day-Lewis) who meets a woman, Alma, who becomes his muse. But is it enough for Alma as well? Can she become a real partner to the artist?

Series experience of the month:
After reading the book, I started watching The handmaid’s tale by Hulu as well. I have to tell you, it’s more shocking than the book and it has many changes as well. For example, Luke doesn’t survive in the book and Ofglen kills herself. I’m very excited to see Alexis Bledel in such a role, amazed by Elisabeth Moss and I can’t wait for the second season!

Travelling experience of the month:
I went to Budapest this month to see the Daalarna Fashion Show and it was the best fashion experience ever! Find out more about it here.

Book vending machines opened in Budapest

I would have never guessed, but the world’s first book vending machine was made already in 1822 in England. Currently they can be found in several places around the world such as Spain, Germany and Sweden.

And finally the magic happened on 11th April, the day of Hungarian poetry, when 7 vending machines became open to business in Budapest. The current places where you can find the machines are:
– Madách Square
– Széll Kálmán Square
– Móricz Zsigmond Circus
– Southern Railway Station
– Eastern Railway Station
– Vígszínház
– Stadiums

Each book costs 990 HUF. The idea came from young actors, Miklós Vecsei and Attila Vidnyánszky who call themselves ‘theatremakers’. The first series of these books consists of 5 Hungarian literary masterpieces:
– The Paul Street Boys from Ferenc Molnár
– Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb
– Diary of a Madwoman by Géza Csáth
– Endre Ady’s Night by Gyula Krúdy
– Then I started to yarn by Péter Esterházy

Some internet sources say more machines will be installed in the capital, but they will appear later in other university cities.

I visited 3 of the vending machines on 12th April (so only the day after the opening!), and most of them were almost hollow, which means people like the idea of having their own ‘Poket’ books. I bought the Csáth book at the end and I’m very excited to be able to tell all my followers about this fantastic initiation.

Don’t forget that #readingiscool!

Find out more about the Poket books on:
Facebook
Instagram

Budapest sights III.

I’ve been to Budapest again… 3 times in 3 months is more than I visit this city in a year!
This time I visited the Buda Castle region. It is located on Castle Hill and served as the residence of Hungarian kings from the 13th century. It is part of World Heritage Site.
In Castle District you can also find Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion, they are next to each other.

Matthias Church
2. Szentháromság Square
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9:00-17:00, Saturday 9:00-12:00, Sunday 13:00-17:00
Tickets: 1000-1500 HUF
Click here for more information!
Matthias Church (also called as Church of Our Lady of Buda) was built in the 11th century. It had to survive a lot off attacks (for example the Mongols destroyed it completely) and it had to be rebuilt many times until it became its final, Gothic styled form. It was named after King Matthias, the Just.

Fisherman’s Bastion
Szentháromság Square
Opening hours: Open every day! Monday-Sunday 9:00-23:00
Tickets: 500-1000 HUF
Click here for more information!
In front of Matthias Church, you can find Fisherman’s Bastion, which is basically a terrace that was built in neo-Gothic style in the 19th century. It gives a wonderful view to River Danube and the Hungarian Parliament. It atracts tourists even in the coldest weather. There is also the statue of St. Stephen, the first Hungarian king and you can take pictures with a falcon if you are brave enough.

Buda Castle
2. Szent György Square
Opening hours: Closed on Mondays! From the beginning of November to the end of February Tuesday-Friday  10:00-16:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-18:00, From the beginning of March to the end of October Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00
Tickets: 1000-2000 HUF
Click here for more information!
The construction of the Castle started already in the 13rd century. The building itself has gone through a lot, the attack of Turks and Tatars, World Was II, its final reconstruction started in 1946. The Castle’s current exhibitions include history of the Castle, ancient cultures and gothic statues.

 

Photography exhibitions in Budapest

Attila Hupján: World shift
12.02.2018-04.03.2018. 10-18 h
K11 – Király utca 11., Budapest 1075

Looking at the world through a pinhole while it’s moving… This is how the artist got the amazing results of his photographs. By looking closer, you may recognise some of Budapest’s popular sights like Nyugati Railway station.
A room full of artistic wonder… – I thought when I visited the exhibition last Friday.

Sandro Miller: Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to photographic masters
28.02.2018-20.04.2018. 10-18 h
Műcsarnok – Dózsa György út 37., Budapest 1146

The main event of Budapest Photo Festival will be the American artist’s that commemorate famous paintings and photographs, only with a small twist, that is John Malkovich playing all the characters. Annie Leibovitz, Andy Warhol, André Kertész and Irving Penn are just few of the original people this exhibition pays a tribute to.
Can’t wait to see it in April!

Budapest sights II.

Last weekend I went to Budapest to visit a friend and I didn’t want to miss the chance of taking new pictures of the capital, so I went to River Danube between Margaret Bridge and Chain Bridge to photograph the Parliament with the statues around it.

Hungarian Parliament Building
1-3. Kossuth Lajos Square
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8:00-18:00, Saturday-Sunday 8:00-18:00
Tickets: 1300-6000 HUF
Click here for more information!

Located on Kossuth Square the Parliament Building was built in neogothic style in 1904 by Imre Steindl. It is 268 meters long and 123 meters tall and was built only from Hungarian building material. Inside visitors can see the Holy Crown surrounded by the coronation jewelry, Settlement of the Magyars painted by Mihály Munkácsy and the changing of the guards. Fun fact is that Freddy Mercury liked the Parliament so much, he wanted to buy the building in 1986 when he came to Budapest for a concert with Queen. He was performing in front of 75 thousand people and he was so kind that he learned a Hungarian folk song, Tavaszi szél (=spring wind).
The statues I took photos of around the building are of the Count István Tisza Monument, Attila József’s statue, Lajos Kossuth’s statue and the Hungarian Museum of Ethnography.

Shoes on the Danube Bank
Id. Antall József Wharf

‘To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944-45’-says a memorial tablet next to the bronze statues. The horrible story behind it is that the victims had to stand alongside the river before being shot, but they had to take their shoes off, because those were of great value at that time. The statues were created by Gyula Pauer in 2005 and they attract a lot of people. There are always candles and flowers next to this heartbreaking memorial.

 

Budapest Christmas Fair

Winter is my favourite time of the year. Firstly because I myself am a winter child and secondly because of Christmas. Christmas fairs became very popular everywhere in the world and I enjoy walking at night among the beautifully decorated streets with mulled wine in my hand. During the years I was lucky to visit some fairs in Hungary and abroad as well. My record is 4/year in 2 countries. But for starters let’s see this year Budapest fair. 

The main place for it is situated in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica with the Christmas tree (that’s my favourite because of the spiderweb-shaped lights originating from the top of the tree). Other locations are the City Hall, Vörösmarty Square, Deák Square and Jókai Square. There are many people selling their artwork, ornaments, winter clothes, toys and Hungaricums as well.

Special thanks to my BFFs, Anita, Lilla and Pálma for making this and last year’s Budapest Christmas fairs possible for me and providing awesome company as always! Can’t wait to see you again, my ladies! ❤

And what about the food?
– mulled wine in specially made cups and mugs
– stuffed cabbage (if you want to dive into true Hungarian cuisine)
– burgers and hot dogs (if you don’t)
– chimney cake
– handmade marzipan wonders

Have a nice walk at the largest Christmas fair of Hungary, wishing you all a magical Advent. Other Christmas fair photos and holiday topics coming soon! 🙂

Favourites of November 2017

November passed so quickly, it’s unbelievable… I went through a lot of feelings this month. From enjoying the last warm autumn days to decorating my apartment with several reindeers singing ‘Siiilent niiight’… 

Book experience of the month:
I’ve been always curious about the woman who not only used a pseudonym to hide her female identity, but was the partner of Frédéric Chopin for several years and corresponded with Gustave Flaubert. My first George Sand novel was La Petite Fadette, the romantic novel that takes place in the 19th century countryside. It was lovely to read, I hope I can procure more of her novels.
My second choice was Lauren Graham’s My Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between), the book she wrote about the 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls series between 2000-2007, and then about the cast’s reunion for a 4 episode windup last year. It’s a must-read for all true fans. 

Audiobook experience of the month:
I moved on to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Jim Dale is still hilarious! It always made me smile how he imitated Lockhart’s voice: ‘Harry, Harry, Harryyy…’.

Movie experience of the month:
Circle
movie, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks makes us think about the advantages and disadvantages of modern social media.
The Space between us is a nice romantic story, not only for space fans!
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead men tell no tales honestly was a little forced for me. Jack Sparrow’s character was a big hit when the first movie came out, but not anymore. Though it was nice to see (SPOILER ALERT!) Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley reunited.

Cinema experience of the month:
November has been the month of superheroes! The new Thor movie was funnier than the first two and Mark Ruffalo is always a great coworker. Cate Blanchett’s Hela was a pretty badass enemy. Fun fact: this was the first time Marvel movie that had a female wicked leading character.
The long awaited Justice League had two precious actors, Ezra Miller as the Flash and Gal Gadot as Wonderwoman. I still can’t get over the fact that Ben Affleck became Batman… whoever thought about that at DC Comics, he is not their friend!
And I also saw A Bad Moms Christmas with my friends during my trip to Budapest. Although it’s full of crazy and funny moments, it still makes you think about what is important in Christmas: having the perfect tree and perfect decoration or spending quality time with your loved ones?

Series experience of the month:
The second season of Stranger Things is finally out and it was just as good as the first one! I love how they pay attention to every detail to create this 80’s world. Can’t wait for season 3!

Theatre experience of the month:
I went to see The Barber of Seville in the National Theatre in Szeged. I actually never heard an opera in Hungarian before. After talking to the singer playing Count Almaviva (I know, such a VIP…), he told us it was harder because Hungarian words often end with syllables like ‘t’ or ‘k’ while in Italian you can let go of the ‘o’-s and ‘a’-s. Besides it was a lot of fun and a great way to attract younger people to watch an opera.

Travelling experience of the month:
I went to Debrecen for a weekend to visit my Polish friend who came here to study with Erasmus. I have actually never been to Debrecen before so it was a great opportunity.
I traveled to the Hungarian capital, Budapest to visit my childhood friends. We went to see the Christmas fair (blog post coming soon about it, no worries).

Photography experience of the month:
Definitely my Budapest night photos and the ones I took of the Japanese collection of the Déri Museum in Debrecen.

Music experience of the month:
Janis Joplin’s Summertime when the living is easy. I really don’t know why.

Food experience of the month:
Although the most commonly known Hungarian dish by foreigners is goulash, I only had it in school canteens. And who’s fault is that, mummy? OK, just kidding, I know it’s mine.  But it’s never too late. Goulash is a traditional soup made from beef and a lot of vegetables seasoned with paprika. If someone wants to sell it to you elsewhere, don’t believe them, we have the original!