Be a painter for a day

Would you like to paint Klimt’s Kiss? I’m sure you are answering in your head with something like ‘No, I would never be able to do that!’. Well I’m here to tell you that yes, you can. With help of a professional of course, but it would be a unique replica that is all you.

Here is what happened to me. One of my best friends went to a painting event in Budapest and came home with a very nice artwork that she is very proud of. I obviously wanted to get some of that! So I started to look for similar opportunities in Szeged and found a painting I liked at a company called Kreatív Kávé (Creative Coffee). During the event I painted on canvas using acrylic dye. It was very well organised, the lead artist was always telling us what to paint next. It’s crucial to have a pro because civilians doesn’t know how long it takes for the dye to dry for example. She never corrected anything on my painting, just gave my tips during the process and 4 hours later it turned out like this:

 

 

 

I really enjoyed this relaxing Saturday and I’m thinking about going again sometimes. The costs of the event was 8000 HUF, but it depends on the material you need to make your artwork, so it can be higher up to 13 000 HUF.

If you are in Hungary and interested in such an event, here are the places you can let go of your inner artist:

Kreatív Kávé: Budapest, Üröm, Szeged, Subotica

Fess neki: Budapest

Art & Wine: Szeged

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.

Favourites of March 2018

Book experience of the month:
First of all I read The white king written by Hungarian writer, György Dragomán because I saw the trailer of the movie that was made from the novel last year. I haven’t seen the it yet because I wanted to wait until I read the book. The book reminded me of Imre Kertész’s Fateless because it explains a tragic period of history from the point of view of a young person and the way he sees that world doesn’t seem as terrible as it actually was.
Then I moved on to something completely different with Alice Wonder’s Paris, c’est le vie. Alice is a Hungarian lady who spent 7 years living in the ‘City of lights’ and she shares her experiences with her readers in a smart and funny way. I loved it, can’t wait to read the other three books of her series.

Movie experience of the month:
If you want to just sit down and laugh, Central intelligence will be a great choice for you. It stars the Rock as a wierd but lovable CIA agent who gets in touch with his old high school pal.
Planetarium tells the story of the sisters (Nathalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp), who make a living from performing paranormal seances. Very sensitive story.
To see the reflection of current society’s, watch Manifesto with Cate Blanchett starring in 13 different roles. A teacher, a homeless guy, a scientist… all played by her.

Cinema experience of the month:
March has been a very busy month. First I saw Fifty shades freed, but it was a bit of a disappointment for me… It was a crime story filled with some romantic scenes. I still think the first movie was the best of the trilogy.
I absolutely loved the new Tomb Raider movie! Alicia Vikander is such a lovely and talented actress, I really adore her.
And finally, Red Sparrow. Most of the scenes were shot in Hungary, it was amazing to see Jennifer Lawrence walking to Nyugati Railway station, where I’ve been a couple of weeks as well. Some Hungarian actors appeared in the movie too. The thriller is about an Russian ex-ballerina who becomes an intelligence officer because she has to support her mother. I don’t want to make spoilers but it is a great movie if you want to get to know more about true human nature.

Travelling experience of the month:
15th March is a national holiday because of the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence 1848-49. So that weekend I went to a Hungarian spa town, Harkány with 3 of my very best childhood friends. A blog post come soon with pictures, I promise! 🙂

Food experience of the month:
It recently became clear that I’m lactose intolerant, so one of my friends suggested me to try almond milk. Yummi, yummi!

What to visit in the Czech Republic?

5 years ago I spent 5 days in the Czech capital for a sightseeing vacation with my family and I fell in love with this beautiful, historical metropolis. While the country has a continental climate, I recommend you not to go in the summer, because the city will be full of tourists. So grab your jacket and prepare yourself for the best beer in Prague!

Here are the places I’ve been to in Prague and highly recommend:

Old Town Square with Orloj (the Astronomical Clock)
Staroměstské nám.
You can see the Clock move in every hour.

Tyn Church
Staroměstské nám.
Opening hours: Closed on Mondays and Sundays! Open from March to November Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-13:00 and 15:00-17:00
Tickets: 25 CZK

Salvador Dalí and Mucha collection
15 Staroměstské nám.
Opening hours: Open every day! Monday-Sunday 10:00-20:00
Tickets: 90-170 CZK
Click here for more information!

Josefov, the Jewish quarter with Old New Synagogue, Old Jewish Cemetery and Franz Kafka’s birthplace

Charles Bridge

Hrad with St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George Basilica, Zlatá ulička (the Golden Lane), the Powder Tower and the Picture Gallery
 119 08 Prague 1
Opening hours: Open every day! From 1st April to 31st October: Prague Castle complex 6:00-22:00, historical buildings 9:00-17:00; from 1st November to 31st March: Prague Castle Complex 6:00-22:00, historical buildings 9:00-16:00
Tickets: 125-700 CZK
Click here for more information!

National Museum
68 Václavské nám.
Opening hours: Open every day! From May to September Monday-Sunday 10:00-18:00, from October to April Monday-Sunday 9:00-17:00
Tickets: 60-120 CZK
Click here for more information!

National Gallery 
Veletrzní Palace
Opening hours: Open every day! Monday-Sunday 10:00-18:00
Tickets: 80-151 CZK
Click here for more information!

St. Nicholas Church
Malostranské nám.
Opening hours: Open every day! From March to October Monday-Sunday 9:00-17:00; from November to January Monday-Sunday 9:00-16:00; in February Monday-Thursday 9:00-16:00, Friday to Sunday 9:00-17:00
Tickets: 50-70 CZK
Click here for more information!

John Lennon Wall
Velkopřevorské náměstí

I also had one-day trips to Český Krumlov and České Budějovice. They are both close to the Northern Austrian border, so they are perfect for short trips. Krumlov is famous for its historical quarter that is part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage and Budějovice is the hometown of Budweiser, the beer they are making since the 13rd century.

And there I still many places I want to visit such as:
– Brno
– Karlovy vary
– Kutná Hora
– Telc
– Lednice
– Olomouc

15 things I learnt about the Czech Republic

I’ve been to the Czech Republic only twice in my life. First when I was 12 and spent 3 weeks in Austria, I visited the nearby Český Krumlov and České Budějovice. Then a couple of years ago I went to see Prague. In these couple of days I grew to like this country a lot and I can’t wait to go back someday!

  1. The Czech Republic can be found in the middle of Europe surrounded by Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland.
  2. It was as many citizens as Hungary (approximately 10 million people).
  3. Prague, the city of a hundred spires and the historical center of Bohemia is the capital of the country.
  4. Its currency is the Czech Koruna.
  5. Most of the country’s income comes from tourism.
  6. It is one of the most non-religious countries of the world.
  7. Although Czech is the second hardest language to learn, Czech and Slovakian people can understand each other easily.
  8. The oldest university of Europe, Charles University can be found in Prague. It was founded in 1348.
  9. Hungary and the Czech Republic had many mutual rulers while they were both regulated by the Habsburg Dynasty from 1526.
  10. Famous Czech people include Bohumil Hrabal, Franz Kafka, Antonín Dvořák, Alfons Mucha, Miloš Forman and Ivana Trump.
  11. Contact lenses and sugar cubes are Czech inventions.
  12. Czech beer such as Pilsner Urquell, Budweiser, Kozel and Staropramen are famous worldwide.
  13. Traditional Czech food include roast pork with bread dumpling and cabbage, beef stake tartare, fruit dumplings and deep fried cheese.
  14. The most common souvenirs you can find in shops are made from Czech glass or crystal, Mucha or beer related.
  15. One of our tour guides told us if people want to shoot movie scenes that takes places in Venice and want to spare money, they shoot in Prague. If the same situation happens with Prague, they go to Budapest. Hellboy, Immortal beloved, The illusionist and Casino Royal were filmed in the Czech Republic.

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.