Friday, July 08, 2005
We flew in this morning having gotten the word about the London bombings last night as we packed in Copenhagen after an idyllic week in Denmark. Danish airport security in didn't seem to have been beefed up but at Budapest airport their were squads of tall, strapping young men with very intimidating automatic weapons, steely gazes and the legs-spread stance of guards from the old Communist days everywhere.
Budapest itself is definitely a visit back in time. Baroque-era buildings in brightly colored stucco with tons of cornices, volutes and statuary are mixed in with flowing art nouveau and ninteenth-centuary faux-Gothic in a very pleasing way. The inner city is very beautiful but the outer neighborhoods still bear teh cement block curse of teh bad old Communist days.
Fritz and I are dealing as best we can with Magyar in the streets--it's unlike any other language except Turkish and Finnish/Estonian, and the Hungarians can no longer speak with teh Turks and Finns. Fortunately, most people speak at least a little English and are most kind in using it. Tomorrow night we hit the baths--as in the ols Turkish hot baths that dot the city, not quite what gay Americans think of when using the term.
I'll report from a little further down the line if and when I can.