Snapshot – Berlin to Budapest

Okay, so I guess it’s obvious from that title that I was feeling very indecisive about which travel destination to pick for B in the A-Z Challenge. And that ultimately I just threw my hands in the air (like I just don’t care) and said I’ll do both. I’ve justified it to myself because the trip I took to Europe last year started in Berlin and finished in Budapest šŸ™‚ For those interested my trip took me from Berlin in Germany, through Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and finished in Budapest, Hungary. It wasn’t a particularly long trip, I would’ve liked to extended it and head further south, but it packed a lot into what time I had.

Berlin is a city I’ve always wanted to visit. That’s saying a lot because readers of mine will know I prefer wide open landscapes to cityscapes. But Berlin has always fascinated me, it’s a city with so much history and it has undergone numerous “rebirths” in its time. I was staying in a district called Friedrichshain, which is in the former East Berlin. It’s a trendy up and coming type of place – lots of little cafes and markets, transportation around here was pretty easy (then again, public transport in Berlin is easy in general) but it did still feel like it was lagging behind the district of former West Berlin. Time will fix that. I mean, Berlin was only just reunited recently in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall (you know, I can even remember watching it happen on the news). And that was one of my highlights, walking along the East Side Gallery, seeing the murals and artwork left on that massive expanse of what is left of the Berlin Wall. But the rich history of Berlin does not stop there. I stood before that iconic symbol of the city, The Brandenburg Gate, and marveled at the architecture of The Reichstag Building. The Holocaust memorial, with its sombre concrete blocks is only a short distance away. The multitude of church spires and museums, new buildings and ruined remains of some still scarred from the war. I had but a few days in Berlin but I would return for it felt comfortable and welcoming, and was a great starting point for my trip.

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A segment of the former Berlin Wall
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The East Side Gallery – Berlin Wall
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Berlin Cathedral
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Quadriga atop the Brandenburg Gate
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Brandenburg Gate
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The Reichstag Building
Budapest seemed to offer such as much as Berlin in terms of sightseeing, and unhappily for me I had limited time there. Budapest is basically two halves – Buda & Pest – which are joined in the middle by the River Danube. I was staying on the Pest side, just a short walk from the main road and right near the city’s wonderful old subway system. My first stop was the Hosok Tere (Hero’s Square) adorned with the statues national leaders, from there to some old churches and the thermal baths, before hopping back on the subway and heading to Buda’s Old Town. The highlight here, perched imposingly on the hills, is the 13th century Buda Castle. I started my walk with a visit to St Stephen’s Basilica (built 1851), before crossing the river (be sure to check out the Shoes on the Danube memorial here) and beginning the steady climb up the hill to the Castle and beyond it to the intricately designed 14th century Matthias Church. For those not interested in climbing the hill on foot, there is a funicular available (you can thank me later!).

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Hero’s Square, Budapest
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The dome of St Stephen’s Basilica
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St Stephen’s Basilica
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Matthias Church
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Hungarian Parliament Building, as viewed from Buda Castle
 

This post makes up part of my contribution to the April 2017 A to Z Challenge

Click Here for a list and links to all my challenge posts

And if you’d like to revisit my 2016 challenge post for “B’, here’s the link Snapshot – Boulders Beach

2017 Badge

 

 

 

 

 

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42 thoughts on “Snapshot – Berlin to Budapest”

  1. Fascinating read. I visited Berlin a few years ago and found it a fascinating city and yes easy to navigate (although I did manage to get lost once) I was visiting my host daughter there. She worked during the day so I explored the city on my own and we met up after work and explored some more. I am returning to Europe in August and this time we are going to have a bit of time in Czech Republic and Amsterdam as well as Germany (to see our host daughter) and Norway (for another host son’s wedding) And then its a week in Scotland before returning home. I shall have to revisit your blog to see if you cover any of the places we are going to

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    1. Thanks, Philipa. I’m glad this brought back some memories of your visit to Berlin. I have visited the Scotland, The Netherlands & Czech Republic … And I’ll be posted a few things about the Czech Republic during this month, so hopefully they will give you some ideas for your upcoming trip! August isn’t far off šŸ˜€ I would love to visit Norway, have you been before? It looks to be spectacularly beautiful.

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  2. I visited both Berlin and Budapest on a tour of Europe in 2003. I enjoyed both, but Berlin is the one I loved! The East meets West historic feel of all that happened there was awe inspiring to me. And I still have a poster of the Brandenburg Gate with a bunch of the Buddy Bears superimposed (don’t know if they are still there – painted bears – so fun) on it in my basement. It’s a lovely memory. Your photos are gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks, Louise! You’re exactly right, that distinction between West & East is still there somehow. I did notice the difference in the buildings and the general feel of each “side”. I’m not usually a fan of cities but Berlin had so much character & the history is incredible. Glad my post triggered some fond memories for you!

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  3. Another great post, Kim. Love the shot of the dome in the Basillica. For a lover of wide open spaces, you sure do have an eye for angles on cityscapes.

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    1. Thank you, Ger. I never really find much inspiration in my cityscapes but I did try to view things differently on that trip. As for the Basilica, I’m just pleased I remembered what settings would be best on my camera for that dark space.

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  4. I’m glad you included Budapest – it’s my native city and I find it beautiful (even though I’m not big on the whole “home is the best” idea. More like “home is where your heart is but my heart is in many pieces around the world. But I digress.) Next time you visit, hit me up and I’ll show you the hidden parks šŸ˜‰

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    1. Oh you’re from Budapest! Well, your home town was certainly beautiful, and full of history. I only wish I had’ve been able to stay a while longer. There’s so much to see in that city, it’s quite remarkable. I’ve no doubt I’ll be returning to Budapest, so I shall take you up on that offer šŸ˜€

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    1. Thanks, Aditi. I’m so glad it’s inspired you to look into Berlin & Budapest, both are well worth the visit. My camera is a Canon 760D & I love it. Only had it since late 2015 and so far I’ve not complaints!

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  5. I’ve never been to Budapest before but it looks lovely. I went to Berlin a few years ago and loved it although I remember whilst visiting the East Side Gallery a young lady remarked “Wow it’s really long isn’t it” I managed to hold it in for a few steps before laughing incredulously šŸ™‚

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    1. Haha! You did well to hold it in, Raven. That remark would’ve stopped me in my tracks.
      They’re both lovely cities though. Berlin’s history always fascinated me though so it was great to finally visit. I’d been to Germany before, back in 1996, but traveled done the other side of the country.

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  6. I loved our visit to Berlin a few years ago and we were lucky enough to stay at a friend’s place. Haven’t been to Budapest (yet), but your photos remind me of St. Petersburg in Russia.

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    1. Oh I haven’t been to St Petersburg! I would love to visit Russia some day. And seeing Berlin with the locals would have been great. It’s always enjoyable to see a city through the eyes of the people who know it best.

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  7. I love this post! I’m visiting Berlin in September and your photos have got me really excited to go sightseeing, I’m hoping to got interrailing next year so I’ll have to make sure Budapest is on the list! šŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks, Danielle! There’s so much to see in Berlin – you’re going to enjoy exploring the city I’m sure! Budapest is definitely worth visiting as well, and the rail networks are pretty good (all my travel was via rail on the most recent trip). šŸ˜€

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