Friday, 11 November 2011

The One that I Love

The first thing any tour guide will tell you about Budapest is that it was originally two settlements, Buda and Pest, one on each side of the Danube. It doesn't take a genius to work out from this that the city is built along the banks of the great river and that, therefore, it has a number of bridges, which allow the two separate parts to become one.

Each afternoon when I am in Budapest, I cross the Danube, walking across the Elizabeth Bridge to reach the bottom of the Gellert Hill, on which since the early 20th century a statue of Saint Gellert, usually referred to in Budapest as the patron saint of commuters, because of his position above a busy junction leading to the city, stands:

I then tramp up the hill, reminding myself how good this is for me and enjoying the views:

 (that's the Chain Bridge, you can see down there)

 (that's the Elizabeth Bridge)

until I reach the monument which stands at its peak:

 I take no notice of this monument, which is usually surrounded by Russian tourists being lectured to by guides who, from the scraps I hear as I pass, are telling a rather sweetened version of the history of Russo-Hungarian relations to their sensitive charges. I head straight down the steps to the slopes on the other side of Gellert Hill,, which are criss-crossed by a network of different pathways and, at this time of year, radiant with 'autumn colour':

 (very artistic, don't you think?)

 (a glimpse of the local wildlife)

Finally, I reach my real goal - my favourite bridge, once called the Franz-Josef and now the Freedom.
It was renovated not too long ago and looks more splendid than ever, both from a distance:

and on close inspection:

I like the fact that a bird has decided it is also a good place to make a nest and raise a family (no not the one at the top, a bit lower down). Actually, I think you'll have to take my word for that as in the pictures, even though I tried hard to capture them, it's impossible to see the twigs that are so clearly visible on the spot:

I think the Freedom Bridge is one of the prettiest bridges in the world.


  1. Some splendid pictures and glorious autumn colours. When I see the latter in these pics I realise how lucky we are in our little town on the other side of the world to you to be able to share those sights. I can't say we quite match up to the history and architecture and engineering you have there but the crisp air, the trees and leaves and the rustling sounds of walking through them we can share.

  2. The leaf carpets are lovely

  3. Yours is a pretty nice town, as far as I remember, Denis.
    Sycamore leaves, I think, Nurse, judging by the helicopter seed pods hanging on the branches above.