The last stop in a short Europe trip before heading back to Vienna to catch the flight to New York was Budapest, Hungary. Budapest is stunning! I really did not expect this city to be so alive. It has a very unique character in my opinion, it's beauty is not only in pretty architecture but in all that scratchiness that makes it alive and more human, rather than a polished picture for the tourists.
I was never so confused by the character of the city in my life. The first impression was that Budapest looks like St. Petersburg, Russia. Old Ikarus busses, trams, architecture, street signs and even sometimes people, all reminded me of St. Petersburg. The moment you get into the main city area it can easily be Spain, Madrid or Barcelona. When you hear people talk, the first reaction is they must be Finns. Though the language is part of Uralic Group of languages, where Estonian and Finish languages belong to, the are barely any similar words left, as it "disconnected" from it's ancestors over 2000 years ago. But the way people talk: intonation, language structure, as long as you're not paying attention to the words, sounds like it can be Finish. All those little elements of the city kept confusing me for 4 great days that I spent there.
Anyway, Budapest was absolutely stunning, really a must see place. Loved the whole "ruin bar" culture, Gellert baths and food. I am sure I will be back here some day.
Some Before/After retouched images.