Budapest has a charm. A charm that I’m not entirely sure how to describe. They call it the Paris of Eastern Europe. I’m not sure who ‘they’ are, but I’ve read it multiple places so someone is doing it. As someone who doesn’t really do nightlife when I travel, I’m not sure if this classification is based around the night life (you know, with Paris being the city of lights and all). Regardless, during the day I can see some reason for why they would call it that. Some of the architecture really reminds me of the architecture you see in Paris with the beautiful orate black cast iron balconies. Even the placement of statues and the way that they are arranged seems very Paris like. As I write this, I’m sitting in a park looking at Heroes’ Square. It’s a beautiful plaza at the end of Andussy Ut which is actually a world heritage site also known as a full street. It’s absolutely magnificent, simplistic and the oblasque sitting in the center of the plaza looks over Andussy Ut. It’s something you would imagine out of any romantic Western European city. And Andussy Ut is literally lined with trees. Which feels like the neighborhoods of Paris.
But other than that, the rest of this city feels so intensely unique that I’m not sure I see much other resemblance to it being similar to Paris. It does feel romantic in a mysterious sense. This could be driven by the fact that I am aimlessly wandering around without any knowledge of the history of this place. But regardless, there is so much light yet so much darkness here. It’s fascinating. Every few blocks, look up. There are buildings that look like they’ve been burned or haven’t been cleaned since constructed. Which seems natural except that these dark building sit in the center of pastel, yellow, off white buildings so they stand out. And in the same fashion, their statues are so intense and on the extremes. Take the Liberty Statue looking out over Budapest. It’s a lady holding up a feather to symbolize freedom. Standing guard to her are two men on either side killing animals. The one that I remember distinctly was the man standing over a lion on the verge of slaughtering it. It’s so interesting just how much of a contrast you can find here.