Monday, 21 May 2018

Monday Mural - The 3 giants in Budapest

Last week in my post about Budapest I mentioned that when we arrived at our accomodation - Avantegarde Apartments, in the Jewish Quarter- and we opened the door to the little terrace at the back I was thrilled to see some murals painted on the wall of buildings adjoining an empty block of land.

The next day I walked to the street behind - Nagydiófa utca (street) to take photos of the 3 gigantic murals. And they probably won't be there long, as there was already some building machinery there, so once new buildings go up, the murals might just be blocked from view.

Taken from the street where the murals are
Luckily on the internet I was able to find out a bit more about the murals, and here is what I discovered. Painted for the Szines Varos Festival (Colourful City festival), initiative which started in 2008 which is held yearly in late summer when a number of murals and pieces of street art appear all around the city of Budapest.

Dionysus - The Greek God of Wine and the Grape Harvest, a 200 m2 mural painted in 8 days in 2017 by local artist Attila Balogh.

Poseidon -  God of the Sea, a 230m2 mural painted by Spanish artist Spok and French artist Korse.

And the last one is Urban Style - a 240m2 mural painted in 3 days by Russian artist Andrey Adno, representing the multi-faceted, beautiful and artistic city of Budapest.

And this was my first sighting of the murals from our apartment terrace at Avantgarde apartments.

My first sighting of the murals

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you; just follow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit your fellow posters.  Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  Thanks.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

From Lisbon to Budapest - Day 12 and 13

The day after the weddingMonday 9th of April, it rained the whole day and we opted to stay home, pack our bags, put the airbnb apartment in order and spend a few hours with the family, take a couple more photos and have dinner together ... 
We would be flying to Budapest very early the following day.

With my parents and sisters

Since I found a black and white photo a few years ago, from 1970 with my sisters and I, we thought we would take a similar photo every time we happen to be together...which is not often since we live in 3 different continents and can't always be present at all the important family events.  We've managed a photo in 2013, then 2017 and now 2018.
The 3 sisters - left 1970 and 2013, and right 2017 and 2018
The family had a lovely dinner together, we said our goodbyes and had an early night.

Tuesday 10th April, we had to wake up early to get on the road at 7.30 am as we would be encountering a lot of traffic to Lisbon with people on their way to work. 
Because of the rainy morning it took us 1,30h to travel the 37km from Cascais to Lisbon! 
At the airport my husband dropped us at the Departures terminal and quickly went to the other end of the airport to drop the rented car. We did our check-in as both my daughter and I had a bag to dispatch, and anxiously waited for my husband to arrive as we didn't have much time left, with check in closing at 9.25, but he made it!

Because I didn't even have a chance to eat a delicious custard tart while on holidays, I bought a box of 6 tarts and the 4 of us shared them.
The Air Portugal flight departed at 10.55 under some rain and 3.30h later we landed in Budapest, Hungary.

Lisbon airport, sitting on the plain with the rain coming down, flying over Lisbon, Portuguese custard tarts

Just outside the airport we lined up at the very organized taxi ordering booth - they ask your name, how many people, how many bags, the address to be taken to, calculate an approximate fee and give you a paper with the taxi number plate which soon comes along.
Ours was a small van for the 4 of us plus 2 big suitcases and 2 onboard bags, and about 40 minutes later we were deposited in front of our accomodation - Avantegarde apartmentsKazinczy u. 9 (Kazinczy street), right in the center of the  VII district or Jewish Quarter, which was very central to walk around the city.

Just before landing in Budapest and the Hungary sign outside the airport

Avantegarde Apartments - our accommodation in the Jewish Quarter, District VII
  My daughter Karina had rented 3 apartments - one for her, Thomas and his brother, one for Thomas's parents, who along with his brother would be arriving from Marseille about 3 hours after our arrival, and one for us on the ground floor, which faced the back of the building. After unpacking, we went into our little patio and alas, I spotted 3 giant murals on the walls of buildings next to an empty block.  Had we gone to the other 1 bedroom apartment that faced the interior garden I would have missed it.

We then joined Karina and Thomas and went for a quick bite at the Karavan food market a few metres down the street. It looked like an empty piece of land where a lot of food caravans parked, some tables and benches were set in the middle, simple food and drinks and very popular. 

I just had sweet potato chips with a dipping sauce and they were great, but my always hungry "son in law" and my husband ordered a goulash dish served in a round bread.
Generally I found Hungarian food to be a bit heavy on meat, potatoes and bread, but we also had nice food in other restaurants.

Just like in Portugal every Cafe, restaurant or even an outdoor eating area like this has free wi-fi, and the password is usually written on the menus. Apart from the free wi-fi everywhere, in both countries the internet is also heaps faster than in Australia.

One downside was the currency, I knew Hungary had joined the European Union in 2004 but I wasn't aware they didn't use the Euro and I had taken euro notes that I hadn't spent in Portugal. 
Their currency is the Forint, so it was confusing always trying to work out the prices in Euros or Australian Dollars just to see if things were cheap or expensive. In some larger restaurants, hotels and shops they will accept Euros, but from the conversions the prices always seemed to be a bit higher than in Forints.

Karavan food market - food trucks with simple food, desserts and drinks, the free wi-fi sign

Budapest, Hungary's capital is divided by the Danube river with various bridges connecting the hilly Buda district where you find the cobblestone streets, the castle, the baths, to the flat modern and busy Pest district.

We still had some time before Thomas's parents and brother arrived, so we took a walk down to the river to cross one of it's dozen bridges.
The Liberty or Freedom Bridge, originally named Franz Joseph Bridge, is the shortest bridge in Budapest's centre, built between 1894 and 1896 with mythological sculptures and the country's coat of arms adorning its side. After World War II the bridge was rebuilt due to heavy damage.
The bridge is crossed by trams and cars, but there are plans to make it a pedestrian only bridge.

Liberty Bridge - bottom left is the Great Market Hall, the coat of arms on top and sides of the bridge

On the other side of the bridge is the Gellért Hill with the Liberty Statue or Freedom statue on the top, a statue that commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom and prosperity of Hungary.

The Danube River with the Elizabeth bridge in the distance and the Liberty Statue atop the Gellert Hill

After reaching the end of the bridge we returned to the hotel, admiring the monuments and statues along the way.
Statues, a church and a Museum

Interesting architecture, a bicycle in front of a shop window, a "man-statue" hanging from a shop's sign

At dinner time, the now family of 7 got together in the lobby to walk together the 800mt to the Anker Club restaurant, at Anker köz 1-3 for dinner. Thomas's Mom is celiac so she has to be extra careful with what she eats and this restaurant had a lot of gluten-free choices.
The food was nice, prices were reasonable and service was good.

Anker Club Restaurant - my salmon and two of the desserts

After dinner we walked to the end of the street to Erzsébet Square park where the  Budapest Eye is located. This 65mt high Ferris wheel, opened in March 2017 and is the largest in Europe.  Here people (not me!) can enjoy views over the city, with only the Basilica being higher.
We enjoyed a walk around the brightly lit monuments, even thought it was a week day the town was full of people enjoying the balmy night.

The Basilica, the Budapest Eye, a fountain sculpture at the Jewish Museum, Hello Hungary sign at the park

The Basilica (left), The Jewish Museum towers and a statue of a fountain at the Jewish Museum

Back in our street we stopped for a short while at the Karavan food trucks as the men wanted a coffee, and then it was time to go and rest.

Karavan food trucks at night

Monday, 14 May 2018

Monday Murals - Kids Play

A new mural had popped up in Bairro da Torre (suburb of Torre), Cascais,  since we were last there in September 2017.
On the corner of Travessa Robalo and Rua Estrela do Mar, just across from the German Lidl supermarket, the mural portrays 2 kids playing with a ball, with the title "Other angles".

After a bit of a search I managed to come across the artist's name on Instagram and then facebook - Shay Petricevich Costoya,  a young Brazilian artist living in Portugal.

Just peeping through from a building further down you can see on the second photo the mural - The Fisherman, that I posted in January this year.

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you; justfollow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit your fellow posters.  Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  Thanks.

"Other angles"

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Portugal - The wedding of the year - Day 11

No, it's not Meghan and Harry's wedding! 
The "wedding of the year" was the code name my niece Tania gave her wedding page on Facebook - T & B Wedding of the year 2018, which she set up in December 2017.

On this page invited guests were informed of various things related to the wedding as well as guests were able to post - eg: if anyone needed accommodation or transport arranged, various Youtube funny wedding videos, polls, photos, etc.

On Sunday 8th of April, we woke up to a sunny day, with a chance of rain later on in the day.

After a make up session, we put on our fancy clothes and were at my sister's house just down the road at 11.00am, so that we could nibble something and take  photos with the bride and the family.

The bridesmaids in Mint and Lilac dresses

Family before the wedding at my sister's place - my daughter in the middle and my other niece on the left were bridesmaids. (photo from the photographer)

Photo session over, we drove about 15 minutes to Quinta da Barreta,  Alcabideche, the venue where Tania and Bruno's wedding would take place at midday. 

The wedding venue - Quinta da Barreta

When the bride arrived and joined the groom under the white canopy, the Master of ceremonies called upon some of the couple's friends and family members who gave speeches or sang their praise about the young couple's love story. 
Some of the speeches were quite emotional and a lot of people had tears in their eyes including the bride and groom.



 It was then time for Tania and Bruno to say their vows and exchange the wedding rings.
Just as the bride started speaking the rain drops started falling and most of the guests who didn't have umbrellas scattered to the undercover area just outside the reception hall.

Bride and Groom listening to speeches, Tania reading her vows, showing their rings

The ceremony over, people congregated on the porch to take photos with the couple.

Our daughter, my husband, the bridal couple, me and Karina's partner (photo from the photographer)

Tania, who is a teacher in Angola is very artistic and was very involved with all decorations of the wedding venue. She used bottle corks which she had guests collect for her via a request on her "wedding of the year Facebook page"  and made the table numbers, the initials for their table, hearts and the very cute cake topper. She also put together game and art packs for the kids corner, printed cards with guests names for the tables, placards with funny sayings that some kids carried, scratchies for every guest, some of them with prizes - like a kiss from the bride, a dance with the bride or groom, a dinner with the couple.... All fabulous details that made the day special and intimate. 

Signs the bride made - "Keep calm girls, I'm still available" or "Uncle don't run away, 
my aunty is beautiful".
Bamboo poles with name cards where you could clip your instant camera photo, cork 
decorations, twigs with names of tables and guests, boab treet drawn by my husband's 13 year niece.
lapel flowers, table decoration, my husband and I with my sister and brother in law

After dinner, the first dance took place and later on at around 9pm the couple cut the cake and a slice was distributed to the guests and we toasted to their happiness with a glass of sparkling-wine.                                                                                     
The first dance

Toasting the bridal couple in front of the cake, the cake topper made by Tania

I have to praise Quinta da Barreta, the wedding venue for such wonderful work - the service was great, the desserts buffet was amazing,  the venue was beautiful inside and outside, the toilet facilities were modern, there was a kids room with cots, a kid's corner where they had Ipads and toys for them to play with. I didn't see the kitchen, but my sister said it was very clean and organized and that was one of the reasons they chose this venue to hold the ceremony. Five stars!!

The young crowd was still dancing away at 11pm when we decided to go home and realized that we hadn't taken a family photo where the groom was included. So I rounded the troops and one last photo was taken.

Family photo with the bridal couple (photos from the photographer) with the very last one being a fun photo :)

Wishing the wonderful couple all the happiness in the world!