The invisible contrast – visiting St. Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion.

The Fisherman’s Bastion litters down the hill, the tongue of its stairs slowly descending towards the city.  The view from a delicate mixture of neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque structure is simply magnificent. After all you are on the hill, looking towards the houses and its red roofs, even more visible during a cloudy day.

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4 days wandering in Budapest.

I love city breaks! They give me enough time to get the taste of the city and recharge my batteries for the upcoming week of work. For a short period of time I am finding myself in a different country, surrounded by different people, eating local cuisine and enjoying sightseeing to the full.  If I could afford it, I would be on a city break every week!

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Getting lost in the Labyrinth beneath the Buda castle.

The corridors took us deeper inside the guts of the Labyrinth. The electric lights flickered, and the yellowish glare uttered strange shapes on the walls. The path was dump and mud stuck to the sole of our shoes. The wax figures looked at us with a question hanging in the air, waiting for us to stop and look back at them. We were not entirely sure in which part of the Labyrinth we were. For a moment I had a feeling we were here before, passing through too quickly. The caves seemed cold and hot at the same time…

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The frozen sanctuary – St Stephan’s basilica, Budapest

A church is a sanctuary of silence and darkness. An escape from the noisy streets; from the people rushing around; a temple of thousands of thoughts and prayers. There are sublime shadows hidden in the corners, that are brought alive only by the kind flames of small candles: the eyes of saints tracing your every step, following your soul, probing your feelings and awaiting your attention. The cross on the wall, the stained-glass windows allowing enough light to illuminate the floor, walls and altar, the faces of the saints and the rows of empty chairs. A consecrated space, wearing a dark outfit, with the strings of lights to lift up the mood of the congregation.

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The Szechenyi Baths, Budapest – hot spring on a winter evening.

The deep blue sky was slowly turning into blackness. The golden building almost touched the sky, caving into the night, changing colours. There were perfect neo-baroque ornaments on the main entrance façade that finally managed to escape from the prying eyes of the crowd, forcing itself into the humid pools. The aim united the crowd: to absorb some sulphate, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, which float lazily in the water. We joined in, driven by the tardiness of the intensive day, hoping to regain our lost strengths. Seeking comfort in the caring hands of the two thermal springs, pulsating under the pavement.

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Praying inside Gellért Hill – the Cave Church of Budapest.

I was standing in front of the Cave Church, located inside Gellért Hill. A beautiful ,but cold evening was slowly turning into night. The intense green colour of Liberty Bridge was gradually dissolving, letting the darker shadows take over. The street lamps were gently polishing sharp corners of the world. The steam coming out of Gellért Baths borrowed some colour from the street lamps and made me regret leaving the towel and swimming suite in the hotel. Sinking into natural hot springs located outside on the cold January evening would be a perfect finish to our first evening in Budapest. Instead we have visited an unusual church, located inside the cave, formed by the thermal springs.

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Cat Café Budapest – drink some serenity with your coffee.

There is such a calming presence about cats. Their moves are slow and sleepy, but they can be quick and sharp when needed. You can stroke and play with them, but only if they want to. You can caress their soft and gentle fur, when they climb at you and slowly nestle on your laps. You can watch them asleep, oblivious to the world. If they do not want to play, they will make sure you get the hint. After all, they are the kings of ignorance and comfort.

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