Budapest – a Small Visual Trip

On the first days of 2017 the streets of Budapest seem a little empty. Just some tourists roam the Jewish District. Hungaria’s capital and also biggest city with more than 1.7 million inhabitants has a lot to offer. The city is rich of culture, architecture and also a little nostalgia of the fallen Soviet-Union can be found. As 24mmjournalism was only in Budapest for a few days this little introduction to the city in pictures, does not claim to be a perfect travel guide but to leave some impressions of great places to visit when in Budapest.

Jewish Quarter and Great Synagogue

The very rich jewish history of Budapest heavily influence the old town of the city. Also of the very dark times of the german occupation and the transformation of todays ‘District VII’ into the ghetto of Budapest left their marks. The district is studded with Holocaust Memorials. Furthermore to be found: Europe’s biggest synagogue (Hungarian: Nagy Zsinagóga) in Dohány utca. This place is truely worth a visit for every traveller. Located close to the subway station of Astoria one can enter for a very appropriate fee – during times where there is no prayer (opening hours can be found on the website of the synagogue). There is free tours through the grounds in different languages. On the side of the temple is a mass grave of people who died in the ghetto during the nazi occupation. Behind one can walk a memorial park that includes a metal weeping willow with names of victims of the Shoah. Also a museum can be found on the grounds – close to where Theodor Herzl was born, founder of modern day Zionism – with plenty exhibits on jewish history in all over Europe.

Impressions from around the city

Staying in an appartement close to the city-center leads to the advantage of being able to walk the city. The atmosphere of architecture and people can not be described in a few words. As a friend said an “Old Europe” style can be noticed. Similar to Vienna many coffee houses can be seen, but also the influence of the Osman reign can be felt. Budapest is known for its fabulous Turkish baths. Unfortunately due to a bad cold we were not able to visit one.

Great Market Hall

A very vivid, colorful and not only touristic place is the Great Market Hall. On the ground floor one can buy any ingredient imaginable. On the first floor a mixture of bits and pieces selling shops and booths with various kinds of food can be found.

Memento Park

One of the most impressing and also bizarre places to visit is Memento Park. The park is located way off the city center. From Kelenföld station one can hop onto an old city bus that drives through the outskirts of Budapest. The ride takes about 15 minutes from Kelenföld eventhouzgh Memento Park is the second stop. Arriving one finds themself in the middle of nowhere. At the entrance of the park old soviet-style music is playing. Various sculptures reminding of the status of a so-called satellite state of the Soviet-Union are collected. Bela Kun, Lenin, Karl Marx, Engels and other memorial statues overwatch the visitor.

Ruin Pub Szimpla Kert

The quite touristic Szimpla Kert – also located in the Jewish District is one of Budapest’s most famous so-called ruin pubs. The tremendous old house that is cut open in parts is filled with little bars, a stage with a live-band, hookah lounges, an art cinema, a souvenir- and a bike shop. Even though obviously being a touristic place Szimpla is very worth a visit. But do not bring your own drinks at night – bags are checked.

All in all I can only recommend to every traveller to stop by Budapest. If for a few days or a longer time one can enjoy themselves very well and walk around the city. The only thing not so easy to find is real alternative sub-culture. With a little more time than a few days I am shure though that there might be some things to discover.

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Streetlife in Barcelona [Picture Gallery]

As I am on vacation in Barcelona right now I want to share some snapshots I took around the city. An analogue series will follow as soon as I am back to Munich.

 

Day Seven in Athens – little retrospective view on the past week

After not ‘travel-blogging’ for five days I am back with a normal daily report.

Evicted camp Ekostation
On one of the tents refugees left a message.

The past days have been quite full of beautiful impressions, as well as shocking ones and fun moments. As we were driving to Thessaloniki we got the message from on-site that police started evicting the leftovers of self-established and -organized refugee camp ‘Ekostation’. We arrived on site when the eviction had basically been finished by police. We whitnessed the empty camp. Colleagues from reflektierter-bengel.de and me released a multimedia article: Camp Eviction at Macedonian Border

As we returned to Athens we had a small problem with a place to sleep. Chaotic as usual we forgot to book an AirBnB, but found one last shot. Back in Exarchia I have been told by an activist I interviewed on his work here (Article will follow)  that the district had faced several raids by police against squads during the past days. The people we had food with in their squad are also very worried about what police will do in the next days. We will follow the situation and will try to catch police as they are raiding.

Attacks by Anarchists out of Polytechniko University
Policeman standing in front of burning busses.

On Wednesday night anarchists conducted a militant action against two busses in front of the occupied university. As we were around the corner and could here the tear-gas grenades being fired and Molotow-cocktails being thrown we dropped by and took some pictures. My gallery from that night can be found here:

 Police in fight with anarchists at Polytechniko

Yesterday colleagues and I first visited City Plaza Hotel to hand out at the bar there and talk to some staff of their media team. We want to interview either refugee or supporter on the situation in the hotel right now. This will follow today hopefully. The City Plaza Hotel was holding a demonstration in the afternoon (Article following – four pictures below).

At night we hung out a little at Exarchia Square always checking if there were maybe once again fights between anarchists and police.

One thing I have to say after seven days in the wonderful city of Athens, you never know where the day leads. Planning does hardly ever work.

Stay tuned for a lot more to come -even though I am flying home tommorow.