Sunday, May 6, 2012

Travels to Budapest &Hungarian Countryside

I am having a fabulous time traveling in Hungary and Vienna, Austria with one wonderful day spent in Slovenia. This part of the world is absolutely beautiful and filled with castles and art but also the tragedies of WWII and the communist invasion. I am on this trip as part of a photography workshop with Profundo Journeys. There are ten of us in the group and I am also learning to use my Canon SLR digital camera the proper way, not on the automatic setting! And I am proud to say that not only can I operate my camera manually but I also know what every setting in the Menu is for. My plan is to learn to take better reference photographs for my own artwork. I am writing this from Vienna, Austria but I will begin with a little bit about Budapest and Hungary. We spent four days in the Pest side of Budapest (main part of the city) with two side trips to the Buda side. 

Much of the city has been rebuilt but there are still signs of destruction from the Nazis during WWII, this building is damaged from bullets and mortar shells. The Nazis left in 1945 and Budapest was under communist rule until 1989. We had dinner with a young couple and the husband talked about living in Budapest under the communist laws. Homes and buildings were divided up into apartments, residents were allowed to have only so much space. He said you had to apply for a passport in order to leave the country and residents were only allowed to leave once every three to five years. He recalled a time when his mother was leaving on a trip and physically pulled off a train and sent back home because it was believed she was going to flee. 

St Matthias, Buda, is a beautiful church with beautiful tile roofs and a variety of architecture styles.

 This photo is a little out of order, it is Sacred Heart Church in Koszeg, Hungary.
 Back to Budapest, this is Liberty Bridge over the Danube River connecting Buda and Pest. The trolley is crossing the bridge in this picture.
 Parliament buildings taken from Buda.
 Out of order again ... we visited Sárkány Panzio (small inn or B&B) in the Hungarian countryside for lunch and to photograph the horses. Our hostess is Millie and she loves her horses very much!
 Here is the skating rink in Budapest during the summer. I loved the composition of the boats and took several pictures .... I think they would look great in colored pencil!
We visited the Jewish synagogue which is the second largest synagogue in the world. During WWII there were 70,000 Jewish people living in Budapest and they were forced into the Jewish ghetto or killed. It is such an atrocity because 600,000 were killed by the Nazis but even more so, with the help of Hungarians. There is a moving memorial outside of the synagogue with a giant "weeping willow" tree in which each leaf holds the name of a person who died. This is a close up of one of the branches.


sue said...

Lovely photos - and it looks as though the weather is being kind to you :-)

I must get back to Vienna to see the Lipizzaners at the Spanish Riding School (again) !!

Casey Klahn said...

Good post, Kendra. I'm lucky my wife takes the photos, since I am confused by cameras!

WW II was an epic tragedy, and I am proud of my army veteran father who helped liberate Italy back then. Glad that Budapest (still calling it that - I am an old dog) remembers and memorializes its times under tyranny.

Kendra said...

Casey, learning how to take good photos is technology which is the "other side of the brain" for us artists! Not easy! I found the city of Budapest and it's history fascinating.

Sue, one of the women with us was able to pick up the last ticket to see the LIpizzaners and was so happy she did, fabulous show.

Thank you both for the posts!