Tag Archives: Christmas

What happened to late nights?


Budapest Danube Panorama

A couple of weeks back my wife started suffering with a bit of toothache that started getting a little worst so after an unsuccessful trip to a local dentist we bit the bullet and took a trip into the Big City! Budapest is an incredibly beautiful city and a place that we used to enjoy visiting a lot, however our 3 1/2 years in our rural paradise has turned one of Europes most vibrant, beautiful and interesting cities into a noisy, smelly and sprawling monstrosity. As you can see from the image above, the beauty certainly has certainly not left the city so I guess the changes must be within us, despite both myself and my wife being bought up and living in and around large Towns and Cities for most of our life trips to the big city are now viewed with a sense of trepidation rather than excitement!

St Stephens Basilika Budapest

The major difficulty that we had with our local dentist is that of communication, the English language is rarely spoken in the East of Hungary and even less so in rural communities and although our Hungarian has vastly improved in the time we have spent here we still find it difficult and as neither of us have found a need to converse with a dentist it proved very difficult. However Budapest has a thriving “dental Tourism” market with many dentists catering to British visitors due to the cost of British Dental treatment, so we made an appontment at a dentist recommended by a friend booked our favourite budget hotel and left home a stupid o’clock tohead to the city to get my wifes tooth fixed up, get some Christams shopping done and by chance, catch up with an old friend who was in Budapest on business.
After spending the morning shopping and consuming a cheeky pint in my favourite Budapest pub we went along to the dentist followed by a brief trip to a walk in X-Ray centre, which can only be described as an oddity. The X-Ray place was fairly well hidden and when we went in everyone who worked there seemd to be dressed in “scrubs” and had an average age of 15, boy does that make me sound old! However the process was exceptionally quick and the surroundings whilst sparse were comfortable, clean and modern, I think I did work out why the staff were so young though, the staff took the patient into a room and then zapped them with an xray and stood just the other side of a plain wooden door. The entire process took just 10 minutes and we were out, there was a steady stream of folk coming in to get the teeth X-Rayed and it got me wondering how many of these things they would do each day; hundreds, probably more like thousands… I guess by the time the staff have reached their twenties they have grown an extra arm!

Budapest Christmas Market

The day and shopping done and refreshed after a pitstop at the hotel we headed into the City for a night of food and drink and obligatory photographs, our first target was naturally the Christmas Market, we have incredibly fond memories of the Birmingham Christmas Market in the UK and in comparison the one in Budapest is a little disapointing, the food though is remarkably good and a meat eaters paradise! From the superb array of Hungarian sausages through to whole smoked ham hocks, of course all this needs to be washed down with lashings of Gluhwein and mulled apple cider 😉

Csülök

Of all the scrumptious goodies on offer at the market, the smoked pork knuckles or Csülök (pron: chewlook) pictured above are my absolute favourite, we use them all year round and as well as being cheap and tasty they are incredibly versatile. We ambled around the market munching and drinking and of course taking photographs, I had restricted myself to my 50mm lens as it handles low light situations so much better but had also taken along a flash gun to try and light the shots a little better, I found the focal lenth in the market itself a little restrictive and reinforces how much I would like a fast lens in the 30-35mm range but I do quite like the shots I took, I have posted a selection below but if you click on any of the pictures you will be taken to my website where you can peruse at your leisure.

Christmas Market Food

We then took the short trip from Vorosmarty Ter down to the River and my 50mm really did me proud, I had bought my tripod and set up on the banks of the Danube as I wanted to take some long exposure panoramic shots, it took a while to get used to a much longer focal length but once I had my composition sorted it was a revelation. I had previously used much shorter focal lengths for my panoramas (18-20mm) and always been disapointed with the results, using the longer focal length allows objects much further back in the shot to become prominent like the Matyas Templom behind the Chain Bridge (Lanchid) in the image below or the full panorama at the top of the page. The image sizes when you are processing them are ridiculously large but the results are fantastic and they are images that I am really happy with and because of the file sizes they could easily be printed out at 2 meters wide, infact I am thinking of having the top image printed to go above our bed as the tones match the furniture in the bedroom!

Budapest Christmas Market

All made up we ambled back in the direction of the hotel thinking we would spend a couple of hours in a lively and friendly, though not too loud bar before we headed to bed ready for the journey home the following morning. In the UK both myself and my wife were no strangers to late nights out chatting and drinking and it was a rare night out when we got home before 1am but things seem to have really changed, walking back to the hotel we were discussing our options as to where we were going to set up camp for the evening. I guess country living really has changed us as neither of us were ready for anything other than an early night, the party folk seem to have become the stay at home folk and we were tucked up in bed at our hotel before 10pm…

Royalty Free Images

Advertisements