Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Bratislava - Pozsony

Arrive abroad in the morning... - an old saying told us.

If you arrive in Bratislava in a gloomy morning, with apparently endless torrential rains don't expect to find any open Museums, Coffees or Pubs. Before 10 o'clock all are closed! Even so if you are lucky (as I was) you may find one pub with wide open doors, where the chairs are on the tables, but the waiter, while he's cleaning up, kindly serves you a cup of fresh mint-tea with lemon. If you are even more lucky, the rain stops and you can discover Bratislava carelessly.

St. Michael's Gate - Mihály kapu

First thing you do, as an ordinary turist: take an illustrated sightseeing city map from the first Information Office you see. Then locate yourself and the sights you want to see. Then try to find the first place or historical building using the map. At this moment you will have a surprise! The streets are so short that after few steps you have already reached your targeted building! Of course, if you are very lazy, you can have a tour with this funny little car, certainly you will hear lots of interesting facts about the city.

The old town of Bratislava is a tiny beauty, well kept and looked after. Monumental baroque palaces surround small squares, friendly old houses line along the narrow streets, tiny shops and pubs hide in the shadow of the doorways.

The Main square with the Old Town-hall - Főtér, a Régi Városházával

Even if you are alone, you won't feel lonely, as here and there you meet friendly local "people": one salutes you rising his hat, one chats with you if you sit on a bench, an other just shows you the best place to take photos, and one even looks up from the canal-hole... Here they are:

Let's chat... - Beszélgessünk...

The photographer at the corner.... - Fotós a sarkon

The Bratislava Castle sits enthroned on the top of the hill, several stairways and steep streets lead you to it. From up there there is a splendid view of the Danube with the New Bridge and modern Bratislava, across the river.

Bratislava Castle - Pozsony vára

After all these walking, you deserve a great lunch! There are several small restaurants in the old town, that serve Slovakian dishes. But I recommend you Restaurácia HRAD, up in the castle, where while you taste traditional sheep cheese noodle or other local specialities, you can also enjoy a beautiful view on the old town.

Other must see places: St. Martin's Cathedral, the coronation church of several Hungarian kings and queens, the Grassalkovich / Presidential Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, the National Theatre and the Hviezdoslavovo... And many - many more, but all very close by, in the old town of Bratislava.

Walking along the lanes you even forget that actually you are in the capital city of Slovakia, as the old town is so relaxing and friendly, with a bit of medieval tone.

Hviezdoslavovo: Chess-players - Sakkozók

The New Bridge - Az Új híd

Cute souvenirs: Straw-dolls - Aranyos emléktárgyak: szalmababák

Sunday, 22 August 2010

New beginning - Újrakezdés

After more than a year of silence I considered that it's time to restart writing. I swept the dust from the old blogging page, redesigned the layout and I"m ready to share a lot of experience. Let's see what happened around me recently...

Több, mint egy év hallgatás után újra kedvet kaptam írni. Lesöpörtem a port a régi oldalról, kissé át is alakítottam és készen állok megosztani egy rakás élményt. Lássuk mi történt mostanában...

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

A piece of Heaven - Egy darabka menyország

There are places that attract you by their simplicity.

Last week I visited my relatives in Gyergyó - Gheorgheni.
They have a holiday cottage nearby the town, in an absolutely amazing place.

The fresh air, the smell of pine-trees, the green of the grass, the colourful wildflowers, the taste of the berries and the song of the birds enchants your senses.

The everyday stress disappears in seconds, and in a few minutes you feel totally relaxed. In such moments your elementary instincts wake up and burst out from forgotten inner depths.
You need to go for a walk for the excitement of the discovery: every step leads you to a new wonder hidden in a plant, a flower, a tiny mushroom. If you are patient and humble birds, ants, butterflies accompany you on your way, uncovering their little secrets.
You feel that you rediscover yourself, you feel the joy of freedom.

This is happiness.

Do we need something else?

White wagtail - Barázdabillegető

Bilberry - Fekete áfonya

On the fields - A réten

Tiny wonders - apró csodák

Friday, 10 July 2009

Calea Victoriei Bucuresti

There are many interesting places in Bucharest that worths to visit.
I present you Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue), the major avenue in the center of Bucharest.

Atheneul Roman (Romanian Athenaeum) with the statue of Eminescu, the famous Romanian poet

Biblioteca Centrala Universitara
The Library of University of Bucharest, restored after burning down during the 1989 Revolution

Galeria de Arta
Entrance to the Royal Palace - which held the Art Gallery

The 1989 Revolution Monument on the Revolution Square

Teatrul Odeon
Odeon Theatre

Old and new: Novotel Building

Hotel Capitol, Palatul Telefoanelor (Palace of Telephones) and Casa Capsa (Capsa House)

Covered street with small coffee houses

CEC Building

Bucharest Financial Plaza

If you would like to see more pictures about Bucharest, you may have a look at my highlighted blogs:

Mighty Bucharest

Blog updated

For several years I have used Yahoo 360 for blogging.
Now Yahoo decided to close this blogging service on 13 July, 2009 and recommended us to move our blogs to our Yahoo profile. The place they suggested didn't satisfy my expectation. Thus I decided to move the most interesting blogs here on blogspot, where I already had an account and few posts.
I copied my old blogs on the date they were posted on Yahoo. If you are interested reading them, you can find them via Blog Archive. Enjoy them!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Living kitsch

Kitsch is a term that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an existing style. The term is also used more closely in referring to any art that is pretentious to the point of being in bad taste, and also commercially produced items that are considered trite or crass. Kitsch is most closely associated with art that is sentimental; however, it can be used to refer to any type of art that is deficient for similar reasons—whether it tries to appear sentimental, glamorous, theatrical, or creative, kitsch is said to be a gesture imitative of the superficial appearances of art. It is often said that kitsch relies on merely repeating convention and formula, lacking the sense of creativity and originality displayed in genuine art. Kitsch became defined as an aesthetically impoverished object of shoddy production, meant more to identify the consumer with a newly acquired class status than to invoke a genuine aesthetic response. (Wikipedia)

After this brief introduction I present you my ultimate experience on kitsch.

Recently I spent few nights in a small hotel ... well, it worth to tell its name: Pensiunea King. Seeing only the name and the prices, after you have booked the room by phone, you might expect something of high class.

You enter innocently the establishment, get the key and start the experience. First of all you can hardly go upstairs as there are photocells at each step that switch on and off the lights as you walk along. That might seem very environmental friendly solution, but when you try to climb an unknown staircase with heavy luggage in your hands it's really dangerous. The walls are imitating bricks and colored with red.

Finally, you get to the second floor where a hilarious hall welcomes you. Wooden covered walls, other photocells that switch on and very quickly off the lights and "breathtaking" decorations: commercial photos of nude women cut from magazines or calendars in frame, giant plastic flowers, paintings presenting idyllic nature...

You enter the room and remain speechless... First thing that catches your eyes is again the brick-like reddish wall. After your brain survived this shock you realize that actually that is a bar-counter with all that it needs and doesn't need: bar chairs, disco ball, glasses, fridge, garden gnomes and plastic or ceramic flowers on the shells.

Then you want to explore the rest of the
room and look around. An other surprise: the red wall continues and ends up in a huge fireplace, decorated with plastic bonsai trees. But there are also wooden logs put in ready to be light up... which might melt the plastic flowers put on them or even burn down the whole place as the whole stuff is made of plaster-boards.
But don't worry...
If you really want to light a fire in the fireplace you only have to switch on the button next to it and you have instantly artificial fire created with two lamps, some orange fabrics and an air-blower, that moves the fabrics! In a totally dark room it looks like real fire, indeed.

The exploration continues to the sleeping area, where you find an immense and luxuriantly decorated bed that looks like it was made of milk chocolate rather then wood. A same sort of wardrobe and bedroom tables accompany the arrangement. The decoration is educative: a hypothetical representation of a landscape, maybe from the Mars, considering the tone of the painting.

The lamps can be switched on by touching the glass, and even have different light-intensity after several touches. Very funny, indeed, until you realize that the manufacturer forgot to end the cycle with the switch-off touch. So you have to pull out the plug if you want to end the show. You might notice also the tiger-face mat under the lamp... I hope you won't expect me to comment this.

Finally, the bathroom... with photocells that
control illumination and ventilation... again very environmental friendly solution if you tend to forget to switch off the lights when you leave the area. But if you stay relatively motionless for few minutes in certain places... you are left in totally darkness and you have to wave or even make desperate movements to be observed by the sensors. Having light again you notice some well-chosen objects that complete the picture.

The toilet brush support is actually an elephant with butterfly bow...

...some beer glasses have advanced to be tooth brush glasses...
and of course the plastic flowers can't be missed.

If you still have appetite you may descend to the restaurant where you already know what to expect regarding the sort of decoration and lights. (I deliberately avoid the word "style").

Being sick of all these you rush out to have fresh air and observe the front-side of the building and read on the board that the names of the companies that run this pension are: Promisiunea (=promise) , Limita (=limit) and Folli.

From this moment on your brain gives up the struggle and you resign...

But after you process all this shocks you put yourself questions.

Is there any hope people finally realize that all of this is a massive kitsch? Does it exist a way out of this horror?
I tried to present with humor and easiness but it is about a serious disorder that tend to infect the world. Lack of culture, aesthetic education and distortion of senses and incapacity in recognizing real values produce these monsters.
And even if I know that all these are junk I support indirectly the kitsch. Even if I never bought such objects I would pay for the hotel room and thus I would support kitsch industry. It would be a solution to boycott kitsch production simply ignoring kitsch products. But that would be a tough problem as modern world is based on mass kitsch production and kitsch living. Kitsch is cheap as it is easy to make and buy and cheapness is a major reason for millions of producers and consumers.
Worse is when people spend to much to make kitsch as it becomes expensive and then they consider that is luxury and fancy, like this hotel...
Should I pay other people stupidity?
I could have left the establishment on the motive that I won't pay for kitsch... but they wouldn't have understood and haven't learned anything from the lesson.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Mighty Bucharest - Nagyszerű Bukarest

If you want to see something unusual, unexpected, funny or weird simply have a walk in Bucharest...and you find treasures. Ha valami szokatlant, váratlant, vicceset vagy furcsát szeretnél látni, egyszerűen menj el sétálni Bukarestben... és kincseket találsz.

... funny street plates, that makes you feel at home,
...vicces utcanevek, amik láttán otthonosan érzed magad,

"The street where I kissed Mimi - Az utca ahol megpusziltam Mimit"

... an old airplane landed in the middle of a roundabout,
... egy régi repülőgép, ami a körfogalom közepén szállt le,

"Happy landing - Boldog leszállás"

... an ingenious way to keep visitors out of the Communist Hero's Mausoleum in Carol Park,
... a látogatók távoltartásának egy leleményes módja, a Kommunista Hősök Emlékművénél, a Carol Parkban,
"No entry - Bemenni tilos"

... pubs with suggestive names,
... sokatmondó kocsmanevek,

"Fără şpagă = No bribe - Megvesztegetés nélkül"

... and the statue of the famouse Romanian writer, Ion Luca Caragiale, having the body of a former Lenin statue, and the head of the writer.
... és a híres román író, Ion Luca Caragiale szobra, aminek a teste egy régi Lenin szoboré, a feje az íróé.

"I.L. Caragiale"

...yes, all these, any many others, could happen only here, as in Romania everything is possible...
... igen, ezek és még sok más, csakis itt történhetnek meg, hiszen Romániában minden lehetséges...

Sunday, 14 June 2009


The swallows came back to the nest this year, too.
They "talk" all day long, I like to listen to them, it is so relaxing.
But it seems that they don't like to be photographed.
Actually, their nest is in a corner of my window and if I want to take a picture, I have to open it and lean out of the window. This scare them and they either hide in the nest or fly away and wait somewhere till I disappear.
I succeed to take only few and not very great pictures of them.

One of the swallow-parents guarding the nest.

Is anybody there?

Hello! I am the baby and I am hungry!
(You may notice the yellow spot near its beak, that the baby swallows have.)

I am coming!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Haystacks again

The season of my favourite things has arrived...
Yesterday I noticed them on the hill, so I took my camera today, not to miss them.

They were still there...

This one has a funny top that is in contrast with the curve of the hill.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Traveler IQ

This Traveler IQ was calculated on Friday, June 19, 2009 at 12:26PM GMT by comparing this person's geographical knowledge against the Web's Original Travel diary's 4,179,139 travelers who've taken the challenge.

It seems that my Traveler and Geography IQ has increased since last year, as now it is 109 and last year it was /only/ 94.
I haven't traveled a lot since my last test, I haven't studied maps... I think I was luckier this time.
What is your score?