Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Random Budapest


Here's random left over bits from walking around mostly on the Pest side of Budapest where the Parliament is and the cute little Budapest Eye. OK, it's not small but it's not as big as the London Eye.

Budapest Museums


Budapest has some great museums like most European cities. It's also where my new favorite artist Victor Vasarely comes from so there's a museum devoted to him. I first noticed his work recently in a Frankfurt museum and it was great so I'll start with that museum. We also visited the Hungarian National Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, and the Budapest National Museum. The Kuntshalle Contemporary Art Museum was redoing their exhibits so there wasn't much open for the price. They pretty much discouraged us from buying tickets so we didn't. There's just a few pics of the exterior here.

Budapest Városliget Park and Vajdahunyad Castle


Városliget Park or City Park is a wonderful place with Vajdahunyad Castle. I really love this castle because it's an intentional mashup of old styles.
Vajdahunyad Castle was built in 1896 as part of the Millennial Exhibition which celebrated the 1,000 years of Hungary since the Hungarian Conquest of the Carpathian Basin in 895. The castle features copies of several landmark buildings from different parts the Kingdom of Hungary, especially the Hunyad Castle in Transylvania (now in Romania). As the castle contains parts of buildings from various time periods, it displays different architectural styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. Originally, it was made from cardboard and wood, but it became so popular that it was rebuilt from stone and brick between 1904 and 1908.

Buda Castle District and a Labyrinth


We went up the funicular to the top of the Buda Castle District just for the fun-icular of it. This time we turned right and checked out the rest of the Castle District with Fisherman's Bastion. We also went underneath the area and  wandered through a dark labyrinth. The only thing left was to fly over but I didn't see a way to do that so that's as much as we covered there.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Carnikava Latvia


The embassy running club hired a bus to take them to a race in nearby Carnikava on the Baltic Sea. We joined the running club for a day, but not for running. Instead we took a nice hike through the woods and along the beach. We had to dodge the runners here and there but it was a relaxing day in nature as the temperatures finally climbed out of the freezing zone this weekend.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Happiness Report 2019

The annual World Happiness Report is out again and March 20th is the International Day of Happiness. The report measures six key variables supporting well-being: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption. I first saw this in the news in 2016 and have checked it out every year for Happiness Day. It's interesting to see how the rankings change for the countries I've lived in.