visiting Budapest

Prague is better than Budapest. For the tourist. For me.

That said, it’s a somewhat similar experience. LOTS of walking. And I was happy to finally visit Buda and Pest.

I stayed near the Great Synagogue, largest outside NY City, on the floodplain Pest side. And not far from the NEW Budapest Eye.

Most of my photos are architecture and statuary. Much of this is more modern than Prague as Budapest has been destroyed in so many wars over the centuries.

The highlights are mostly over the Danube river on the hilly Buda side.

Autumn is a good time to visit. SLIGHTLY fewer tourists.

Buda Castle is no more. It’s a palace complex today, most built between 1749 and 1769.

This Archive building was one of my favourites.

Like Prague, Budapest is plagued with tourists, all Instagram influencers. 😀

Parliament in the background
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Prague Castle

Every tourist visits Prague Castle.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, it’s the largest ancient castle in the world, sprawling across the hill above Charles Bridge.

Built and expanded over hundreds of years, it’s an architectural Frankenstein.

At the start was a memorial to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Very interesting.

It takes a few hours to tour walking top to bottom. For a quick first look. The highlight is the Cathedral of St Vitus.

The main nave is massive.

Our very enthusiastic guide insisted that the BEST museum in Prague was here in the castle – the Lobkowicz Palace.

Original manuscripts from Mozart and Beethoven as well as the oldest and largest privately owned art collection in the Czech Republic.

As we stood outside the front door a distinguished gentleman entered. And returned. It was Prince William Lobkowicz himself, who grew up in Boston. He gave some gifts to our guide saying he had never overheard any other more accurately description of the collection. Our guide had tears in his eyes. It was an emotional moment for him.

The tour finishes with a walk downhill to the Charles Bridge.

An excellent half day.

Klementinum library, Prague

The Klementinum is included in every list of beautiful libraries of the world. It was one my must see things in Prague.

I love their collection of historic globes, some from the late 1600s. This gallery itself dates back to 1772 and the books are still shelved as they were then.

Here is kept the most valuable book in Bohemia – an ancient illustrated Codex from about 1085. When I asked the guide conceded that the one we could see was a copy. The original is there in an environmentally controlled vault.

Ticket price is about $13. It includes the Baroque library hall, Meridian hall and city views from the Astronomical tower.

Every tourist visits the Prague astronomical clock, first installed 1410. This facility was one of the important research centres of astronomy.

First surprise, climbing rickety old stairs 68 meters.

Next — you only get a sneak peak at the library gallery. Those are all rare and original books from Jesuit history. No can touch.

The highlight was getting up for town vistas in clear weather.

More photos.

walking Prague

I hadn’t realized how tourist-swarmed Prague has become. I visited in October, low season, yet everything was packed.

My hostel — Mosaic — was superb. Best breakfast I can recall.

To get oriented I took one of many available free walking tours: Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square, Astronomical Clock, …

Guides on free tours are paid by tip. They only survive if they are very good at the job.

My group had one awkward moment at the Jewish District when a tourist brought up the Palestinian cause … An important issue, but standing on ground where Nazis had murdered 90% of the Jews was wrong time, wrong place. We shut him down.

There are quirky, unusual attractions at every turn.

Wandering Prague at night with a flask of red wine was even better than daytime.

Yep. I hung out around the Charles Bridge every evening.

Nazi Party rally grounds, Nuremberg

Recall the egomaniac psychopath who convinced normal people to elect him?

The ‘great and unmatched’ wannabe dictator.

Trump is not Hitler. Hitler was worse. Hitler was smarter. 

Trump is a pathetic comedy version — more like Charlie Chaplin.

Charlie Chaplin

Much of the NAZI rally footage we’ve seen comes from Nuremberg.

Trump dreams of rallies like this.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

An estimated 200,000 people each year visit the Nazi party rally grounds. It’s crumbling, in fact.

Germans documented everything and most of that documentation survived.

I visited the Nazi Party Rally Grounds Documentation Center, one of those storehouses. They have the name of every Jew, Gypsy, Homosexual, political opponent put on a train to a death camp, for example.

IF you’ve been somehow duped into believing the Holocaust didn’t happen, NEVER speak to me again. You are a moron.

related – Like it or not, Nuremberg’s Nazi past is a tourist attraction

Nuremberg walking tour

I joined a walking tour of Nuremberg Old Town: Hauptmarkt, historic Albrecht Dürer House, and spectacular twin-towered 14th-century Gothic St. Lawrence Church.

The highlight was a fine climb and visit to the castle.

Here are some photos.

Tour Guide
Europe ALWAYS under renovation

Albrecht Dürer – selfie for his prospective bride

 

Stuttgart Animal Prison

Wilhelma is a zoologicalbotanical garden in Stuttgart  … around 11,500 animals from around the world …

I’ve got mixed feelings when visiting zoos. I’m ASSuming it’s worth locking up these bored inmates to bring attention to the survivors in the wild.

I found this zoo to be a bit cramped. And — like Europe — about 30% under renovation.

They do have two snow leopards.