Central Europe - Budapest
Budapest, Tanyascarda, Gödöllői,
The transition from Bucharest to Budapest was uneventful - bus rides to and from airports, waiting in lines, etc... That evening we walked recovered from another early morning and prepared for a more interesting day.
We started out at the Citadel, or Citadella, on the hill above the city. The fortress was built in the 1850s on a plateau more than 700 feet above the city. The Liberty Statue shares the summit of the hill. It was generously donated by the Soviet Union commemorating those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom and prosperity of Hungary.
The next day we visited a farm about 40 miles SE of Budapest. Turns out this wasn't just any old farm. They breed the famous Lippizzaner horse. We were treated to a horse cart ride (in the rain) and an arena performance of riding skills. (oh, and a taste of Hungarian apricot schnapps!) Tanyacsárda is an 'event center' with a restaurant featuring traditional Hungarian cuisine and Gipsy music in addition to the horses and other animals.
St Michael's was our first formal concert of the tour. It was a little intimidating to stand in front of a full house and put in our very first performance in this kind of space.
We left Budapest early in the morning to drive to Bratislava in Slovakia. Our last stop in Hungary was the Basilica in Esztergom. The height of the dome inside is over 200 feet and it is billed as the biggest 18th century building in the world. It is 350 feet long, 150 feet wide and with a volume of almost 200,000 cubic feet the reverb time is 10 seconds (a statistic that is important to us choral people). We sang a single, very quiet song, and it filled the entire space. Amazing to say the least! The organ is quite impressive and the CD I purchased in the gift shop did not disappoint. The Franck Chorale #3 really shows off the instrument and the space.
- Esztergom Basilica
- 360 Panorama of Esztergom Basilica - I took this one with my iPhone. It's not 100% but it gives you the general idea of the place. Click and drag your mouse to navigate the image.
On to Bratislava...