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Thread: Travel Guides

  1. #11
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    Why not Budapest too?

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    Senior Member Loddfafner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneEnglishNorman View Post
    Why not Budapest too?
    I've been there before, and was disappointed. The natives seemed unreasonably cranky with foreigners who did not speak their language which is almost understandable in a city like Paris or New York but not in one where the language isnt even indo-european. I really do try to learn the rudiments of the language of any country I pass through, but my phrasebook Hungarian just seemed to backfire.

    While Prague was prosperous whenever architecture was interesting, and was spared most of the major wars, Budapest got all the more destructive wars plus a few extras such as the Huns and the Turks so most of the city is of about the same historical period as, say, Brooklyn.

    It does have some wierdly twisted touches like mihrabs in their churches, or an exhibit of a decaying body in a natural history museum.

    I should give the place another chance though. They've got that collection of Soviet-era statues in some park on its outskirts. I'd like to get inside the spectactular neogothic parliament building, and maybe I should not be so wary of those XVI century Turkish baths.
    The sitters in the hall seldom know
    The kin of the new-comer:
    The best man is marred by faults,
    The worst is not without worth.
    -- The Havamal, #133 (trans. Auden and Taylor)

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loddfafner View Post
    I've been there before, and was disappointed. The natives seemed unreasonably cranky with foreigners who did not speak their language which is almost understandable in a city like Paris or New York but not in one where the language isnt even indo-european. I really do try to learn the rudiments of the language of any country I pass through, but my phrasebook Hungarian just seemed to backfire.

    While Prague was prosperous whenever architecture was interesting, and was spared most of the major wars, Budapest got all the more destructive wars plus a few extras such as the Huns and the Turks so most of the city is of about the same historical period as, say, Brooklyn.

    It does have some wierdly twisted touches like mihrabs in their churches, or an exhibit of a decaying body in a natural history museum.
    OK.

    Well I totally agree with you. Aside from isolated structures like the Fisherman's Bastion, the buildings are unpleasant. Shame, must have been a beautiful city before the war. Right now it's a sprawl of Communist-era constructions with the odd historical sight dotted about here and there.

    I should give the place another chance though. They've got that collection of Soviet-era statues in some park on its outskirts. I'd like to get inside the spectactular neogothic parliament building, and maybe I should not be so wary of those XVI century Turkish baths.
    Yeah the baths are great. That Soviet statue park is awful, you'd be bored after 20 minutes.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Loddfafner's Avatar
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    I never made it to the former West Germany so Wewelsburg and all that will have to wait for some future trip, preferably after the Euro crashes. As for the German towns I did visit:

    Dresden - I stumbled on neighborhoods across the river that the bombers missed. They were full of interesting bars where I got, well, pretty bombed myself. The main sites are still under construction although it has become a very different city than the one I visited some years ago.

    Leipzig - only changed trains there but does anyone know why it has such a gigantic railroad station?

    Halle - I expected little and was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful, lively city with a heathy subcultural presence. The Nebra sky disk is now in its anthropology museum where it is powerfully displayed in a planetarium.

    Magdeburg - the architecture was a mix of the worst of the postwar commie blocks, some imaginative new buildings, and a few Gothic remnants including its cathedral, which is being restored so missed its main statuary.

    Naumburg - the most expressive gothic statues. Also, one of Nietzsche's homes where he grew up and later spent part of his last, unfortunate years screaming, ranting, and scaring off his mother's tenants. How did such a quiet village produce a guy like him?

    Weimar - I was surprised at how small it was. I made my pilgrimage to Elizabeth Forster-Nietzsche's Nietzsche Archiv which brought out a different side of the old man's reputation from that in the Naumburg museum. I also paid my respects to Goethe.

    Eisenach - the Wartburg was somehow smaller than I expected but, wow.

    Gorlitz - see my post in the "skinheads" thread. Alas I did not have time to get to Oybin so that will have to wait for a trip back there - after Dresden re-opens its new art museum.

    Breslau - the trams of this very lively city evoked nineteenth-century photographs. Much of the architecture was spared the war, if its population wasn't. The huge circular painting I posted about on the art quiz page was a disappointing tourist trap. I came away from Breslau with a much better impression of Poland than I had gotten from the relentlessly pious Cracow. Quality of beer, however, is not among its strengths. The present inhabitants seemed to embrace and cherish the Germanic history of the place in striking contrast with the Czechs.
    The sitters in the hall seldom know
    The kin of the new-comer:
    The best man is marred by faults,
    The worst is not without worth.
    -- The Havamal, #133 (trans. Auden and Taylor)

  5. #15
    Senior Member Jute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loddfafner View Post
    Leipzig - only changed trains there but does anyone know why it has such a gigantic railroad station?
    Because Leipzig was the heart of Germany back when Germany still possessed its East. A large city in the heart of the country is the obvious place to put the largest train station for transfers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loddfafner View Post
    Breslau - the trams of this very lively city evoked nineteenth-century photographs. Much of the architecture was spared the war, if its population wasn't. The huge circular painting I posted about on the art quiz page was a disappointing tourist trap. I came away from Breslau with a much better impression of Poland than I had gotten from the relentlessly pious Cracow. Quality of beer, however, is not among its strengths. The present inhabitants seemed to embrace and cherish the Germanic history of the place in striking contrast with the Czechs.
    The sad thing about that city is that during the day you will see large groups of gray-haired people walking around together. They are being guided around. Who are they? If you get close, you hear they are all Germans. They are visiting, as tourists, their own city of birth, where they grew up. "That's the house I was born in", "That cornershop is where we bought our daily bread", "There was our school"...etc.

    Festung Breslau never fell during the war, despite Russkie's best tries. But after Berlin fell, they too had to surrender. After that, all of Breslau's Germans were expelled or killed. Poles from the east came in and simply took over all the Germans' now-empty homes (and took too what possessions the Germans could not carry in their forced march west).

    Today, Polish-occupied Breslau still carry silent reminders of whose city they tookover. The mail-slots on thousands of doors still say "Briefe", there is still a Lutheran Cathedral (just no more Lutherans), and one large housing development in one city section, built long ago, is still shaped like the Prussian Eagle--seen from the air, the buildings form the Eagle.

    The Polish name for Breslau is very ugly in my opinion. "Vrotswov", it sounds like someone speaking with a mouth full of cabbage.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Jute's Avatar
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    Here is a map.



    Look directly at the center and the principal city you will see is Leipzig. The perfect place for the biggest trainstation!

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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Where can I find accessible Nazi architecture? I can't go underground to urbex in this state, mind.

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