Friday, 2 May 2014

Budapest jan 4th 2014 pt1

Its the 4th January 2014 ,  Jan and I are on our way to Budapest today, its my birthday tomorrow so spending four days away together to celebrate. Getting up at 3 am was hard!!!!!!!!!

 We have arrived at the airport in Budapest 15 mins early , just past 10.15 am . but we cant check into our apartment until 2.30 ish so after getting a taxi from the airport and having survived a manic journey were all road lanes where used for over/undertaking. I counted at least 4 Tesco's  while Jan had her eyes closed  lol.   arriving in the centre of the city at the "St Stephens Basilica"  it was very foggy on landing and looks like it will stay dull all day unfortunately as you can see in this image.

       Its a magnificent building , typical of most of the stunning architecture in Hungary's Capital city

 the square in front of the Basilica is very busy , loads of tourists taking photos everywhere. Since we have a few hours to kill we have decided to walk down to get our first view of the Danube which is only about 10 minutes walk from here,   I think  lol.

 The streets are very clean and the buildings all bright and cheerful , moving down the first narrow street we have come to this Bronze statue , Jan has to inspect it closely :)

Beautiful views down the cobbled streets.

 After a couple of streets we have emerged in a large square in front of this wonderful building , the Danube is right in front of us, very misty so the views are not so good.

 In the distance is Margaret bridge and the Hungarian Parliament is somewhere behind the building immediately in front of us hidden from view.

 The trams rumble down the tracks as we walk left towards Chain Bridge which is the way across to Buda  and the Castle district.

 Our first view of the famous "Szechenyi " Chain Bridge over the Danube to "Buda"  the Castle district with the magnificent Royal Palace/Buda castle  and Fisherman's Bastion, which we will be exploring on Monday :)

 The Royal Palace sitting on top of castle Hill, its quite murky but I can only hope we can get a nice day while we are here to photograph this view at both day and night with all the buildings lit up .

The architecture is superb:)    time to head back towards the apartment which is a few blocks away .

Passing through a large park surrounded by trees, with play areas for children and a dog run, there is a café bar in the centre, no one inside that i can see but it is open so we are going to get a drink.

I have decided on a hot chocolate,and Jan a latte .  the price for each is 6500fl   which is about £1.80 , when the waitress came over my hot chocolate was in a 8 inch glass with a couple inches of thick creme on top  WOW, Jans Latte was in a tiny cup   lol  . I SHOULD have had one of those Jan exclaims!
This is the best hot choc I have ever had, thick and creamy   yummy!
loads of locals have filled up the café now, must have just opened as we came past.  lucky we got a seat.   as we are leaving I notice that there is a lift in the centre of the building going down to toilets, What a good idea I thought in such a small building.

Time to find the apartment now, just 2 blocks away from this park

We have found the apartment and the owner Balazs , who has given us the keys and a few maps of the area
After settling in and going to the local Spar to get food ,it is getting dark now so after a short rest we are going out to see the sights along the river.

The inner courtyard of the apartment building.

The plan for the evening.
    Head towards Margaret Bridge to walk along the Danube on our first night.  weather is not great for photography but will see how I get on. 

This I believe is "West Railway station"   magnificent :) 

There is drizzle in the air and quite misty but we are on our way down to the Danube . It is almost 7pm and we have finally reached Margaret bridge, which allows access to Margaret Island.  Obviously lol . 
  We are looking down the river from the centre of the bridge, i can see through the light mist the " Chain bridge" with the stunning Parliament building on the left bank of Pest and the Royal Palace on castle hill over on Buda side of the river to the right.
 As I am setting up the tripod on the bridge wall ,a tram thunders past vibrating the whole bridge!    this is going to be a problem I thought, with long exposures needed the movement through the bridge from all the traffic is going to prove troublesome  Arghhhhhhh.
After numerous attempts using different exposures, and waiting for a space in the traffic, I have managed a few sharp images. this is the best with the mist hanging above the river with the floodlights bleeding into it above the Parliament buildings.

I think this is probably my favourite image from Budapest :)

We have now crossed over to the Buda side of the river and this is Margaret bridge that the previous image was taken from .

Walking hand in hand along the Danube at night!  doesn't get much better than this :)
our first night in Budapest.
Its fairly quiet for a Saturday evening ,but plenty of joggers and cyclists moving along the "promenade" and a few tourists taking photographs.

The damp misty drizzle is proving very hard to get good sharp images, all the bright lights are blurring with colour bleeding into the damp atmosphere caused by the longer shutter speeds required in the evening light. I am having to shoot in manual ,ignoring the cameras meter and under exposing to keep the highlights under control and keep sharpness, between 1-4 seconds is proving best,  but I am  shooting a second frame with longer exposures of 10 - 15 seconds so I can blend in to get the smoother light reflected on the river in final images. with these longer times the detail in the buildings is very noticeably softer.

This is the Hungarian Parliament building, all lit up in splendour.  what a fabulous sight!

       After a lovely 2 hour romantic walk along the Danube we have reached the "Chain bridge!   the lights are noticeably "whiter" than on other buildings I notice with the " 4 seasons" hotel opposite the end of this bridge all lit up . the drizzle has cleared for now so I can get a clear image of this famous bridge.  we will now cross over to Pest side of the river to see the views across to the Palace which is high on Castle Hill behind us.

The lion statues that guard the bridge entrances are wonderfully lit from nearby lights, it has been tricky getting a good exposure with the bright street lights, but a merge of 3 differently exposed frames has produced this image, although there is still colour bleed in the damp air around the brightest lights.

From the embankment on Pest we get a great view of the "Fisherman's Bastion" over on castle hill.
it is nearly half past 9,and is starting to rain , lucky that it held of this long.. 
Taking a shot with my long lens the rainy atmosphere has given a very atmospheric image.
 I want to shoot the view across Chain bridge with the palace behind but the rain is getting too heavy now and hitting the lens during the longish exposures , will leave until tomorrow and hopefully the weather will be better

the four seasons hotel

We are making our way back now, walking down Andrassy utca.  which is  the Hungarian equivalent of Bond street.  all the big names are along here, Cartier, ect
looks fabulous all lit up with lights :)

                      The end of our first day in Budapest , hope the weather is ok tomorrow .

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