Budapest

It’s been four months since I was in Hungary, and I just realized I never posted anything about it!

What can I say about Budapest…it is an interesting juxtaposition between eastern and western Europe, a former glory of the Habsburg empire, Art Nouveau smashed up against communist style blocks, beautiful yet gritty, urban and somehow rural.

An interesting idea I had on my first day was that this city almost piggybacks on Vienna. I felt a very familiar easiness about Budapest, which surprised me since I thought the exact opposite before I arrived. The two cities share a very similar face, perhaps it’s that they both sit on the Danube, perhaps it goes back to their once joined roots as a piece of the Habsburg empire, maybe it’s the similarity in cuisine. Nonetheless, Budapest and Hungary for that matter, are simply breathtaking.

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A scarf from Vienna…

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Scarf from Vienna: Bonita Men .

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View of the Stephansdom and the Innere Stadt from the Riesenrad at the Prater.

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UNO City – United Nations – Vienna International Center from the Riesenrad.

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Stephansdom – at the heart of Vienna.

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Up close look of Stephansdom tiled roof.

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Expanse of Vienna from the Stephansdom. The Hofburg and Spanish Riding School are middle center/right; home of course to the Hapsburg empire and the world famous Lipizzaner horses . In the background we can see the rolling hills of the the Vienna Woods.

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Votivkirche 

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Cafe Hawelka (Official Website below)

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Schloß Schönbrunn

Since re-affirming my goal of one post per week, I’ve been thinking about why I started this blog to begin with. All this contemplation has brought me back to this thought…before the blue bow tie there was a scarf from Vienna…

During a short visit to Vienna, Austria in 2011, I found (without realizing it) my first tangible idea of mixing my travel memories with fashion. On my way back to Pension Hargita, where I had booked a room for my three night stay, I glanced in the window of a chain store called Bonita Men located on Mariahilfer Strasse. This bustling thoroughfare is a well-known shopping area in Vienna, and since it was getting a bit chilly being November, I thought I’d stop in to escape the cold and the crowd. All the way back on the furthest wall was a shelf of wool scarves, with all sorts of vertical striped patterns. One in particular kept sticking out at me. It was red, white, brown, and orange. As I stood there I thought, red and white – the Austrian flag, brown and orange – autumn/November. What a perfect piece to remind me of this day in Wien (Vienna). It is one of my most commented on pieces to this day, and its story is one of my favorites. I hadn’t yet realized that I was collecting my memories in pieces; however, it was in a sense a foreshadowing of the bow tie and everything else to come.

As a self-described travel addict, I find throughout my apartment all these little reminders of the places I’ve been, the memories I’ve made. It always makes me laugh a little that the most common things we use on a day to day basis are attached with the most array of emotions. A coffee cup from Hamburg, a scarf from Vienna, leather shoes from Paris – each serves a purpose, a function – and yet there is more to it than just a vessel to drink from, a bit of added warmth on a chilly day, a piece of tread between our feet and the ground. What these items contain or are made up from is more than just clay, wool or leather; it is also memories, moments in time.  I drink from my Hamburg coffee cup I think of my friend Martin, we were one of the first million visitors to the Elbphilharmonie after being only open for 111 days (opened November of 2016 – we visited in early February 2017). I put on my leather shoes and I am with my aunt and cousin; shopping along the Rue du Commerce just a stone throw away from the Eifel Tower. I wrap the scarf around my neck; Café Hawelka, Stephansdom, the Prater, and Schönbrunn – all feel so near, yet it was 6 years ago.

Think about your travel mementos and memories… what comes to mind?

Photos:

Scarf from Vienna: Bonita Men

Trip to Vienna November 2011