Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Bookish Budapest

If you follow us on Instagram, you might know that we recently took a trip to central Europe. If you ever find yourself in Hungary, here are a few things that as a bookish person, you might not want to miss:

The statue of Anonymous at Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest honors the anonymous notary of King Bela.  Legend says that if you touch the Anonymous's pen, then good writing fortune will come your way.  It isn't only sought out by wannabe novelists, but students whose finals are approaching as well. If you visit Heroes Square, this is only about a 4-5 minute walk away, and the castle is beautiful.  Be prepared to wait your turn!

Alexandra is a chain of bookshops in Budapest (I visited 2 within walking distance of our hotel).  But, if you're going to go to only one, visit the one with the Coffee Cafe on its second floor (3rd floor to us Americans).  This one is located on Andrassy Ut, near Franz Liszt Square.  Now, this one has the beautiful cafe, but the one on Karoly has a way bigger selection of YA and Graphic Novels.  Graphic Novels of course make really good souvenirs for the bookish type because you don't actually have to speak Hungarian to understand them.
Andrassy Alexandra's Cafe
Karoly Alexandra
Some snapshots of the books in the bookstore:

For our minion, Sarwat Chadda, because we heart him and his books!  If you haven't
yet picked up a copy of Devil's Kiss, you should do that right now!

Because I were reading The One, and the first books we saw were these beauties!

Because... Percy. 
Mór Jókai was one of the most prolific writers and poets in all of Hungarian History.  His statue sits across from Franz Liszt Square in a smaller square on the other side of Andrassy Ut.  He was a Hungarian nationalist and a lot of his poems and works had patriotic tones.  You can find him at both the Hungarian-only shop across the street or at either of the Alexandra bookshops in Budapest. His bust also appears in the park in the middle of Margaret Island.

Now, for those of you who like your historically significant figures, here's the Riverside Palace in Visegrád, about fourty minutes outside of Budapest.  Vlad the Impaler lived in the Solomon Tower (imprisoned) here for five years in the mid-fifteenth century.  It is said that Bram Stoker visited here for inspiration to write his novel, Dracula.  Of course it is in ruins now, but it is very, very fun to explore.  You can go throughout most of it, and it was one of my favorite parts of Hungary.  (and you can see the Castle at the top of the hill in the background, not bookish, but still fun!)

That sums up our bookish experiences in Budapest, and while it's not primarily a location to visit for its literary heritage, there are still some fun sights for you to see when you take your next vacation there. *wink*


The images in thie post are Copyrighted to Shesten Melder, 2014.  If you would like to use one, please contact us through some sort of social media or via email for permission. 

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