Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Budapest: Great Market Hall and New Public Cemetery

By now it is the Tuesday after Easter, April 2, 2013, our last full day in Budapest before returning home.  And true to form, we once again packed it full...but with only two venues.

First, we went to the Great Market Hall, Budapest's largest and oldest indoor market, from 1897.  Some of our cruise mates had visited it the previous Friday but since that day was rainy, we knew we could catch it later.

To give us an appetizer before going, I went to our hotel's gift shop to get the flavor of everything Hungarian:

The lady who operated the gift shop was most kind and generous...and proud of her shop.
And rightly so.  Proud to be Hungarian.

And it gave us a sense of what we'd expect at the Great Market Hall...at least on some level.

THIS is the Great Market Hall on the Pest side of the city.
All 10,000 square meters (30,000+ square feet)!

 And on 3 different floors/levels!  It's like Grand Central Station!

The first floor is produce...fruits and veggies.

If you like variety and choice, you've come to the right place.

Also on the first floor are meat delicacies, especially sausage.
And that reminds me of the potato-sausage soup recipe I got from Bill's Hungarian relatives back in the day!

And that reminds me of the chicken paprikash recipe...from the same relatives!
Did you know there could possibly be so many paprika choices?
And clearly paprika and garlic go together, right?
(btw, we bought a packet of HOT paprika, which I will use next time)

Other odds-n-ends on that first floor...and Astrid buying the paprika!
(oh, and we also bought one of those slim 0,04 l bottles of liquor, top-right, for our kitchen window collection)

That was the first, main floor!

The basement floor was much smaller and had mainly fish....

...and a select variety of prepared foods.
See how everyone is smiling!

Short and sweet, and then back up the stairs to the second floor....

...for all the textiles, eateries...

...and souvenirs.

So, after all that, do you now have a sense for what Hungary is all about?!

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And if all that doesn't make you hungry, what will!  So we stopped for our late morning break....

...at Charlotte's Cake Shop for a piece of Hungarian cake.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do...is our motto!

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Newly energized, we were ready for the second mission of our day:  the New Public Cemetery, Budapest's largest (also one of Europe's largest) at 2.07 km² and 3 million burials since its opening in 1886.  To be honest, our plan was to visit the adjacent largest Jewish cemetery, but it was closed (like the synagogue the previous day).  

It's not Budapest's most famous cemetery but it's bell tower welcomed us.
It's also near the airport and in its flight pattern...half an hour by tram from Pest's city center.

Outside the cemetery you see many shops selling gravestones.
But once inside, flower stalls are lined up near the entrance.

What I immediately loved more than anything was the woods.
Can you imagine visiting such a place, especially during spring, summer and fall!

Notice the Olympic Rings, bottom-center.  Several Hungarian Olympians are buried there.

The snowflake necklace reminded me a bit of...Mardi Gras?!
I assume these are shrines since they're by the side of the many criss-crossing roads.

How many gravestones have you seen with portraits on them?

Or with shelters covering them?

The trees were loaded with mistletoe, as the planes flew in overhead.
The resident cat was so nonchalant about it all.

Oh, yes...and there were cremation crypts.


They reminded me of beehives.  Don't you wonder....!

And while we were disappointed the Jewish cemetery was closed, we were very glad to get our education at this very public cemetery.  I think cemeteries have a lot to tell us about life as well as death, don't you?

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On our way to and from the cemetery, while on the 30-minute tram ride...

...we saw a different part of Budapest, off the tourist path.

It was a good way to end our extended stay in this capital city.

And once off the tram to catch the metro back to our hotel,
we said Good-Bye to what had become familiar to us in just a few short days.
The next day we packed up, fiddled with our laptops, and flew home.

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Guess what, Folks!  This is IT!  The last post of our Viking Grand European River Cruise with extended Budapest stay!  With this post today, 3 months after returning home, it's done.  You've seen enough to give you a sense of why this really was a trip of a lifetime!


  1. A trip of a lifetime. We saw a beautiful part of Europe. Budapest is a fascinating city and I have to say that the ride to the cemetery, showed the real Budapest.
    Outstanding job done with all the pictures, collages, stories. A book to keep.
    Thank you so much for making this into a travel document to keep. I know I will go back many times and relive the tour.
    Een dikke kus, dank je wel. IHVJ.

    1. Hartstikke bedankt, MLMA. We'll never forget it, that's for sure. And at least now we can keep better track of everything, in case we need to (something I've already had to do several times, HA!). WHEW. It's done.

  2. Wow! What a trip you took us on! And I can't think of a better ending than showcasing two of my favorite things...the market and cemetery!!! Love, Love, Love!

    1. Thank you, dear Robin, for going along on this great ride! Isn't it funny how much we love the same things. That's why we know we can't go wrong when we see you in NYC come October!

  3. Ginnie you have a talent of putting the perfect pictures together. As Brian said, why do we even bother to take pictures. I reminded him that you & Astrid have only been on ONE trip with us. :-) ~ Lynda

    1. You're way too generous, Lynda, and Brian made me LOL! But thank you...and I'm so glad you could follow along to see the trip through my/our eyes. It was an incredible trip, wasn't it!!!

  4. what a great tour this is. i'm loving the huge market. i suppose you can stay there all day with your meals covered while you browse.

    so beautiful little corner of the world.

    1. Oh, yes, Marie. I was very impressed. If you lived close enough, you'd probably want to go there every week. Thanks for commenting again!

  5. Everything in the market is so decorative. I wonder how many souvenirs you bought to take home. Is that a ghost bikeÉ

    1. At first I had no clue what you menat by "ghost bike" and then realized you were talking about what I call the albino bike. HA! Indeed. But it WAS outside of Charlotte's cake shop, for whatever reason.

      The only souvenirs we bought were the packet of HOT paprika and the wee 0,04 l bottle of liquor to join the collection on our kitchen window sill. :)

  6. Wow, I love the folksie-ness of Budapest, the trinkets and hand painted boxes, the empty crypts filled with knick knacks. You really captured it, love the cat...

    1. "Folksie" is really a good word for Budapest, Susan! The hand-painted things reminded me of Pennsylvania-Dutch painting. Indeed...very folk-lore-ish. Thanks.

  7. Oh my! Charlotte's Cake Shop! and cemeteries! Just an amazing assortment of fun ... thank you once again.

    1. Something for everyone, Susan! We definitely aim to please. HA!

  8. This was a trip to relish in your memory for many years to come. The beginning was a riot of colors with all the souvenirs and the goods in the market- I love the embroidered blouses. I had a blouse like this from Hungary when I was a teenager – they don’t go out of style. Then on to the cemetery and all its interesting graves. Yes, in small cemeteries in France they often show a picture of the person who passed away. I enjoy going to cemeteries too. Did you visit the beautiful one in Savannah? I did and took many pictures but have yet to make a post on it. I really enjoyed your trip and know a lot more about Budapest than before – thank you for your lovely descriptions and pictures.

    1. Many thanks, Vagabonde. I LOVE all the colors and designs. And yes, I know that France cemeteries have the same kind of gravestone portraits because I've seen them...and love them. No, I haven't yet seen the Savannah cemetery but since we'll be in Savannah in October, I'll make a request to go there. Thanks for the recommendation!

  9. What a wonderful, gaslight era hall! You could have made the whole entry with pictures from there, but I enjoyed the rest as well. Years ago Jane and I went looking for my G Grandmother's grace in Brooklyn. One section of the cemetery was all Russian Jews and there were lines of stones with photo images etched into the stone. In my G Grandmother's section the stones were packed so tightly they formed a wall.

    1. I just LOVE cemeteries, Ted. Astrid and I stop at many of them, whenever we see them. You learn so much about a people and culture by walking through them. Thank you.