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Why you have to Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Blog, New York, USA, Wizard Movies | 122 comments

Why you have to Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

During a previous visit to New York City, I told my sister I wanted to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.  Not even a second passed when she threw a bigger than life “NO.” “We, residents of the city, do not go to those places,” was her answer. Last December, things ended up being a little bit different.  Once again, I expressed my desire to cross the bridge.  This time my sister agreed to go with me.  After all, she had lived in the city more than 8 years and had never crossed the bridge by foot. I am sure many of you reacted similarly to my sister when you read the title of this post. The Brooklyn Bridge?  What can be touristier than that? Well, I am here to tell you there are tons of reasons to have this experience in New York City.  Yes, the bridge itself is a marvel and the views are phenomenal but the areas around both ends of the bridge are full of history and beautiful architecture. Let’s explore how to make the most of a visit to this historic landmark. ___ A great way to start this walk is by taking the train to the City Hall Station.  That will put you in Manhattan’s Civic Center. As the train station denotes, you are going to be able to admire the City Hall building once you get up to the surface.  Notice the New York City flag has the same colors as the flag of The Netherlands.  This is because the first settlers of the area were Dutch. There are several other interesting buildings in the area. For example, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office is home to over 2,000 employees from a dozen municipal agencies in nearly 1 million square feet of office space. Actress Audrey Munson posed as the model for the statue at the top (she posed for more than 12 statues scattered throughout the city). The Trump Building (40 Wall Street, it has Trump’s name but it is not owned by him) and a residential building designed by Frank Gerhy can be seen in the vicinity. Then, it is time to start moving towards the bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge and is one of the oldest bridges of either type in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River (which can be seen as an estuary not a river).  The towers are built of limestone, granite, and cement. The bridge was designed by a German immigrant called John August Roebling.  When performing surveys for the construction, Roebling had an accident where some of his toes where crushed.  He went through an amputation and developed tetanus later.  Because of this situation, he supervised the project from his apartment (which had a view of the construction grounds). The interesting thing is that Roebling’s wife, Emily Warren, was the one who provided guidance to the engineers on site.  A lot of times, she is not given credit for her work but she spent 11 years serving as her husband’s aid and ended up being an expert in mathematics, materials and cable construction. Once at the bridge, great views of Lower Manhattan start to appear. Even the Statue of Liberty can be observed. On the other side, you have views of the Manhattan...

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A Perfect Day in Toledo: Travel Itinerary

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in Blog, Spain, Toledo, Wizard Movies | 109 comments

A Perfect Day in Toledo: Travel Itinerary

Trying to decide if you want to visit Toledo makes no sense.  If you are visiting Central Spain, you want, need or are compelled to visit Toledo.  You do not need to question yourself or make a decision. In a similar way, you do not think about it twice when you encounter the opportunity to revisit Toledo.  I stopped by the city more than 10 years ago as part of a month long trip across the European continent.  I remember how I walked the narrow streets, stood under the light of El Transparente and marveled in front of El Greco’s masterpiece. Toledo was my first taste of Europe’s grandiose architecture and rich history.  It was a dream come true to return to the place that stole my heart so many years ago. A Bit of History Toledo is known as the “Imperial City” for having been the main venue of the court of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and as the “City of the Three Cultures”, having been influenced by a historical co-existence of Christians, Muslims and Jews. Toledo was part of the Roman Empire during antiquity.  Once the Empire entered a period of decadency, the city was controlled by Visigoths and later conquered by North African Arabs (this is the period were the three religions co-existed). The city was taken by the Castilian king during the Reconquest. Toledo continued being a cultural center during that period.  Arabic or Jewish texts were translated to Castilian and vice versa. How to Make the Most of the Day It feels remorseful to write about how to spend one day in the city.  There are more than 30 museums and monuments in Toledo.  Plus, there are special exhibitions, interest specific tours, ecological routes and much more. Yes, it is difficult to narrow a visit to one day but, being realistic, most travelers would visit as a day trip from Madrid.  Here are some considerations to make the most of the day: The train from Madrid to Toledo takes about 40 minutes You will need transportation from Toledo’s train station to the city center. Once at the station, you can take a taxi, public bus or touristic bus Try to arrive to the city as early as possible Toledo is touristy. There is no doubt about that.  Do not worry.  Visitors tend to congregate around Plaza Zocodover and the Cathedral.  You will be fine once you move from those areas. Since the city is so popular with visitors, almost every church, monastery, synagogue and museum charge an entrance fee. Prices range from 2 to 10 Euros. It may be more cost effective to get a touristic card or pass (depending on how many places you want to visit). Many tourist companies and vendors are located on the train station. Resist the temptation and compare prices (and ask for advice) at the tourism office located in the city center. For folks on a budget, it is possible to enjoy Toledo without entering every single monument or spending a lot of money. This is one gorgeous city! A company called Cuentamelo Todo offers free tours of the city Places to Visit Mirador del Valle (Valley Viewpoint) I recommend starting your visit by taking an open bus (or taxi) around the city (outside the walls, on the other side of...

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14 Things to See in Bratislava

Posted by on Jan 15, 2017 in Blog, Bratislava, Slovenia, Wizard Movies | 100 comments

14 Things to See in Bratislava

  This post gives suggestions on 10 things to see in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.  In addition it provides 4 ideas on what to do in the city. ___ When you are visiting a city like Vienna, your mind is bombarded with a lot of choices. How should I use my time in one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world? Should I stay put and absorb all the glorious beauty or should I go out and embrace a different place? In the end, I think we achieved a decent balance between our two lines of thought.  We spent two days seeing the main sights, used another day to cruise the Wachau Valley and the last day, we decided to venture out to Bratislava. Bratislava is the capital and largest city of Slovakia.  The city is one of the four European capitals cut by the legendary Danube River. In addition, the city occupies the left bank of the Morava River. The city has been affiliated to the Kingdom of Hungary, the Austrian Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechoslovakia and other entities. Slovakia became an independent country in 1993. Since the city was under Habsburg rule for centuries, the architecture is similar to other cities you will find in Central and Eastern Europe.  However, there is a certain quirkiness and uniqueness that distinguishes Bratislava.  I found the city regal and fun at the same time. Let’s take look at what can seen and done around the city. Things to See in Bratislava Trinitarian Church Most of the sights in this guide are within the realm of the Old City.  This area can be reached from the train station by bus.  The visitor’s center assistants will tell you to get down from the bus at the third stop. I recommend you get out at the second stop (Staromestska and Kozia). A short walk will take you to the beautiful Trinitarian Church. Michael’s Gate Now, remember I told you to get down the bus at the second stop? I recommend this since you want to enter the Old Town in the best way possible. You are going to get that “wow” feeling when you pass throughout Michael’s Gate. This is the only preserved gate of the city’s original fortification system, dating back to the 14th century. The upper terrace of its 51 meters high tower provides an enchanting view of Old Town (and its terracotta roofs).  The tower houses the Museum of Arms. Keep walking down the street and get prepared to enjoy Bratislava’s charms. By the way, you are walking part of the coronation route. Old Town Hall and Main Plaza Turn right on Biela Street and you are going to hit a big plaza with a fountain.  This is where the former seat of the city government stands (yellow building).  Today, it serves as the Bratislava City Museum, the oldest museum in Slovakia. The plaza is full of cafes and restaurants. It is a nice place to sit down and people watch.  Red booths selling all sorts of crafts and souvenirs are located in one side of the plaza.  Check them out if you are interested taking home something unique. Streets of Old Town The stately architecture of the city deserves its own mention.  Walk the streets and...

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Hundertwasserhaus: Explosion of Color in Vienna

Posted by on Jan 8, 2017 in Austria, Blog, Vienna, Wizard Movies | 126 comments

Hundertwasserhaus: Explosion of Color in Vienna

  This post explores the Hundertwasserhaus, one of Vienna’s most visited buildings and the life of its designer and creator, Friedensreich Hundertwasser. ___ If you have seen the photos on this blog or on my Instagram account, one thing is going to strike you right away.  I like color. Well, I like color a lot! Keeping that in mind, you can imagine how hard headed I got when I found pictures of a colorful apartment house while researching my trip to Vienna.  The structure had a multi-color facade, shiny mosaics and fairy tale like balconies.  I had to see it! Months after that, I found myself outside of a Metro station in the Landstrabe District.  I had no idea where to go.  Let’s say this house is a little bit in the middle of nowhere.  A kind local took pity on me and showed me what direction to take. After that, I was able to arrive using my map. Finally, I was in front of that colorful place I wanted to see. Its official name is Hundertwasserhaus. Hundertwasserhaus was built between 1983 and 1985 according to the ideas of Friedensreich Hundertwasser (hence the name) with architect Joseph Krawina as a co-author. It features undulating floors, a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms. Within the house there are 53 apartments, four offices, 16 private terraces and three communal terraces, and a total of 250 trees and bushes. The Hundertwasser House is one of Vienna’s most visited buildings and has become part of Austria’s cultural heritage. A visit to the house is short since only the exterior can be admired.  The house is unique and whimsical.  To me, it is a piece of art that deserves attention. But, the highlight of my visit was discovering the genius of Hundertwasswer.  This guy was something else! Hundertwasser was born as Friedrich Stowasser in Vienna (1928).  Later, he changed his name to Friedensreich Hundertwasser.  He is one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed international artists. In the early 1950s, Hundertwasser dealt with architecture and pursued his goal of creating a more human architecture in harmony with nature.  In his manifestos, essays and demonstrations, he expressed his rejection of rationalism, the geometric straight line, the grid system and the purely functional architecture. From the 1980s on, he realized projects which triggered worldwide attention and provoked vivid discussions.  He integrated the window right and the tree tenants, uneven floors, afforestation of the roofs and the spontaneous vegetation. In his architectural efforts, he pursued diversity instead of monotony, replaced the grid system with an organic approach and implemented unregulated irregularities.  In times of mediocrity and the soullessness of prefabrication, Hundertwasser endeavored to help human longing for variety and harmony with nature. What fascinates me is how Hundertwasser principles go beyond architecture.  He was basically saying human beings like change, color, variety, spontaneity, naturalness, fun, laugh and joy.  He wanted to express all those things with what he knew to do best.  His works call us to do the same (but using our own gifts and talents). If you want to learn more about this artist, the Kunst Haus Wien, a museum dedicated to the life and legacy of Hundertwasser, is located only a few blocks away from the Hundertwasserhaus.  The...

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The Latin Food Fest is Coming to Santa Monica!

Posted by on Jan 8, 2017 in Blog, California, Santa Monica, USA, Wizard Movies | 2 comments

The Latin Food Fest is Coming to Santa Monica!

During my recent trip to New York City, I had my fair share of  lechon (Puerto Rico), mangu (Dominican Republic) and patties (Jamaica).  The experience reminds me of how much I dig my Latin flavors. Well, I will not have to suffer long before I am able to taste a wide array of scrumptious Latin dishes under one roof.  Turns out the ¡Latin Food Fest! is coming to Santa Monica.  You read that right.  This foodie paradise will take place about 12 miles from my house.  That is reason enough to celebrate! If you are not familiar with the event, each year, ¡Latin Food Fest! produces the largest annual multi-city destination event in the U.S. that showcases Latin food, wine and spirits. The entire festival is composed of various events throughout a long weekend.  I have attended the Grande Tasting for the past four years (#sorrynotsorry).  The Gran Tasting is an all-you-can-eat, on-price journey thru Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Spain. More than 50 local restaurants offer delicious, small-sized dishes to attendants. This year, the festival season kicks off with a celebration adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier.  Attendants will have the opportunity to eat, drink, watch demos and mingle with acclaimed chefs, meters away from the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. The 2017 ¡Latin Food Fest! Los Angeles includes a kick off “Chefs Night Out,” ultimate tasting experience “Gran Tasting,” high energy multi-sensory street food experience, “Mercado,” and chef’s dinner, “Latin Supperclub” – so guests will have endless opportunities to indulge! Here is a detailed breakdown of the events: Friday, March 24, 2017 Havana Nights Superclub Time: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Chefs Night Out Kick Off Party Time: 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Saturday, March 25, 2017 Gran Tasting Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Mercado Time: 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Note: Gran Tasting and Mercado hours depend on type of ticket purchased (ex. VIP, early, general or late admission). These events are for adults only (21+). You can read take a look at events from previous year on the following links: Latin Food Fest 2013 (San Diego) Latin Food Fest 2015 (San Diego) Latin Food Fest 2016 (Los Angeles) Other Events San Diego – August 18-19, 2017 Orange County – November 10-11, 2017 Details Find more information about the event: http://latinfoodfest.com/ I suggest signing for the event’s newsletter. In that way, you can keep up with the latest news, discounts and last minute additions to the lineups. Would you like to attend the ¡Latin Food...

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New York City’s Holiday Train Show

Posted by on Jan 1, 2017 in Blog, New York | 88 comments

New York City’s Holiday Train Show

Happy new year my dearest friends! I hope all of you have started the year with the right foot. What if I tell you I want to kick off things in the blog with magic? What about that? Are you in? Well, as many of you may know, I spent the holidays in New York City.  Travel connoisseurs agree this is one of the best places in the world to enjoy the season. Yes, I walked past the window displays on 5th Avenue, saw the giant tree placed in front of the Rockefeller Center and strolled around the Christmas market stalls at Bryant Park. All that was great, but today, I want to share the place that gave me the maximum amount of goosebumps per minute, the place where I felt like a kid again. For 25 years, the Holiday Train Show, presented inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Gardens, has been enchanting families and individuals.  This exhibition consists of model trains moving around 150 landmarks of the city. Now, get this, all the structures have been created with natural materials such as bark, stone, leaves, flowers, twigs and so on.  I admit that doesn’t sound that exiting but wait till you see the final product.  I am warning you, it will blow your mind. As I mentioned, the show presents more than 150 structures.  That means I went crazy taking photos and ended up with about three hundred.  To summarize things, I have decided to present the most iconic structures of New York City.  In that way, you will be able to get the wow factor since you have some sort of familiarity with the actual structure. Here we go! We’ll start will New York’s most famous train station and architectural marvel, the Grand Central Terminal (located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue). Sport lovers will recognize the Yankee Stadium.  The model on the exhibition corresponds to the old stadium which was demolished in 2010.  A new stadium has been constructed. Most of us can recognize Manhattan’s most iconic skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the Rockefeller Center. In the pictures, you can also see Saks Fifth Avenue, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower and the Radio City Hall. They even recreated the Prometheus Statue in front of the Rockefeller Center and the Channel Gardens (where the seasonal displays are planted). Another landmark located close to the Rockefeller Center is the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. And, this will not be an exhibition about New York without having the Statue of Liberty. Or, the main structure at Ellis Island. Another highlight of the exhibition is the New York Public Library. The minds in charge of building all the models got very creative when designing the main museums of the city. Here we have the Guggenheim. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and, The American Museum of Natural History You may recognize the Washington Arch located in Washington Square. There were lesser known structures such as the Vanderbilt Mansion… The Park Avenue Armory … And tons of Manhattan’s Row Houses. Manhattan’s landmarks were heavily represented for obvious reasons but structures from the other 4 boroughs were present.  Hudson River mansions (upstate New York) recreations were on display too. It was beautiful to...

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2016: Year in Review

Posted by on Dec 11, 2016 in Blog, Wizard Movies | 121 comments

2016: Year in Review

This year flew by! I cannot believe I am sitting down trying to jot down thoughts about the different things that happened months ago. See, I am not that much into year-end reviews.  I haven’t done them in years.  However, during the last days I remembered me thinking: “I really didn’t do much this year.”  But, then, there were other parts of my brain screaming: “What about this” or “What about that.” Well, after all the searching and organizing, it turns out 2016 was a very awesome year! Therefore, this review has two purposes.  The first one has to do with gratitude.  I do not want to take for granted the opportunity I have to go out once or twice a month.    I am deeply grateful for the places I went, the food I ate and the people I met.  Mostly, my heart jumps with joy because I was able to share these experiences with my husband (and sometimes with friends and family). In second place, I wrote this review because I think it is proof of one of my blog’s motto: you do not have to travel far or spend a lot of money to have a great adventure.  I traveled in my own backyard a lot.  That does not necessarily equate crazy adventures or international flair.  But, nonetheless, I made out the most of these short (sometimes long) trips.  The idea is to grow, expand and get out of your comfort zone. I think I accomplished that. Without further ado, here is look at 2016. January The year started in a surprising way. On January 1st, we attended a church activity and my husband ran into a family he met while studying in Honduras.  We made plans in minutes and ended up taking them to the Palos Verdes Peninsula the second day of the year. The second weekend of the year we went with friends to Tijuana, Ensenada and the Guadalupe Valley.  We had our first taste Baja Med Cuisine. In our hometown of Redondo Beach, we went whale watching for a couple of hours. We ended the month in San Diego by visiting La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Little Italy’s Mercato and Old Town.  Not sure if you noticed a lot of our January activities were related to the beach and sea.  That tells you a lot about the winter weather in Southern California. February This month we attended Cathedral City’s Balloon Festival.  After that event, we stopped by Palm Springs since the city was celebrating Modernist Week. We visited Solvang, one of our favorite gateways. In addition, we attended The Essentials, a food event organized by LA Weekly. March This month we had the opportunity to visit the gray whale birthing and nursing grounds in Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur.  We got into a small boat to watch the mothers with their calves.  On the way back, we stopped by a fishing town called Popotla and bought a dozen of crabs. We stuffed our faces with tacos, tortas and tostadas during the Latin Food Fest in Los Angeles. April This was another month of eating since we attended the Palm Desert Food and Wine Festival. May This month saw us returning to the awesome Joshua Tree National Park.  We spent the day among giant boulders and...

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Naschmarkt: Vienna’s Largest Outdoor Market

Posted by on Dec 4, 2016 in Austria, Blog, Vienna, Wizard Movies | 82 comments

Naschmarkt: Vienna’s Largest Outdoor Market

I am a market lover! To me, markets are places filled with colors, smells and tastes.  They are full of smiles, laughs and exciting cries announcing the freshness of a product or the deliciousness of a local delicacy. One of my main travel objectives is to visit a market in cities known for them.  It doesn’t matter if it is a covered, open-air or temporal market.  I have been able to do this in cities like Barcelona, Tijuana, Oaxaca, Valencia and Madrid. When I was researching things to do in Vienna, I stumbled upon a page talking about Naschmarkt, Vienna’s most popular and largest outdoor market. Noticed I have used words such as “popular” and “largest” to describe the market.  The thing is that while I was trying to inquire more about this place, I couldn’t find good descriptions, nice photos or enough reasons to visit. Seems like it wasn’t in any “top 10” lists of the city. We decided to stop by since we had to eat breakfast anyway (and I hoped to find something in there).  That is how we proceeded to take the Metro to Kettenbruckengasse Station. We got out and start seeing stalls full of colorful shirts, hippie pants and accessories (caps, scarves, etc.). We walked a little bit more and that is when the beauty of this place started to unfold. We started to see stalls containing hundreds of little bags filled with spices. We inspected the names and discovered things we have never seen in our lives.  One of the attendants explained the origin of some of the powders, leaves and grains.  We bought bags containing known and unknown contents. The awakening of the senses continued for about two more hours. After all, the market is about one mile long (1.5 km).  It ended up being one of the best markets I have ever visited. We liked it so much that we returned the 4th day of our stay. I am not sure how the name Naschmarkt came into existence. I found two versions. One say the market has origins in the 16th century when milk bottles were sold in the area.  During those times, milk bottles were made out of ash.  Hence the “Aschenmarkt” which with time evolved to the way it is called nowadays. Another version of the story says the market’s original name was Kärntnertormarkt. This was the bridge which was at that time called Kärntnertorbrücke, but is now Elisabethbrücke, later it spread along to reach Karlsplatz.  This story does not provides and explanation of how or when the modern term started to be used. Nowadays, the market is full of fresh fruit and vegetables from around the world (I even saw cactus fruit), exotic herbs, cheese, baked goods, meats, and seafood. Artisan products such as vinegar, oil, sausage and pastries can be found too.  They can be bought as souvenirs or gifts (we bought flavored vinegar and oil and they were superb). In addition the market affords the opportunity to try or buy Austrian bread, cheese and wine.  World famous Austrian cakes and pastries are there too for your enjoyment. But, do not worry, international fare such as doner kebabs, sushi and kimchi are available in the market.  I noticed this is a perfect place to sample some Mediterranean and Middle Eastern specialties.  They have the plumpest,...

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Street Art in Dallas (Deep Ellum)

Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in Blog, Dallas, Texas, Wizard Movies | 127 comments

Street Art in Dallas (Deep Ellum)

Not that long ago, my husband and I flew to Dallas for the weekend.  The objective was to spend as much time as possible with friends we have not seen in more than a decade. I knew sightseeing was going to be very limited but that didn’t stop me from reading many “What to Do in Dallas” articles. During that research time, one thing was getting clearer and clearer. Dallas is a great city for murals and street art lovers. Articles such as “Best Walls in Dallas” and “Most Intagrammed Places in Dallas” kept popping as soon as I hit the search button. I had no time to go on a comprehensive tour around the city.  Therefore, I opted to visit the place with the densest concentration of street art in Dallas. That is how a beautiful Monday morning I ended up in Deep Ellum, an arts and entertainment neighborhood which is part of Downtown Dallas (some consider it an independent entity). The story of Deep Ellum is full of ups and downs. The roots of the area go back to the late 19th century when it functioned as a commercial district for certain minority groups. Industrialization arrived to the area when a cotton gin factory was built (and later expanded) along Elm Street and Trunk Avenue.  In 1914, Henry Ford placed one of his first automobile plants in the neighborhood. Once the industrial companies moved from the area, Deep Ellum gained reputation as Dallas’ liveliest entertainment district.  Bars, night clubs and restaurants flooded the streets. During the first decade of the 21st century, the area was perceived as having a high crime rate.  That factor combined with the closing of different music venues contributed to the demise of the neighborhood.  Things started to change when the City of Dallas welcomed large scale residential, multi-family dwelling construction to the area. The neighborhood has gone through a series of revitalization projects but, in my opinion, the most impactful one has been 42 MURALS. This is a project run by the real estate company 42 VENTURES and curated by Lesli Marshall.  Artists from anywhere were asked to submit mural proposals. Ultimately 42 were selected. Not all the murals and art expressions in Deep Ellum derive from the project but a great majority does.  The project has attracted hundreds of visitors to the area for one single reason: it has help to produce some of the best street art in Dallas (and we can even say in surrounding areas). I visited Deep Ellum on a Friday evening right after my plane landed at the Dallas Love Field.  The night was already upon us, so, picture taking was complicated.  We walked around the neighborhood after dinner (battling the cold) and scanned some of the best murals. On Monday, I had less than an hour to walk around and take some pictures. There are apps and PDF documents that can help you to spot the best of the best in the area.  I didn’t have time for that.  Therefore, I had to employ the ancient method of walking around in search of the unknown. The effort paid dividends since I walked the main and side streets and scrambled behind the buildings. It was a sprint full of fun and laugh.  There were several others doing the same...

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Szentendre: Day Trip from Budapest

Posted by on Nov 13, 2016 in Blog, Hungary, Szentendre, Wizard Movies | 100 comments

Szentendre: Day Trip from Budapest

During my stay in Budapest, I had the opportunity to visit the little town of Szentendre. Sze…. what? you may ask. Where is that? Szentendre (means Saint Andrew) is located 13.6 miles (about 22 km) from Budapest, on the left bank of the Danube.  The town can be easily reached by bus, train or bus. You may have never heard about it but it is a popular day trip from Hungary’s capital.  Yes, it is located a stone’s throw from the big city.  But, there is more.  It is one of the few towns (or areas) in the country were a Mediterranean atmosphere can be felt. On top of that, the aesthetics of the place are a big draw.  Think cobblestone streets, pastel colored buildings, cute squares, narrow alleys and churches with long spires. Szentendre is that and much more! There is not a lot of information about what happened in the area during medieval times.  It is known the Magyars (founders of the Kingdom of Hungary) found the place inhabited and decided to rebuild the Roman remains found around. The population dwindled (or disappeared) during the Ottoman occupation. Once the Ottoman’s were expelled from the country, Serbs were invited to immigrate to Habsburg lands (since they fought on the Christian side during the war, Hungary ended being part of the empire after the Austro-Turkish War). It is estimated 37,000 families immigrated and many settled in Szentendre (where they were the majority). There was also considerable Dalmatian immigration. The Dalmatian families settled on Donkey Mountain where Dalmát Street preserves their memory today. Even in the 1980s, this street was inhabited exclusively by descendants of the original Dalmatians. These descendants now live throughout the city. The slow rhythm of life, the river and the architecture started to attracted artists since the beginning of the 20th century. A well known colony of artists came into existence in 1929. Today, more than two hundred fine and applied artists, authors, poets, musicians and actors live in the city. If you stop by the city, there is a lot to keep you busy.  The best way to get to know Szentendre is by walking its streets and alleys.  The town is armed with many good services, therefore, start by grabbing a map in the visitor’s center. Then, I would suggest walking as many streets as possible.  The architecture is very charming in here.  Plus, the variety of colors gives the buildings a vibrant and youthful energy. At one point, you are going to hit the town’s main square.  There is a considerable concentration of colorful buildings in here.  Some structures are adorned with banners, paper ornaments and umbrellas. Remember the Serbs? They left enduring traces on the townscape and its culture. The buildings in the city center have tried to preserve this Serbian influence in their architecture. Out of seven churches (other sources cite nine churches) in town, only one was historically Roman Catholic, and all the others were built by Orthodox Serbs. These churches built in the Baroque style showcase different colors and architectural details. Try to see how many you can find. My favorite thing about Szentendre is the burst of creativity that can be seen in every corner.  Because of the many artists residing in town, there are a well regarded...

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