I do realise that just mentioning a choice of spending time in either of these very nice European cities is not an issue that anyone but the luckiest of people have to think about.
But my best beloved, wants to get away for the dreary month which is a British February, and we went to Seville this year for a week’s scouting.
I came back pretty convinced that I would not be a happy Spanish camper unless I could find a mission to keep me occupied for the month and no, learning Spanish is not the answer.
Budapest however is much more promising.
It is considerably bigger for a start so there is more to see. It has shed loads of history – admittedly most of it grim.
Liberation of the city from one occupying invader or another rarely seems to have turned out happily for the Budapesti.
Even outside the shopping mall is a monument to those who tried to stop the Soviet tanks in 1956 and the former Soviet prison stands next to the bus station.
( I spent, by the way, a good ten minutes watching four abseilers wash the front facade of that shopping mall on my way to fetch croissants one morning.)
So, there is lots of history to go at.
And given that history, I am not sure what goes on in this building…..
On one of my walks, I came across this protest against the erection of a memorial to the German occupation of Hungary.
The man in the anorak could explain about the pebbles, artefacts, history of the occupation and deportation and killing of Jews, in any language you wanted – I am sure I don’t need to point out the contrast with the kids playing in the fountains.
In any language it is clear that Premier Viktor Orban is not good news.
Anyway, The Rough Guide to Budapest suggests 17 things you have to do whilst you are here and I have not managed to tick off anywhere near all of them despite the week I have had.
(Admittedly, the art gallery is closed for renovation, the Hungarian Glastonbury only happens in August but even so….)
One of the things we have not managed is to go to a ‘ruin bar.’ Apparently they are set up within deserted buildings or courtyards and have a great ‘Bohemian’ feel.
I have however developed an interest in the shop signs and manhole covers. That could keep me going on a mission for a month…..
Tomorrow, are the thermal baths and this afternoon the biggest market hall in Europe.
And maybe the clincher, is the fact I have stumbled across charity shops – one where you can buy clothes by the kilo.
(Surprisingly, they were familiar makes such as M&S and Phase Eight and a nice little number from Sandwich but at a size 10 was not even in my wildest dreams.
Mind you, even in my rose-tinted look at Budapest would I describe the womenfolk as universally stylish….)
So, whilst my best beloved nurtures his Stockholm syndrome and says he feels ‘a bit lost and flat’ on the day off he has from the machinations of the Transylvanian dentist, Johanna – I am considering of a snowy Budapest February.