Thursday, January 04, 2007

Light of Your Life

One of the things that Budapest has been getting better and better at each year is their impressive display of Christmas lights. Up and down the main streets and in some of the open areas, they've wired up trees and posts to a bazillion little light bulbs.

It seems that each district has it's own budget and schedule for the lights and a clear distinction can be seen when going from one district to another. Follow the korut clockwise from the 6th to 7th to 8th districts and you'll notice the different styles.

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The street that has the most shock and awe value has to be Andrassy ut, with that huge avenue lined by trees and each tree sporting its own suit of lights. Even when the trees change from the big sturdy fellows between the Bajcsy and Oktogon stretch and the weedy new-plants on the remainder up to Heroes' Square, the effect is still magnificent.

My memory fails me but this may have been the first year for blue bulbs in the squares. Liszt Ferenc ter and Jokai ter were both decked out in snazzy blue light. The scene was replicated around the theatres and cafes on Nagymezo. The new square that appeared after the demolition of all the little shops on Karoly krt were also blue and sparkling.

It was a very pleasant sight and although I'm talking about them in the past tense, the lights are still up. However, having gone up at the beginning of December and with Christmas and New Year over, I'm sure they'll be coming down any moment now.

If you or your friends are thinking of coming to visit Budapest sometime, don't just stick to the summers (which are great by the way), why not try a Christmas break to get a bit of shopping in around the markets, scoff some street kolbasz, sip some mulled wine and get enchanted strolling down the street filled with lights.

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