Néhány napja jelent meg a Telegraph utazási rovatában az alábbi írás Budapestről. A cikkben Robert Bathurst, angol színész mesél a fővárosunkról, ahol két hónapot töltött a A katedrális forgatásakor.
ROBERT BATHURST'S BUDAPEST
The actor on his fondness for the Hungarian capital, which he loves for its wonderfully crisp winters, beautiful scenery and ancient history.
My first visit, in the Nineties, was in the depths of winter – a wonderfully crisp, icy weekend. Then, in summer 2010, I spent two months there filming a television series, The Pillars of the Earth. The city is split into two by the Danube: Buda is very beautiful and ancient – it's where most visitors flock. I prefer Pest. It has a slightly crumbling Austro-Hungarian imperial swagger and there's more to explore.
Is there anything special I should pack?
Whatever season it is, take your swimming things. One of the great pleasures is relaxing in the thermal baths and venturing into the steam rooms. The 1956 revolution was hatched in them – there were no hidden microphones. My favourite is the 16th-century Kiraly Bath, built during the Ottoman era. It's architecturally exciting, and hasn't been tarted up like others.
What's the first thing you do?
Hire a bike. There are trams and buses but I prefer exploring on two wheels, though it can be perilous. I enjoy cycling on the Pest side of the Danube, along boulevards flanked by Art Nouveau buildings. I'll also wander around Lehel covered market and Margaret Island, a popular park in the middle of the river.
Where is the best place to stay?
Brody House (0036 1266 1211; brodyhouse.com; doubles from €60/£49). I like small hotels and it has just eight bedrooms, all named after contemporary artists. It's based in the prime minister's former palace and art hangs in every room. Being in downtown Budapest, it's close to many restaurants and sights.
Where would you meet friends for a drink?
The Four Seasons Gresham Palace Hotel (1268 6000; fourseasons.com). Built in 1906, this spectacular Art Nouveau palace was converted into a hotel in 2004 – an epic, splendid place for a cocktail. Otherwise, one of the many Ruin Bars would be the place to meet. These impromptu open-air bars are springing up everywhere, usually in courtyards of empty flats earmarked for redevelopment. Instant (Nagymezo Street) is a favourite, but seek out the new ones.
Where is the best place for lunch?
Ket Szerecsen (1343 1984; ketszerecsen.hu) is a relaxed café-cum-restaurant where you get more than just goulash. Hearty, well-prepared Hungarian, French and Moroccan cuisine is dished up by friendly staff. Avoid the touristy restaurants with table-hopping violinists.
And for dinner?
Deryne Bistro (1225 1407; cafederyne.hu), a Parisian-style restaurant behind Buda Castle. It has great ambience and delicious food. Make sure you start with an Aperol Spritz.
Where would you send a first-time visitor?
The thermal baths, for starters. The most beautiful and ancient is the Kiraly, but the Rudas or Szechenyi – supposedly Europe's largest medicinal bath – are alternatives. You should explore the main sites, including Buda Castle, with its panoramic views. If you think you're into Commie-chic just visit the House of Terror museum. It's where the secret police took suspects for questioning and is a reminder of Hungary's days of totalitarianism.
What should I avoid?
Hassles with taxi drivers. That awful insecurity when climbing into a taxi in a foreign destination is lessened with City Taxis. They're reliable and trustworthy.
What should I bring home?
Tokay wine. So many drinks never taste the same when you get home but I love this – it travels well.
Anywhere that isn't your sort of town?
Dubai. It's "Hubris-on-Sea". When I did a world tour of my one-man play, Alex, based on the Telegraph's cartoon, I took the show there. Everything is fake. But maybe I'm just missing the point of the place. I stayed in a hotel with its own souk; but it's the only souk I know with a Starbucks.
crisp winters = csípős telek
The Pillars of the Earth = A katedrális (Ken Follett)
split into two by = kettéosztva valami által
flock = csoportosul, gyülekezik
crumbling = omladozó
there’s more to explore = több a felfedezni-, látnivaló
venture = megkockáztat, merészel
steam room = gőzkamra
tart up = felújít
perilous = veszélyes
flanked by = szegélyezve valamivel
wander around = körbejár, bóklászik
contemporary artist = kortárs művész
Art Nouveau = szecesszió
converted into a hotel = szállodává átalakítva
an epic, splendid place = egy nagyszerű, remek hely
earmarked for = megjelölve, kijelölve valamire
cafe-cum-restaurant = kávézó és étterem
hearty = bőséges
table-hopping violinists = asztalról-asztalra járó hegedűsök
ambience = barátságos
questioning = kihallgatás
hasless = kellemetlen vita
trustworthy = szavahihető
souk = piac (arab országokban)
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