Our recent trip to Budapest highlighted a lot for me – mainly that the city is beautiful and that we will return to explore it in the true slow travel style (read: spend too much time sampling every restaurant and bar in the city). I’ve already talked about the intriguing District VII and will undoubtedly waffle on some more in future posts too – but for now I wanted to show off the gorgeous Eastern European trams that are still in service along Budapest’s glorious wide open streets and along the city’s fabulous riverside.
The ones in this picture were made by a company called Ganz and released to the streets of Budapest throughout the 1970’s. There are of course many newer trams operating certain routes in the city (as well as a few older ones) but these have the better appeal. They are slightly rickety, stained with rust and zoom around the roads without even the least bit of concern for the people inadvertently stumbling into their paths.
Seeing them, even fearing them, was ever so sightly reminiscent of walking the streets of Moscow – pulling over cabs shaped like Lada’s driven by people on their way home from work and just being missed by a dozen more of the same, all hoping to steal you away from another fare by mowing you down before you have the chance to hop in (I wrote an article for Yettio on this very subject some time ago). In other words – typically Eastern European. Old fashioned and yet full of charm that one can only appreciate when stepping out of the realms of safety and mindfulness. Beautiful and wonderful…
I’m not however, a big fan of riding trams (or busses for that matter), so I prefer to stay on the outside and walk the paths of the city – even in the cold – which is bracing in a place like Budapest. However, I do note that many, many tourists seem to take the tram lines in Budapest as a sort of cheap alternative to a tour (not my thing I must confess) – as they of course run all around the city. If you fancy it – then take tram number 2 which will take you riverside by the gorgeous parliament building. I might add – look out for the Christmas tram during winter – a big Eastern European mess of winter cliches – baubles and sparkling lights – like the tram variant of the Eiffel Tower – but much prettier and ever so slightly less phallic.
This image of Budapest Trams is one in a series of travel photos that we will post to highlight the unique, less explored aspects of travel . Click here to see the whole series.