The biggest Jesus statue in Hungary – Blessing Jesus statue in Tarcal

Hungary is so much more than just Budapest, and since 2015, Hungary and the village of Tarcal has given a home to the biggest Jesus statue of the nation.

You probably don’t have any clue about where Tarcal is located (yet), but let us tell you quickly that the village is located in the Tokaj region, only a few kilometers from the village of Tokaj. And yes, this is in the heart of the wine region, meaning that you will pass by lots of vineyards as you drive around in this fantastic area.

The Jesus statue in Tarcal
The Jesus statue in Tarcal

The statue was built after a man named Petró Attila discovered some drawings of a Jesus statue in a chapel not far from the location of the current statue. He then provided the material for the statue, and the sculptor named Sandor Szabo (also from the area) was the one actually creating the statue. It has been made of five large stones and as you stand closer to the statue, you can easily see the five stones placed on one another.

The height of the statue is 8,5 meters and it has a total weight of approximately 50000kg.

The Jesus statue in Tarcal seen standing in front of it
The Jesus statue in Tarcal seen standing in front of it

While most Jesus statues is shown with the savior standing with open arms, this open is standing with one arms at his chest, while the other is kind of waving, or showing a blessing towards the people watching.

And yes, the name of the statue is Aldo Jezus Szobor, meaing the Blessing Jesus statue, which means, it is portraying Jesus blessing the people.

How to get to the statue?

As you drive through Tarcal, you will see big signs taking you all the way to the parking lot of the statue. From there you have a 500 meter walk (might feel like a bit more) to get to the actual statue. This is a very nicely built way with lots of benches along the way for those who want to rest before the finish the road. It might not be easy, but you can actually bring your stroller as well, considering that it is quite nice way all the way up to the statue. You might get warm, but it is completely possible!

Once at the top you can enjoy the full statue, and you can also enjoy a beautiful view towards Tarcal on one side, and towards a small hidden lake at the other side.

View towards Tarcal and the rest of Tokaj from the statue.
View towards Tarcal and the rest of Tokaj from the statue.
Beautiful view towards a "hidden" lake just beneath the statue.
Beautiful view towards a “hidden” lake just beneath the statue.

There are several benches up by the statue making this an even better place for an excursion, or for a stop on a pilgrimage trip, or maybe between a couple of wine tasting programs in Tokaj!

For more information about wine tasting programs in Budapest and elsewhere, check this site. Do not forget to share this with your friends on Facebook and if you need any help or have any questions, please write a comment and we will do our best to help you out!

Book your Budapest hotel much cheaper!

We all want to save money wherever it is possible. We like to pay for quality, but if we find the same quality and the same product cheaper somewhere else, we like to purchase the product in the cheapest possible way.

And then comes the question – why pay more than needed for the hotel room you will live in during your stay in Budapest? We are not speaking about staying in a rat-hole with cockroaches, but why pay more for the exact same room you were planning to stay in when there is a cheaper option?

Book a cheaper hotel room in Budapest
Why pay more for your Budapest hotel? Source: Pixabay

How can I get the hotel room cheaper?

We just discovered an interesting in an article in the IP Address Guide that was about how you can get cheaper hotel rooms. It is easy to be a skeptic to such articles, but this was really interesting to watch and to read.

They did a live presentation in which they compared the booking services and prices at Booking.com with a new cryptocurrency based platform named Locktrip. There you can see them compare the prices of the Sofitel 5 star hotel in Budapest on the Booking.com and the Locktrip platform. And for a stay of three nights the difference in price for exactly the same product was 75 USD. They further tested other hotel rooms in other cities, and the differences in price was between 10-20% on all booking prices.

The Locktrip platform isn’t any different from the other hotel booking engines, and the fact that it is cryptocurrency based isn’t something you need to worry about. You can simply register, and pay for all your bookings in your local currency with your current payment card. It is important that you need to register at the platform in order to see the prices of the different rooms in your local currency. Before you register you will only see the prices in LOC (the name of the cryptocurrency). But, the value of the token can be seen at all times, meaning that you can easily find the price of the hotel room in your local currency, also without registering at the Locktrip website.

In other words, time to test Locktrip

It is easy to check it out and free to register. As you check the prices, compare them with your favorite booking engine. If you find it to be cheaper, do your booking on the cheapest platform (which most likely will be the Locktrip platform), and use the “saved” money on some cool activity or delicious food in Budapest!

We wish you a pleasant stay in Budapest!

Enjoy the snow in Budapest!

If you didn’t know it already, it is currently possible to enjoy some snow in Budapest. As a tourist, you might not enjoy it, but the local population still try to rejoice in the snow.

Every year you have a couple of days with snow in Budapest. We are never speaking about extreme amounts of snow, but simply a thin layer that makes the trees look green, and the kids able to throw a couple of snowballs. At the moment it seems as if January 14th, 15th, 16th and who knows how many more days will be those days in 2018 in which we enjoyed some snow.

What should you do on a cold winter day like the one today in Budapest? We have written an article on that earlier, so if you want some suggestions, check out this article. The article referred to is about the Christmas markets, but it contains general advice on what to do in Budapest on a snowy day.

Do not forget that you can enjoy hot sprints outdoor in the Szechenyi thermal bath, also on a snowy January day!
Do not forget that you can enjoy hot sprints outdoor in the Szechenyi thermal bath, also on a snowy January day!

Do not forget that the Winter Olympics will be arranged in South Korea in a month from now. The Hungarians don’t care about Winter sports, but you might care about it, so if you want to watch the Winter Olympics while in Budapest, you better turn on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 on the TV in your hotel room, and you will most likely be able to watch all the highlights. For more information on how to stream the Winter Olympics online, check this article.

The Hungarians in the Winter Olympics

Based on the information we have just found, it seems as if there will be a total of 12 Hungarians participating in the Winter Olympics 2018. 10 of those will take part in speed skating (5 women, 5 men), one in ice skating and one stand alone in speed skating. We can for sure forget about medals, but at least there will be someone from Hungary taking part in the Winter Games.

 

 

Best films from Budapest on Netflix

Do you have a Netflix account and feel like watching some film with clips from Budapest in them? Want to see the Chain Bridge and other Budapest attractions combined with action? Here are some of the films you can watch from Budapest on Netflix!

Before continuing it is worth knowing that there are not that many films that have been recorded in Budapest, and lots of the films recorded in Budapest does not really try to show Budapest as a city. That is why we will simply highlight a few films on Netflix in which you can see the beauties of Budapest. A film such as Die Hard 5 is not on the list, because you see very little from Budapest in that film, and it can not be found on Netflix.

So, as you want to watch Budapest on Netflix you will of course need a Netflix account, and if you are in Hungary you will need a VPN subscription as well, because you are not yet allowed to watch Netflix in Hungary. However, if you read the following article you will find out still how you can watch Netflix in Hungary easily.

Budapest on US Netflix

If you have a US Netflix account the best films are unavailable for you, but there is one film on US Netflix in which you can at see pieces of Budapest, and that is Evita!

Budapest on UK Netflix

On UK Netflix there are much more to watch, so the best two films available on UK Netflix with scenes and beautiful images from Budapest is I Spy and Munich. I Spy is a really lousy film, but after all it was recorded in Budapest, which makes it nice anyway. Munich is a much more serious film dealing with the terror attack on Israeli participants during the Summer Olympics in Munich. Here you can see some screenshots from I Spy (not too high quality though).

Hotel Gellert I Spy
Hotel Gellert in I Spy

I Spy on Netflix
I Spy

Budapest on Norwegian Netflix

If you want to watch an action film in Norwegian with English subtitles, then you need to watch “Varg Veum: I morket er alle ulver gra” on Netflix. This film is far better than I Spy, and also here you can see lots of beautiful shots and scenes from Budapest. Take a look at the images believe for a little taste.

Varg Veum on Netflix
Varg Veum on Netflix

Explosion in front of Szechenyi Furdo
Explosion in front of Szechenyi Furdo

Parliament in Varg Veum
Parliament in Varg Veum

Chain Bridge in Varg Veum
Chain Bridge in Varg Veum

These are some films that can be watched on Netflix where you can see lots of beautiful Budapest clips. And what is great is that with one single Netflix subscription you can watch Netflix in all sorts of nations. You can read more about that here.

Some pictures from the “Horse and Puszta program”

Are you a fan of beautiful horses capable of doing special and nice maneuvers? Check out the Horse and Puszta program, because if you visit it, that is exactly what you are going to get… and so much more.

Because, at that program you will not only find talented horses, but talented riders, a whole lot of fun, and the best goulash soup in Hungary. Here you can see five pictures recently sent to us by one of our visitors who recently enjoy this program.

Want to check it out yourself? Read more about it here.

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Check out the Volt Festival in Hungary

As we already wrote in our previous articles, we can not imagine a boring summer in Hungary. There are lots of programs we can choose from either in Budapest or in other smaller towns in Hungary.

If we just want to have a nice summer holiday in Hungary, but we are not really interested in festivals and the nightlife of Hungary, because we are traveling with family, Hungary is still a perfect get away for those who love long, warm days with a perfect summer weather, restaurants and bars! During summers Hungary is offering many concerts, festivals and other occasions as well.

Volt 2014
Arctic Monkeys – coming to VOLT in 2014

Volt Festival

This festival is truly one of the best and most popular one in Hungary! Festival season starts with Volt festival generally in the beginning of July. Visitors are welcome from 2nd July until 6th of July. There is an extra day, the warm up day on 1st of July. The festival takes place in Sopron which is a small city just right to the Austrian border, 220 kms from Budapest the capital of Hungary. Until 16th June you can get your tickets on discount. You can have VIP tickets so you can enjoy the live party and concerts from the VIP grand stand and have all the access to the VIP area, you can buy single day tickets and 5 days and 4 days pass too and if it was not enough you can even combine your Balaton Sound tickets with your Volt Festival tickets too. This year like all the other years there are plenty of worldwide known artists and bands, not only foreigners but you can also enjoy the Hungarian bands performances as well. This year’s biggest names are Arctic Monkeys, MGMT, the swedish Icona Pop, Woodkid and many others too. Shower and camping possibilities are for free for all the visitors.

If you want to know more about the festival, prices and bands go to the official site and get your tickets now!

Hungary and the Eurovision Song Contest – The big problem

The Eurovision Song Contest is approaching and only a few days ago the Hungarian people voted for ByeAlex to represent Hungary in the Song Contest of 2013. I considered naming this article Bye Bye Alex, but the problem is much bigger than ByeAlex…

I remembered the first time I listened to the song with which ByeAlex won the hearts of the Hungarians. I thought that it fits perfectly into the Eurovision Song Contest, because it is so boring and strange. The problem is that it is nothing more than boring and strange. Last year the amazing Russian grandmothers sang about partying and it was a terrible song, but because it was cool and gave people a reason to smile, it ended up on second place. Well, ByeErik gives us a good reason to sleep, at least he gives me a reason to sleep.

The real Hungarian problem

But, the real Hungarian problem is not ByeAlex. Strange songs have won the Eurovision Song Contest before, so since miracles still do happen, ByeAlex might somehow qualify for the final, and if he first gets there, who knows. Maybe he will even get some points?!

The challenge is that it is real people voting for the winners in the Eurovision Song Contest. The voters vote for two things:

  • Great songs
  • Friends and nations they sympathize with

It is strange to notice how often a nation gets lots of points from the neighboring nations. If you start paying attention you can notice how Spain always get points from Portugal and France and there are lots of similar cases. This is where the problem starts. Hungary does not get points from their neighbors. The nations surrounding Hungary doesn’t really sympathize with the Hungarians, so when the points are given from Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Ukraine, Austria and Serbia there are very few points sent in the direction of Hungary. The nearest one can come to a Hungarian neighbor when it comes to giving points is Finalnd… and that is it.

Eurovision 2011 example

In 2011 Kati Wolf performed for Hungary. I remember she was among the favorites for winning the entire competition… and yes, it was a great song that I still enjoy hearing when it is played on the radio. Hungary then received a total of 53 points (giving it an amazing 22nd place). They received points from the following nations: Finland (12 points), Sweden (5 points), France (2 points), Romania (7 points), Austria (2 points), Azerbadjan (2 points), Iceland (5 points), Spain (6 points), Ukraine (4 points) and Serbia (8 points). They received some points from their neighbors, but it could have been so many more points to gather.

Did you know that there is something called OGAE, which is the General Organisation of Eurovision Fans. Since 2007 they vote for a winner of the Eurovision Song Contest and here are the statistics.

  • OGAE winner 2007: Serbia (also won the Song Contest)
  • OGAE winner 2008: Sweden (ended up as number 18 in Song Contest)
  • OGAE winner 2009: Norway (also won the Song Contest)
  • OGAE winner 2010: Denmark (ended up 4th in the Song Contest)
  • OGAE winner 2011: Hungary (ended up as number 22 in Song Contest)
  • OGAE winner 2012: Sweden (also won the Song Contest)

There is one exception with Sweden in 2008, but normally the songs selected by OGAE does very well in the main competition. Not so for Hungary in 2011. That is why it doesn’t really matter if we send ByeAlex or Gigi Radics or anyone else to the Eurovision Song Contest, Hungary wan’t win anyway.

Back in 2007 Hungary got a ninth place in the Eurovision Song Contest when Magdolna Ruzsa performed her Unsubstantial Blues. This was the best performance in the Hungarian history of Eurovision Song Contest since 1994 when they got a fourth place as Friderika sang “Whom can I tell my sins?” That was also the first year Hungary took part in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Will Hungary ever win the Eurovision Song Contest?

If Hungary stay in the same relationship with their neighboring nations as now, they will not. They might get some points from here and there, but if a great song like the one in 2011 only grabs a few points from the neighboring nations it will never be enough to win the entire competition.

In 2013 ByeAlex will represent Hungary… if he qualifies for the final I will be very surprised. If he qualifies for the final and gets more than 50 points I will be greatly surprised. If he gets more than hundred points I will find my guitar, clear my voice and get ready for recording, because then I will publish the Budablogger version of the song of ByeAlex…

An introduction to Hungarian politics

Small country – difficult politics

To write an introduction to Hungarian politics is a very dangerous task, and a very hard task. In some nations politics might be a nice subject to speak about during dinners and in a coffee break at work. In Hungary politics is a dangerous subject which can turn friends, colleagues and lovers against one another. It can also make friends out of enemies if you suddenly find out that your enemy shares your thoughts on Hungarian politics. Still, I will try to give an introduction to the politics in Hungary in this article. The goal is not to influence people in any way, neither is this article meant to be read by Hungarians, but the goal is to help people from outside Hungary to get some more insight in the political life of Hungary, in a simple and short way (if that is possible).

I could go far back in history, but I will start it all on May 1st, 2004. That is the date when Hungary became a member of the European Union, together with nine other nations. In those days Hungary was predicted to become a successful EU nation within few years, and they spoke about getting the Euro already in 2008. That did not succeed, and the Euro has still not come to Hungary. What is the background?

Divided between left and right

Some people have suggested that Hungary would need leaders who are specialists in their field (economy etc…) to set the direction for the country. In other words, professional leaders not influenced by the politics of the Hungarian right or left side. The problem is that politics in Hungary is something you get served on a daily basis from your birth through television, newspapers, teacher and radio. Your parents, your teachers, your neighbor… everyone shares their opinion about politics, and therefore you will it very hard to stand objective if you have lived in the country for a while. You will find yourself under the influence of either the left or the right side. Therefor an objective person in Hungary is hard to find, very hard!

Once I spoke to a Hungarian who said he listened to two different radio channels one morning, and even though both channels spoke of the same matter, they said something completely different. It almost felt as if they were speaking about two different nations. Against this proves the fact that you will find yourself under the influence of what you listen to. In Hungary you can divide the political world to a left side (LMP, MSZP, DK) and to a right side (Fidesz, Jobbik). Here comes one of the first problems. If you read the newspapers and blogs related to the political left side of Hungary you will hear that Jobbik and Fidesz are quite good friends, and that the Hungarian Prime Minister is not at all separating himself enough from the radical extreme party named Jobbik. If you read the newspapers and blog related to the right side you will see that they often write of Jobbik and Fidesz as two total opposites, far away from one another. It is for sure true that Jobbik is a quite extreme and radical right side party, but related and friends of Fidesz or not… it depends on who you talk to!

The economical crisis in Hungary

In 2008 and since then the nation of Hungary has had large problems. Not only the individuals living in the nation, but also on a national scale Hungary has needed to make large adjustments. But who’s fault is this? Read and speak with the people from the left side, and they will blame the right side. They will claim that the country had large problems after the right sided rule between 1998 and 2002, and thus it was a giant work to get things in order. As they started getting things in order and to get the economy back on track, the right side still made things impossible. As the left side wanted to make reforms to get more money to hospitals, education and so on (making people pay small amounts of money to visit their doctors, lay in hospital, study in university), the right side gathered signatures and a voting was on the verge. The voting was the most stupid I have ever heard about in history. It had three questions: Do you want to pay to go to the doctor? Do you want to pay to lie in hospital? Do you want to pay to study? None has ever wanted to pay for anything in history, and thus with a giant win all three reforms were turned down. The left side sais that in this way it was impossible to do anything in the country, and the right side led by Viktor Orban were the ones to be blamed. If you read the newspapers, blogs and TV channels led by right sided people, the story will sound totally different. The communist ideal of everything included once you pay your taxes could be heard often, and also that they did not want the people to pay for the stupid ideas of the leaders back then.

Revolution in 2006

From 2006 (picture from Index)

In 2006 the Hungarians celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the revolution in 1956, where the Hungarians stood up against the communists. Another revolution was also on the rise in the autumn of 2006, the new Hungarian revolution. A recording of a speech made by Ferenc Gyurcsany at a private political meeting, the prime minister in Hungary at that time, was leaked to the press and it had some interesting words and sentences in it. He spoke of how they had lied to the people of Hungary, and how they had not done anything at all (his party had then been leading the nation for the last four years, and had recently won the right to rule for four more years). Not only did he say this, but he cursed and used some really bad words…The people heard the recording and at once they demanded that he should step back from his post as Prime Minister of Hungary. He did not, and this lead to lots of demonstrations, which again lead to riots in the city on October 23rd in 2006 and the days after.

After this event the popularity of the left side sank to the bottom, and during the election of local politicians in the same year, the right side led by Fidesz won in almost all cities and regions of Hungary.

What to think about this?
Both sides reacted to the speech of Ferenc Gyurcsany that was leaked to the press, and the right side claimed that he finally said what is true; the left side did nothing and they lied to the people of Hungary. The left side claimed that what the Prime Minister spoke about was that none ever did anything in Hungary since the fall of communism, and enough was enough. It was time for politicians to stop lying and to start making changes in the country. After this scandal the right side constantly left the Hungarian Parliament during the discussions inside; why listen to a left side and a Prime Minister that is lying? Therefore it was always only a half full Parliament during discussions following this event.

Political situation in present day Hungary

Since 2010 lots of things have changed in Hungary. During the election back then Fidesz led by Viktor Orban won and alone they got 2/3 of all representatives in the Hungarian Parliament. Thus the party can do whatever they want, since 2/3 can do anything, even change, add and remove the laws in the constitution. The other parties are all represented in the Parliament, but they can not really make any difference, as Fidesz alone can control everything. On the left side you can hear radio and TV say that Hungary is the only democratic nation ever to vote for dictatorship to return. On the right side in the political world you can hear about how Fidesz now try to make up for the eight years of destruction made by the left side between 2002-2010, and how the only way to get Hungary out of the financial crisis and the present day troubles was to give one party all power in the nation. In that way they can do all the necessary changes without any one else destroying and interrupting (like the left side claim the right side did some years earlier). Again, it all depends on what newspapers you read, who you speak with and what TV channel you watch.

The current rulers of the country (Fidesz) have changed quite some laws and added and changed things in the constitution since 2010. One important change is that if anyone would like to make changes to the constitution, they will need 2/3 of all votes in the Parliament during one reign (4 year period), and then the law needs to be accepted during the next 4 year period by 2/3 of the Parliament. This is of course only valid for changes happening later, and the changes they have currently made does not need to be accepted by anyone else during the next reign, they are written in stone! They have also made changes to laws about the rights of the employees and the employers, about how the elections in the country are going to be, about the age of judges and lots of other stuff. Maybe these laws are helping Hungary back on track, or maybe it is leading Hungary back into dictatorship? Who knows, but time will show.

In the start of the article I said that my goal was to simply give some insight into the present day political situation in Hungary. I realize that it is an impossible task to do so, but I still hope that if you have managed to read through this entire article, that you have gotten some insight into the situation, and maybe some more understanding of what is going on in the beautiful country of Hungary. If you agree, disagree, have questions or whatever, feel free to write in the comment field.

Budapest Palinka Festival 2011

Palinka
Palinka

The annual Budapest Palinka Festival will be arranged between May 5th and May 8th in 2011. This year the focus will be on Plum-palinka, but you can of course taste a whole lot of other Palinka’s as well if you visit the festival. The Palinka Festival will this year be arranged for the sixth time at the Hunyadi Court, in the Buda Castle area. This festival should not be confused with the annual Palinka and Sausage festival arranged every autumn, also in the area next to the Buda Castle.

More information about the Palinka festival can be found here.

Budapest events

Amy Winehouse, Good Charlotte, Kasabian and The Maccabees to Sziget Festival

Recently several new bands have accepted their invitation to the Sziget Festival in Budapest in 2011, so so far it seems like if this years Sziget Festival will be an amazing event again, as usual. The newest names on the list are Amy Winehouse, The Maccabees, Kasabian and Good Charlotte. Besides these there are many others name which you can find on our page dedicated to the Sziget Festival.

So, mark the dates: August 10-15! Those are the official dates of the Sziget Festival in 2011.