Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
October 2020
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Szeged Sightseeing

I have been in Szeged, Hungary attending a conference for the past week. The conference has involved long days (and I’ve been trying to keep up with work from home as well), but I have had the occasional chance to escape and do some sightseeing. I have visited Hungary once before, 25 years ago, spending time in Szekszárd and Budapest, as part of my first ever overseas trip. On arrival this time various Proustian — and visual — recollections came back: the occasional aroma of damp mouldy cabbage (well, that’s what it smells like), the rampant green undergrowth and ivy that grows over everything, the curious mix of elegant-but-slightly-weary architecture with rusting concrete brutalism, the hazy yellow tones of a warm central-European summer, the few Hungarian words that I had learned on the previous occasion, the disconcerting bamboozlement of being able to read all the letters of the signs and writing I saw while not being able to turn any of them into words* (a few were recognisable: I had a szendvics for lunch on a couple of occasions), and the welcome abundant availability of fagylalt (ice-cream).

Anyway, here is a collection of some of my sightseeing photos.

Szeged is the third-largest town in Hungary and is down near the border with Serbia and Romania, on the banks of the Tisza (TEE-ssa) River. The distinctive spires of Szegedi Dóm (the Votive Church and Cathedral of Our Lady of Hungary), built after a huge flood destroyed much of the town, provide a focal point for the skyline, although this week getting up close proved a little disappointing as the huge plaza/forecourt was filled with staging and seating for some concert, making it difficult to get a good shot of the entrance. bIMG_7824



This is my hotel, which has a gently decaying elegance.


The water tower, now no longer used for that purpose, is quite the work of art (a geocache brought me here).


The town hall is situated on one side of Széchenyi Tér, a lovely rectangular park just outside my hotel.




Although smaller than and not quite as refined as, say, Prague, there has been quite a bit of work done to give the city a people-friendly ambience, with streets now turned into plazas. In this respect it is a bit like Ljubljana in Slovenia (as seen here and here), although not quite as historic, due to the rebuilding needed after the flood. With the summer days being so long and the evening so warm, the streets are busy until late at night, with a fagyalt-fuelled buzz (possibly also vodka-fuelled, judging by the occasional small bottle littering the side streets).



Our conference was held at the University of Szeged … but not this bit of it!


And the sign behind the fountain says “Szeged”, provided you’re on the correct side of it.


* Hungarian is one of the Finno-Ugric languages, and, as such, is related only to Finnish and Estonian, and then but distantly. It looks nothing like the Italic/Romance, Germanic, or Slavic languages that you might expect to have some connection.

1 comment to Szeged Sightseeing

  • looking from over the pond

    Hungarians as with most peoples make their own home brew called palinco with added essence the [women] love apricot or cherry and vanilla. Which can be made from really anything,mainly potato..To test, put match to it, if it lights up, its good!..ps be warned at time 80% proof.

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