Monday, March 5, 2012


I spent this weekend in Madrid.  It was a very short time, and totally dedicated to seeing friends and eating delicious things.  I will write a longer post with pictures and reflections and such in a short time.  Right now, it's two in the morning, my bag is finally unpacked, and I'm pretty much 100% ready for bed.  This post isn't going to be about Madrid, though, but about Budapest.

Budapest, like most cities, lights up its major buildings, landmarks, and bridges at night.  The floodlights switch off at midnight, and only streetlights remain after that.  Now, I have experienced those lights turning on and off countless times.  It's normal enough that we sort of use the lights to tell time when we head home across the river from an evening out in Pest.  If the lights are still on, we're being good responsible adults.

Planes usually approach Budapest from the south, crossing over fields and suburbs to land at the airport, which is itself in the southern part of the city.  It's rather uneventful, view-wise.  In the right conditions, though, planes approach from the north, flying right over Margaret Island, the Parliament, and Varosliget.  From the sky, you can see all the bridges, the castle, the citadel, the cemetery... it's always fun to see the landmarks I'm so used to all tiny below me.

Tonight, coming back to Budapest from Madrid, the two coincided.  I was looking out the window for only a few seconds at that point, and our plane was directly over the river, when one by one the lights started to switch off.  Goodbye, Parliament.  Goodbye, Chain Bridge.  Szia, Heroes' Square.  Only the boulevards remained to show me where things were.  (Well, that and the ridiculous lights outside the Arena Plaza mall.)

For some reason, this moment really struck me.  As all those beautiful things disappeared, leaving a shadow in their place, I felt a strange sort of happiness.  It should have been sad, but it wasn't.  I could still see the places I love, even if I couldn't see them, more from their lack of light than from anything else.  As each light switched off, I felt happier.  I sort of feel like I saw all of Budapest tuck itself in for the night.  And it was good to be home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that is nice glad you like it there love grandma xoxoxo