Fall, Fish Soup and Farkasreti


We had a great day exploring the Buda Hills. Fall has fallen, and we are enjoying the colors while the temperatures are still relatively mild (upper 40s today and most of the last week). The picture above is in a park below the lookout tower on Szechenyi-Emlek ut; it’s a gorgeous view of Budapest most days, but we had an opaque temperature inversion today that kept the downtown behind a veil of haze. The park is just up the road from the Singaporean and Argentinian consulate generals’ residences. Not a bad gig if you can get it.

We had lunch at Bajai Halászcsárda étterem in Svabhegy, where the specialty is fish — pretty much like Bubba Blue talking shrimp. They have catfish, dog fish, red fish, blue fish… and the two renditions we tried, a catfish Hortobágy palacsinta (Hortobágy is a region in eastern Hungary, and apparently was the source of these savory pancakes filled with various meats — basically a European enchilada that is awesome) and carp soup. (How good can carp taste? Not good enough unless you dunk it in a nice soup.) There’s plenty of hearty-tilting-toward-heavy in Hungarian cuisine, but we’ve really enjoyed our ongoing education — there’s way more to it than gulyás, thank goodness.

Our other stop was at Farkasreti Temeto (cemetery). It’s not as lush as Kerepesi cemetery, but compensates with its hilly terrain and cluster after cluster of modest but visually arresting tombstones and memorials. As we were heading toward the exit, we walked by the following as-yet-unmarked site:

I have to say I honestly didn’t — and still don’t — know what to think. In an obscure way, it recalled to mind Paul in the Areopagus preaching about the altar to the unknown god (Acts 17:23) he discovered, but I say without any critique, implied or otherwise, that it gave me pause, and I continue to ponder it.


2 responses to “Fall, Fish Soup and Farkasreti

  1. I figured as much — it’s not all that uncommon in the US, either. I think, however, it is more typical in the US to pick it all out but then the actual installation is not done until someone in the family has actually died. (Which still leads to what we think is kind of odd/morbid, where you have a tombstone with, say, the husband’s name and birth/death years, and the wife’s name with a spot waiting for her final data!) As I say, it is something that gave — and gives — me pause. On the one hand it is a prudent, realistic preparation to make, but on the other hand… it is more prudent than I am comfortable being, perhaps? I don’t know. Thanks for confirming that for us, though.

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