Old to New, Day to Night

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck
A few kilometers from the border, while we were still in Romania, the train lumbered to a halt and the customs official entered our car. He took our passports, gave us the once-over, and then proceeded to flip through a tiny, dusty notebook in order to jot down our passport numbers. He fumbled through his shoulder bag for a stamp, awkwardly used the side of the chair for a flat surface in which to affix it, and handed them back to us.A few kilometers across the border, just into Hungary, the train halted again. Three customs officials dressed in slick uniforms boarded our car to check us into their country. Our passports were scanned via a slot into a small machine carried instead of a shoulder bag, the stamp was quickly released from the officer’s utility belt, and they had disposed of the whole process in under a minute.

The differences in procedure were stark and amusing. We didn’t realize then that it was so indicative of the contrast between these two neighbouring countries.

“Everything is so shiny and new here!” I said often as we walked through Budapest’s streets. Even the old architecture seemed contemporary, kept up from crumbling in comparison to the decay (albeit captivating in its own right!) found across Romania.

And dare we say that Budapest now deftly sits very near the top of our list of most stunning cities in Europe. It also kept Pete very busy as he repeatedly wound his way up and down either side of the Danube, stalking trams snaking through interior neighborhoods, always finding a new angle to shoot with each passing second of dynamic light.

And so this photo story is presented through those changes, from day into night, the Paris of the East:

Dare we say that Budapest now deftly sits very near the top of our list of most stunning cities in Europe. It also kept Pete very busy as he repeatedly wound his way up and down the Danube… always finding a new angle to shoot with each passing second of dynamic light.

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Budapest Panoramic

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Chain Bridge Budapest
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Chain Bridge from Above
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where we stayed

What also made our visit to Budapest so great was the fact that we basically lived in my dream apartment, very centrally located, at a very affordable price. Find it here.

Haven’t tried Airbnb yet? Sign up through this link and you’ll receive a $25 credit (and we’ll get a little something as well, thanks for helping!) 🙂

0 Comments... Be the first to comment
  • September 4 2014

    I have been to many of the places you photographed there in Budapest. Oh, what memories!!!!! I wished I was back there!

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      Us too Jody, such a wonderful city!

  • As always, stunning pictures. I spent a week in Budapest two summers ago and I’ve been dying to go back ever since. You captured the city beautifully.

    Happy travels 🙂
    Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren recently posted..The View from The Shard: Dancing over London!

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      We’ve only been gone for over a month and wanting to go back. It definitely is a city which won us 🙂

  • September 4 2014

    Gorgeous photos!

  • A Montrealer Abroad (@marievallieres)
    September 4 2014

    I feel like I say this every time you guys publish a new photo essay but WOW. Amazing shots, Pete.

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      Thank you, very much appreciated 🙂

  • September 5 2014

    Sigh. Beautiful as always. Thanks for brightening my day.

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      You are welcome Jill, thank you for the comment 🙂

  • September 5 2014

    We had a similar border crossing experience on the train going from Berlin to Prague. We chatted about what it must be like for those border patrol officers for quite a while into the Czech Republic! 🙂
    Mindy & Ligeia recently posted..Being Vegan in England by Dee Fancett

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      Ahhh, I can imagine. No kidding right?

  • September 5 2014

    LOVE. Love Budapest, and love all these photos – especially the nighttime shots, Pete!

    Makes me really want to go back to this awesome city.
    Amanda recently posted..48 Hours in Denver

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      Thanks Amanda, such an awesome city. We should have a blogger meet-up there….

  • September 5 2014

    Your photographs are a real feast for the eyes, a visual delight! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Arti recently posted..Ganpati Pandal Hopping, Mumbai: 10 lessons I learn from Ganesha!

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      Thank you very much Arti 🙂

  • September 5 2014

    Gorgeous photos guys! The architecture is just stunning!

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      It’s a magical place, especially at night. Thanks guys!

  • September 5 2014

    Fabulous photos – and making me rethink Budapest. I last visited in… hmmm… 1987 and the city was quite, quite different. Nothing clean and welcoming about it at all. It looks stunning and I will probably stand corrected once I go back – which I’ve now decided to do.

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      That’s great Leyla that you will give it another shot. It still does have it’s non-clean aspect, especially early in the morning before the street cleaners get out. But we found the city to be just beautiful.

  • September 5 2014

    Wow, wow, WOW!! Those photos! Stunning. Such a beautiful city.
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Surfing in Ucluelet, BC with Wick’d Surf Camps

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      Thank you very much Rika 🙂

  • September 5 2014

    Unbelievable photos!! I muttered a very eloquent “Wowww!” more than once. I didn’t know how badly I wanted to visit Budapest until this very moment…well done!
    Leah recently posted..Friday Snapshot: Fishing Boat on Koh Phangan

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      Excellent news, thanks Leah. I’m glad you enjoyed them 🙂

  • Franca
    September 5 2014

    We love Budapest too, it’s such an amazing city full of artistic corners and places to go to. Your photos are amazing by the way, simply stunning!

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      Thank you Franca. You are right about all the artistic corners, so much to see in that city.

  • Abi
    September 5 2014

    Holy moly! You’ve taken a beautiful city and managed to make it even more fabulous!

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      Perfect, my goal in mind 🙂 Thanks Abi!

  • September 5 2014

    As always, beautiful pics. can’t wait to get to Budapest- hopefully when we are back in Europe next year.

  • Diana Edelman
    September 6 2014

    Budapest is an incredibly photogenic city! I look forward to the day I head back there! Absolutely magnificent pics!

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      As always, thank you Diana 🙂

  • September 7 2014

    Such great photos! Making me very excited for our visit to Budapest next month.

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      Ahhh, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did 🙂

  • I loved Budapest but was unfortuantely there during a crazy heatwave so didn’t get to see everything that I wanted to. Guess that is reason to return 🙂
    Katie @ The World on my Necklace recently posted..The Best Markets in London (in my humble opinion)

    • Pete
      September 9 2014

      I can imagine how crazy hot it gets there. Those are the days to just stay in the cafe and sip away on some Hungarian wine 🙂

  • September 8 2014

    My heart is always with Budapest, such a spectacular city 🙂 I’ve also noticed how much it can change from daytime to night, it’s two different kinds of beauty, so mysterious…
    Lily Lau recently posted..35 Beautiful Doors From Around The World

  • September 10 2014

    Great photos of Budapest! Just curious, what gear do you shoot with?

    I went during my exchange days and only had my P&S back then. Would love to revisit all these places to shoot them again.
    Will Tang recently posted..Travel Blogger’s Toolkit #9 – Creating Your Media Kit in 10 Easy Steps

  • September 15 2014

    Absolutely gorgeous. I can’t wait to explore more of Europe!

  • September 15 2014

    What a great photos set, and you obviously took some time and dedication to get to these spots! It is clearly a very grand and stately city. I like the photo of the bridge with the traffic circle.
    Jeff | Planet Bell recently posted..Photos from the Awesome Aurora Show on Sept 12, 2014, That Will Make You Jealous

  • September 19 2014

    Amazing photos! You’re right there is a huge difference in what you can see from your previous pictures of Romania and Budapest here. What a trip!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions in Panama City Beach

  • September 23 2014

    Budapest is one of my favorite cities and you’ve captured it beautifully! I love the different perspectives in your photos!
    Heather recently posted..Tallinn, Estonia: Europe’s Sleeping Beauty

  • September 23 2014

    These are absolutely stunning photos from one of my favorite cities. The view from Elizabet Bridge is really different. Love how you framed it.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Top 5 Reasons to Visit Emilia-Romagna

  • September 27 2014

    Really really beautiful images of Budapest! It happens to be one of the cities in Europe I want to visit the most. Those stunning photos of yours remind me to really make a plan to visit Hungary sooner than later.
    Bama recently posted..Komodo: A Magnificent Conclusion

  • Amazing photos collection!
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..My Top 11 Amsterdam

  • October 5 2014

    Stunning photographs! Especially love the one with traffic from both side of the road. 🙂 You make me wanna go check out this city already….
    Pamela recently posted..Travel Roundup – Malapascua 2014

  • G Smith
    November 2 2015

    Hi guys, I have just discovered your blogs. What a Wonderful website, superb stories and amazing photographs! So inspiring.

    Re the “mobile customs” I travelled from Malaysia to Thailand by train. There you leave the train, get stamped out from Malaysia on one platform, then trapse around to the other, where you are stamped into Thailand, then back to your seat on the train. Lovely how they all differ a little.

    Keep up the travelling, guys, and we await your next journey with great anticipation. Where is next?

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