I am a bad tourist.
I had a suspicion about this before, but now I know for sure. I am a terrible tourist; a truly awful sightseer and happy snapper.
I do try. I mean I go to the museums and ruins and squares listed by Lonely Planet as must-sees, but as soon as I find myself in a crowd of foreigners gawking at the world through the lenses of their cameras and shuffling along like sheep I cringe in deep embarrassment to be associated with them. So I either take myself on a whirlwind tour of the sight, seeking out quieter spots from which to enjoy the view and take my pics, or I about turn and rush off to the nearest green patch to quiet my overloaded mind.
And as for taking photographs of every building, statue and view well I struggle with that too. I’ve tried to remember the sweeping vistas on film, but they’re just so much better in the flesh, and in any case the splendour and detail of centuries-old architecture cannot be reduced to an image the size of your palm.
So far from being a good visitor and ensuring I check off all the top sights, I wander along the streets getting lost and enjoying being a pedestrian in this magnificent city.
Bartok Bela 16, my first home, on the Buda side