I’ve saved the best Buda site for last: the Garden of Philosophy. This is my favorite place on the Buda side and one of my favorite places in Budapest.
While I didn’t have a guidebook for my visit, I did conduct some research before my trip on things to see and do. Buried in one website was a quick mention of the Garden of Philosophy.
I was intrigued, partly because it looked like a cool spot and partly because it wasn’t touted throughout other online sites. It’s not even listed on TripAdvisor, one of my go-to sites. (I’m trying to change that.) In fact, many of my Hungarian colleagues haven’t even heard about or seen it.
The map showed a general area far back in the park behind Gellért’s statue. It also showed the GPS coordinates. (It’s funny—in Budapest, you’ll get the GPS coordinates for almost everything. The coordinates for my flat are even listed in my lease contract!)
Once I got to the park, I figured there would be signs or some type of marker system. Not true. So I began to walk. There were times when I had to choose from one path or another. My choices were on a case by case basis, using the logic of the moment.
Perseverance paid off. After walking 15 minutes or more (I wasn’t really paying attention), I saw some statues in the distance. Sure enough, I had found the Garden of Philosophy!
The life-size statues appear as if they’re in some type of conference, and it feels like there’s an energy shared within the circle. I love the combination of people and what they represent. Overall, it reminds me of one of the most important things in life: hope. (One of the reasons that The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies.) Plus, I love that it’s randomly—and almost surreptitiously—situated in the park. It makes you feel like you’ve stumbled upon something special, something magical that no one is meant to see. But somehow you get a glimpse of it.
Coming up: Pest