Sunday, 6 June 2010

When the levee breaks

“If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break,
If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break,
When the levee breaks I'll have no place to stay.”

After three weeks of rain almost every day, the wettest May ‘since records began’, the Danube levee did break today. It’s the city’s turn to flood, as massive floods affect much of the regions’s rural areas. All central Europe has suffered in recent weeks from the unseasonal rain, with people killed and agricultural land damaged across Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Apparently it’s not uncommon in the spring for this to happen, as the Alpine snows melt and make their way to the sea, but it looks pretty awesome to me.

Fortunately it looks as if the terrible weather has ended, and this weekend has been warm and sunny. Just well for the organisers of “The National Gallop”, a new event that brings horses and riders from all over the country to Budapest for a weekend of racing around the (turfed and sanded) Heroes’ Square.

Around the horses is a big spread of stalls and other festivities, turning the top end of Andrassy ut into something reminiscent of a pop festival.

Each of the country’s counties has its own stall, showing off things that they are proud of, which might be honey, palinka or traditional music. And what better way to recover from stall surveying than to lie down in the Town Park and enjoy the feeling of sun on your face and grass on your back.

A very jolly way to spend a Saturday.

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