Appealingly ugly

Trip Start Nov 15, 2005
Trip End Aug 15, 2008

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Flag of Serbia and Montenegro  ,
Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Not having learnt from my previous experience, I thought it would be a good idea to break up my journey to Budapest and take in a couple of smaller towns along the way. My first stop was Art Nouveau inspired Subotica

Forced to spend 6 hours here by the irritating scheduling of the trains, it really wasn't that much of a hardship, especially as the kind tourist info people looked after my bag for that time. The main streets of town, Engels street and the Corso, are a very strange mix of architectural styles, each successive style seeming to try harder and harder to outdo the previous in their attempts to catch your attention. The Art Nouveau buildings were the definate winners in that little competition. The enormous Town Hall (at the culmination of the Corso) is an imposing edifice of colourful decoration and rustic ornamental motifs, and the nearby Blue and Green fountains are garish enough to not look out of place.

This may sound like I didn't like the place. Quite the opposite, I actually found it oddly appealing. I find it difficult not to like something that tries so hard and fails so spectacularly to look tasteful. The Art Nouveau Synagogue was a prime example of this, but even that was overshadowed by the rediculously flambouyant Raichle Palace. A monstrosity of a building, far too elaborately decorated and styled, I couldn't help but smile when I looked at it. I was really disappointed to discover the gallery within closed at 1, shortly after I arrived in town and long before I got to the place. Not for the gallery itself - I don't even know what it was of - but I really wanted to look around inside and see if it could possibly match the wonderfully ugly exterior. I can only imagine.

Moving on at 6.45, I assumed I would be in Szeged (just across the border into Hungary) in good time.
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