Budapest Travels 2017

Heading off to Budapest

The sun is sliding down the horizon at Logan airport, Boston USA, as we, Alan and Diane, wait for the Lufthansa plane which we will board to start our journey. We will travel  to Frankfurt, Germany and then on to Budapest, Hungary.

We look forward to an invigorating ten days spending time catching up with friends, colleagues, and family members. Alan will present his research paper in person at the MAFITT (Hungarian Society for Philatelic Research) meeting in Budapest on Saturday and then he plans to spend time browsing local stamp shops. We are very pleased to be meeting with representatives of Magyar Posta regarding our expanding business relationship and the artist stamp proposal. We also plan to meet with both an internationally recognized art historian and an art curator. Between all that, we look forward to enjoying tasty meals at local bistros and cafes, doing some sightseeing, and visiting with family and friends.

Arriving in Budapest

It’s Tuesday evening and Alan and Diane have landed in Budapest and are heading from the Liszt Ferenc airport to stay at an apartment in the city. It is a very cozy studio with a loft in a convenient location on Terez korut.

The plan for Wednesday is to get settled in to the apartment, pick up some supplies and make a quick trip to the Buda side. The trip to Buda takes a bit longer than expected. First a stop to change currency to local forints, then a few jogs in and out of both sides of Oktagon train station to buy tram tickets. Three tries to get on the tram in the correct direction and we are finally heading to Buda side where we take some lovely photos of the Parliament building from the Buda side of the Danube River.

Directly across from the Parliament building on the Buda side of the Danube River, we walk through the extraordinary Batthyány Square. This square is named after Lajos Batthyány, the first Prime Minister of Hungary and has a statue of him, erected in 2008.

Batthyány Square is noted for the Szent Anna-templom (Church and Parish of Saint Anne), a Roman Catholic church built by the Jesuits priests between 1740 and 1762; its one of Budapest’s most beautiful baroque buildings.

Before heading back on the tram, we stop for one of the best iced lattes in Budapest out of a field of many good iced lattes and cappuccinos.

On the tram ride back we had a brief interlude when the transit officer puts us off the tram for not properly validating our tickets.  So, after paying our fines on the spot, we were allowed back on the tram.

Before heading home for the evening, we encounter the quaintest Singer sewing machine shop .

Then we stop for a tasty supper at the Turkish restaurant nearby. And of course, the lovely weather made for a most enjoyable outdoor meal.

Presentation to MAFITT

Congratulations, Alan!

 

 

 

 

On Saturday Alan had the honor of presenting to MAFITT (The Hungarian Philatelic and Research Society) at the National Stamp Museum of Hungary as a fulfillment of his induction as a member. His research was on the “Society of Hungarian Philately (USA) from a Historical Perspective”.

Karoly Szucs awards Alan his Certificate of Membership from MAFITT (Hungarian Society for Philatelic Research) upon completing his presentation in Budapest! Please  read his research on the Society for Hungarian Philately. There is a link on the Hungaria Stamp Exchange (hungarianstamps.com) website for viewing the full presentation.

The presentation was well attended by local MAFITT members as well as Isvan Glatz, Vice President of MABEOSZ, the  Hungarian Stamp Collector Association. Following the presentation there was a discussion relating to the presentation.

Later in the week Alan was pleasantly surprised to find “instant recognition” among some of the local stamp dealers who were aware of his MAFITT presentation.

Stamp Museum of Hungary

The Stamp Museum has quite an amazing collection of Hungarian stamps as well as as stamps from other countries of the world. Both Karoly Szucs, MAFITT secretary, and Gabriella Nikodem, Stamp Museum Director, give us individual tours of the collections. The Hungary section starts with postal history which dates to the late 1700’s and has a wide variety of stampless covers up to the first stamp used in Hungary in 1867.The first stamps printed in Hungary were in 1871 as a lithographed set of 6 stamps of Franz Joseph. Every variety of this stamp, mint, used, on cover and in mint blocks is on display. There is a marvelous exhibit of the next two major series of stamps from 1874 to 1915, which are the numeral issues and the Turuls. (The Turul being the mythical warrior Bird of Hungary) The exhibit frames following those are all major error prints, including the inverted Madonna.

Hungary is not the only country exhibited in the stamp frames. Many varieties of stamps are displayed from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Oceania and North America, including many US rarities going back to the Postmaster Provisionals and Hawaii issues.

Stamp Dealers of Budapest

Alan had fun visiting in person with stamp dealers and auction houses that he has worked with previously and those he was meeting with for the first time. Stamp dealers, shops and collectors in Buda and Pest come in all ages and sizes in both Pest and Buda! 

It was so interesting, being able to browse through physical stamp shops in Budapest. These are fast becoming history in the United States.

Alan had the opportunity to meet with Peter Darabanth, President of Darabanth Auctions, internationally recognized auction house for philatelic materials and fine arts. They had a wonderful discussion about the stamp market on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Next door to the Darabanth building is an exquisite Herend gallery with impressive lion figurine.While heading to stamp shops we either walked or took trams around the city which is a fun and interesting activity.

Visit To Magyar Posta

Alan and Diane met in person with our account manager, Katalin, and the manager of the stamp issuance program, Krisztian, giving us insight into the process of topic selection for the program. It was amazing to see the physical size and presence of the Magyar Posta facility!  The Hungaria Stamp Exchange is truly fortunate to have established relationships with such premiere philatelic vendors and philatelists.

 

 

 

 

FINA World Championship 2017 and Danube Arena

After leaving Magyar Posta, we enjoyed cappuccino and espresso at the “Mad Dog Café” in the front of the building.

From there we walked to see the facility that will house the FINA 2017 Championship in the freshly being built Danube Arena. Upon entering the Danube Arena, the wall honoring past Hungarian Olympic Aquatic champions is extremely impressive. Good luck to all participating athletes this summer!

Dinner With Friends in Pest

We enjoy sharing dinner with longtime family friends Tibor and Judit at the Szlovakia Etterem which is a local pub and restaurant. It is a bustling establishment on a Friday evening which makes for lively conversation. It is a lovely evening so we walk the roundtrip from the apartment, returning past the impressively restored Nyugati Palyaudvar Railway Station, built by the Eiffel Company in 1877.This is the same company which built the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty!

On the Road to Szeged 

On Saturday after the MAFITT presentation, Alan and Diane drive to Szeged to visit with family. We arrive to check in to a lovely hotel the Tiszavirag and soon meet up with cousins Gabi, Ezster and Alexandra.  Son David is away in Germany competing in the European (inline) skating championship in which he went on to win a silver medal!

After having an incredibly tasty fish dinner at the Kiskorossy Halaszcsarda which was complete with a local wedding reception. We all went into town to see the fireworks and celebrations that were part of festive Szeged Day. On Sunday we walk around Szeged and the Belvarosi Hid (bridge) to see the booths at the street festival, stop at the market to buy local paprika and then visit the beautiful Szegedy Dom (Cathedral).

Before we head back to Budapest we look through some family photos and take time to enjoy delicious local pastries.

Fifty thousand steps of sight seeing: In and around Buda and Pest

The Hungarian Parliament building is one of the most beautiful Parliament buildings in the world. It has stamps honoring it in the early parliament and harvester series as well as the modern day collector series sheets of various views of rooms within parliament. From the Buda side looking out over the Duna (Danube River), the view seen is a classic panorama.

Also on the Buda side visitors can either walk or take the Funicular Cog Railway to the castle area

which is the location of  the Turul statue of the mythical Warrior Bird,

or see the Nemzeti Galleria (National Gallery of Art) housed within the former palace building.

Walking around the former royal palace we get a little sneak a peek at the ministry of defense building construction, then head up and around to St. Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion monument and the scene of King Stephen’s coronation 1000 years ago.

Back on the Pest side of the city, a stroll down tree lined Andrassy Street yields glimpses of elegant boutiques as well as a “Museum of Terror”.

And who can resist a look at the crawling pub of Budapest.

Art Research and Family Archives

We were delighted to re-connect with internationally recognized art historian and art curator to discuss a possible memoir or exhibit of Csaba-Graber and an artist stamp proposal over the next two years. We all agree there is much to research and consider in this timespan.

Heading Back to the USA

As our second busy week in Budapest comes to a close, we pack and are very pleased with having completed so much in such a short time in Hungary. We also know that there is much work left to do. So before we finish packing we make time for one more leisurely dinner at the Mensa Café not far from the Opera House. The next morning Alan and Diane take a taxi to the Liszt Ferenc airport at the end of a very meaningful trip to Budapest.

Au Revoir!

Posted in Eastern European Philately, European History, Travels | 1 Comment

HSE Winter 2017 Newsletter : Honoring Heroes

Dear Friends, Family, Colleagues and Customers,

Greetings from wintry New England!

All of us at Hungaria Stamp Exchange want to thank you for helping us have a terrific year! We appreciate your wonderful support and enthusiasm for the advancement of Eastern European philately. This past year we enjoyed chatting, emailing and even meeting in person at the World Stamp Show in New York last spring and look forward to continuing the dialogue during 2017. If you happened to miss the previous blog posts from the World Stamp Show 2016, we invite you to sort through the blog archive and check out those exciting postings. In this issue we will be sharing a summary of our Stamp Collector Survey with plans for new collector development as well as highlights of Alan’s anticipated presentation to Mafitt to support his membership nomination. And of course, we will be spotlighting the New Issues of Hungary, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

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HSE Fall 2016 Newsletter

Fall in New England is here with a display of colors in the foliage and crisp cool evenings.

Wrap-up from the World Stamp Show 2016 New York, New York

Just before the start of summer, all of us from the Hungaria Stamp Exchange had the incredible opportunity to attend the once in a decade World Stamp Show held in New York.

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WSS 2016:  Andrew, Stacie, Alan

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and Diane

Penny Black Stamp Display

Penny Black Stamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Show we saw the Penny Black Stamp, the first uniform adhesive postal  Stamp in the world

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John Lennon’s Stamp Album

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the boyhood stamp collection of Beatle John Lennon.

 

We also had the privilege to stand next to an actual Jenny bi-plane

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Diane &  Alan checking out an actual                   Jenny bi-plane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the corresponding rare inverted Jenny Stamp!

 

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Rare inverted Jenny stamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The World Stamp  Show was exciting,  informative and fun event for all who attended.

More so,  it was  a wonderful opportunity to re- connect with long time  friends, as well as meet and form new friendships with collectors, vendors and international postal authorities.

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Current President of Society for Hungarian Philately sits with former President Bob Morgan

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Stella and Paul Richter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring New York City

After the show we got to explore a little bit of the delicious and diverse culinary scenes in New York City. The highlight was Andre’s Cafe Budapest in the Upper East Side. Andrew and Stacie joined Alan and other members of Society for Hungarian Philately and Hungarian dignitaries for a Hungarian feast.

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Delicious Goulash and Chicken Paprikash

 

Hungarian Dinner

Alan and Stacie enjoying red and white Hungarian Tokay wine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When in New York City, what is more fun than enjoying the dazzling experience of Times Square and Broadway? Later in the week Alan and Diane had the opportunity to enjoy the broadway show Lion King with friends.

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Disney Character Mickey Mouse celebrates a birthday on stamps displayed at the WSS 2016

 

 

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Diane poses with Disney characters Elsa, Elmo and Mickey in Times Square

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please take some time to browse  the many interesting topicals   in the HSE online store. https://www.buyhungarianstamps.com/

At the World Stamp Show, visitors were able to travel the world by stopping at the booths of the various international postal authorities that were present at the show to purchase a stamp and obtain postmarks from their respective countries.

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HSE Reaches out to Eastern European Postal Authorities

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Czech Republic Children’s Year:

 

 

Over the past few years we have been expanding our relationship with many of the Eastern European postal authorities. The Hungarian Stamp Exchange is pleased to reaffirm our business agreement with Magyar Posta.

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Croatia Stations of the Cross

 

 

And we are delighted to announce we now have direct agreements in place with Croatia,  Kosovo, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

 

 

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Croatia Bridges – 2013

 

 

We look forward to using these opportunities to improve and increase services and our philatelic offerings  to our customers.

 

Calling All Topical Collectors:

And to all our enthusiastic topical collectors, we have been adding to our topical stamps displayed in the store, so please check out our sports and Olympics offerings  or browse the many interesting topicals   in the HSE online store. https://www.buyhungarianstamps.com

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Ukraine 2016 Rio

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Croatia 2016 Rio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Stamp Collector Development

The Hungaria Stamp Exchange applauds the efforts of the American Philatelic Society (APS),  American Stamp Dealers Association (ASDA) and Amos Publishing in developing support for youth and new stamp collectors of all ages. Hungaria Stamp Exchange is committed to supporting multi-generational interest in stamp collecting.

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Croatia 2016 “Say No to Hate”

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Kosovo 2015 Children’s Year

 

Program Development Survey: We Need Your Help!

To develop such a program we would love to hear from you about what sparked your interest in stamp collecting, topics and countries that you collect and what motivates you to keep collecting.  And most importantly,  what would you say to inspire new and potential collectors?

So just click this link to take our survey and share your comments with us.

We hope you have a wonderful fall organizing your collection for some “serious stamp time” during this coming winter!

Best regards from all of us at Hungaria Stamp Exchange,

Alan, Diane, Stacie, Andrew

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Hungary & The 2016 Olympic Games

168 gold, 148 silver and 170 bronze medals. That’s how many medals the Hungarian team has won since the start of the modern Olympic Games in 1896.

120 years. That’s how long since the founding of the Hungarian Olympic Committee. The Hungarian Olympic Committee was a founding member of the International Olympic Committee. Continue reading

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HSE Arrives at the World Stamp Show New York 2016

Hungaria Stamp Exchange team members Alan, Andrew and Stacie have arrived at the World Stamp Show New York 2016. The show is a once-a-decade international event taking place May 28 through June 4 at the Javits Center in New York City.

WSS Photo 2.WSS Photo 3a                                                                                                                            [Andrew, Stacie & Alan at WSS NY 2016 ]

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