Wall and Bokeh

Esztergom was the capital of Hungary from the 10th to the 13th centuries. It’s on the border with Slovakia, with the Danube river as the natural border.

While Esztergom hasn’t been the political capital of Hungary for centuries, it is still seat of the prímás of the Catholic Church in Hungary. As such, it has an enormous basilica — the Primatial Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed Into Heaven and St Adalbert, the largest church in Hungary.

My wife and I visited Esztergom in 2003 as part of a bike trip we made through Slovakia and Hungary (with Budapest, of course, being our primary destination). We actually stayed in Štúrovo, Slovakia, across the Danube from Esztergom. In the morning, we crossed the river, keeping the basilica in our sights as a sort of guiding star. As we approached the basilica, we had to climb an imposing series of stone staircases that seemed to line up one after another to torture our already-tired legs.

Along the way, I snapped a picture of the wall and basilica. It was with a digital camera that, even then, was ancient. I didn’t feel like pulling out the monstrous Canon I hauled around everywhere, so I didn’t have quite the control over the picture as I wanted: the wall in focus,  I wanted the bokeh, the blurred background of a photograph. As a result, the basilica is only slightly blurred.

I rediscovered this picture recently; it seemed like a suitable image for what I’m experiencing.


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