Rick and I just returned from a short jaunt to Vienna, the “Paris of the East.” It’s chock-full of palaces and castles and museums—much larger, more elegant, and expensive than Budapest. Of course, Austria is a Western European, wealthy, capitalist state, while Hungary is an Eastern European, post-communist, poor state. Both cities have their charm, but their cultures are very different. It’s kind of like—well, let’s just let the wildlife speak for itself.
Vienna bears enjoy fanciful tea parties dressed in colorful folk costumes.
Budapest bears are pressured from childhood to win Olympic glory…
...or sentenced to hard labor in Siberia, simply for looking too much like wolves.
Vienna bears promonade happily hand in hand, showing off that extravagant little parasol they picked up somewhere.
Budapest bears are forced to the front before they’re even big enough to hold a gun.
Vienna bears enjoy forming pop bands with precious miniature musical instruments.
Budapest bears crouch in the corner, wearing the helmet and gas mask they stripped off a dead Nazi, just praying they get a chance to take some fascists down before they die.
Callous Vienna bears run happily over the proletariat.
There are no more bears left in Budapest. Only frightened dolls…
...and bloodthirsty, man-eating horses.
All photographs taken on location in Vienna and Budapest. No bears were harmed in the making of this post.
1 year ago