A relaxing, sunny, summer read and cool drink - but where? (Updated with results)
Updated: Jan 26
KesterTester92 - Somewhere in central-east Europe, this fellow is enjoying his afternoon.
Photo: I don't know this chappie, and he doesn't know I'm snapping him (and unless he happens to see this blog, he never will). He's probably a tourist - for some reason he feels Australian to me, maybe I heard him speaking - but we can't be certain of that (certainly not the nationality bit). And it looks as if there's a mad train guard in the background.
I think this pic is from the summer of 1993, not that that is a great clue - but it might help. I think you could still get this scene - if you could find the male model and sunny afternoon, that is.
Fame and international celebrity status, plus two beers for me await the lucky sleuther whose number comes out of the EU-approved black woolly hat. So if you think you know the answer, please use the site messaging system or send an email, please mention KT92 to avoid me missing you and getting into trouble by the all powerful EU Competition Regulator.
KT91 - that is Julius Meinl - is still open for entries - please take a look if you think you might know that one - I'll aim to do the draw next week. (Sorry, I did plan to do it yesterday, but got diverted.)
UPDATE: Results First in, swooping soon after I posted, was Michael Glover: “Happy new year Kester. My first reaction is that this is the Ukrainian motherland monument in Kyiv. It looks the right shape. Not sure if more of these were done elsewhere. Best, Mike”
Thank you, Michael, and to you, of course. Gabor Rimner was another early punter, but opting for far more local ground. “Osztyapenko. At the beginning of M7&M1 highways.” Indeed he was, Gabor. Not sure if our drinking friend is sitting on the hard shoulder there though. Good luck with the exam, by the way! Tom Chilton wrote in at twenty past midnight on Sunday morning (there's dedication to winning a KesterTester for you): “It's the Memento Park. Googling "the endless parade of liberation" provides the answer.” Quite possibly Mr C, but how would I possibly know – if I didn't know - I should google that, I wonder? Still, you might be on to something here … David McCall was next up: “Dear Kester, Well, I don't know the guy with the newspaper either, but I think the pic was taken at Memento Park on the outskirts of the Hungarian capital city. I think the statue is of someone holding a flag, located in the back side of the park. David McCall” Iván Sellei indicated his agreement with this growing swell of opinion. “Szia, szerintem ez a szoborpark a háttérben. Szívélyes üdvözlettel, Iván” Super sleuth John Cantwell was short, and to the point. “It looks like this statue, located in:https://www.mementopark.hu/en/sights/” Theodore Boone was more expressive: Hi Kester - The photo was taken in the Statue Park in Budapest. In the background is a statue of Miklós Steinmetz, a Hungarian-born Soviet Red Army Captain and a member of the 2nd Ukrainian Front. It is said that on December 29, 1944 during the siege of Budapest Steinmetz delivered in the Kispest area of the city a Soviet ultimatum demanding the surrender of Budapest. Under a somewhat different version of events he did not deliver a message demanding surrender but rather appealed for negotiation. Presumably the flag depicted in the statue is a flag of truce held by Steinmetz for purposes of his delivering his message. Steinmetz was killed shortly after his depicted actions by either German fire or hitting a land mine on the Üllői út in Pestszentlőrinc. Alexander Faludy broke his self-imposed KesterTester exile (I seem to think this was imposed in a fit of pique after KT61, when he was so confident of the answer that he didn't bother to read the question – egg, face, etc), but I digress: “I am going to breach my normal boycott and answer because the subject interests me : it is the statute park on the edge of district XI.” Well, you are certainly with the trend right now, Alex. And, finally, this in from Harrogate-born, Liverpool-raised Bob Dent. “No, it’s not a mad train guard in the background, rather a statue of Miklós Steinmetz, a Hungarian-born captain in the Soviet army who, at the end of December 1945 was sent to try and parley with the Germans with a view to arranging a cease-fire and putting a hold on the siege of Budapest. The mission was unsuccessful and the post-war legend had it that after the talks had proved unfruitful and Steinmetz was driving away, his vehicle was fired on by the Germans, resulting in his death. That version has been challenged and many now believe that his jeep hit a landmine, which caused his death.
The statue, the work of sculptor Sándor Mikus, depicts the captain with raised hands, in one of which is a white flag. It was erected in 1949 in what was then called Vörös Hadsereg útja (Red Army Road). As the years went by, it would become a familiar sight for anyone driving on the road to Ferihegy (today Liszt Ferenc) airport. In the years following the 1989-90 political changes, the statue was moved to the Statue Park/Memento Park in the south-west of Budapest.
It seems to me that the photograph was taken at the Statue Park.
The person in the picture taking a sip is J. Smith, who used to live next-door to me in Liverpool. (Only joking!)
Incidentally, there was a counterpart, 1951 statue by Jenő Kerényi, depicting another Soviet officer, Ilya Osztyapenko, also with arms outstretched and holding a flag. He, too, was also sent to try to arrange a cease-fire with the Germans in late 1945 and met a fate similar to that of Steinmetz.
Standing by the start of the M1/M7 motorway, the statue would become noted as the starting point for people trying to thumb a lift from Budapest to Lake Balaton or other parts of western Hungary. It would be moved to the Statue Park and placed near the Steinmetz statue. Wow! Thanks for all that detail Bob (and Ted Boone - one of you deserve to win this). Back in the day, I too thumbed lifts under the shadow of Ostyapenko, though usually heading for Vienna or London rather than Siofok :).
(I also remember Comrade Steinmetz standing not too far from Ferihegy Airport, at a time when Malev ruled in the clouds round here with Tupolevs.) Indeed, he is resting - if that is the right term - these days next to Ostyapenko – here is the full photo that I took back in the 90s to show that. (I cut Osty out for the Tester, as I feared it would be far too easy if I showed two clear statues.
Photo: Giving you the full picture of sipping 'J Smith', with Steinmetz and Ostyapenko.
Which only leaves me with the onerous duty of making the draw for the winner. Seven slips of paper went into the European-approved Black Woolly Hat (carefully double checked to avoid any mistakes) and the winner was ... Number 4.
Which rather left me a little embarrassed as I fear others will think this is a fix ... but it's true, honest. Number 4 is none othe than Super Sleuth John Cantwell, who I believe has become the first contestant to win two consecutive KesterTesters.
Quite how he will live with the fame and adulation I know not, but congratulations John and many thanks to all contestants for joining in the fun.
I'll post KT93 at the weekend, I'm thinking of making it quite a toughie because I don't think I've ever won my own competition yet, and I'm feeling like a bit of fame for once
Have a great evening all!