Once I was in Sarajevo I had to figure out how to get back west a little bit so I could get to Barcelona to meet Brian by the 13th. I had originally planned on going to Prague, but there was no easy way by ground to get there and flights were expensive.
But that’s one reason why hostels are great environments when you are traveling with a fairly open schedule like I am. You meet a lot of people who are either coming or going from where you are going or where you have been, or where maybe you should really think about going instead. It seems like the initial conversation when you meet someone always goes like this:
Where you from?
Who are you traveling with?
How long are you traveling?
Where did you just come from?
Where are you going next?
And from there you either hit if off or not. Get good information or not. I’ve been very fortunate and have met wonderful people. In this case, 5 out of 5 people I talked to initially in Sarajevo who had been to both Prague AND Budapest, recommended Budapest if I had to choose between the two. So Budapest it was! Since I haven’t been to Prague I can’t give my opinion if it was better or not, but I did have a great time in Budapest and would definitely go back again. There was a lot for me to learn about the place, lots of history to absorb, and culture to soak in (literally at the Hungarian Baths – not pictured since I forgot my camera when I went).
Now for the pics:
Budapest, from the Buda side, looking over at the Pest side. I was on a lift that went up the hill to the Buda Castle.
The hill elevator I went on.
The Chain Bridge, walking from the Pest side over to the Buda side.
On the Chain Bridge, overlooking the Danube. To the left Buda, to the right Pest.
Check out this bus swimming in the Danube.
Photo exhibition of life in rural Hungary, Slovenia and Romania on display in front of Parliament.
These bronze shoes are a memorial to the Jews that were lined up along the Danube and shot into the river by the Nazi’s. They were made to take off their shoes before. It’s extremely powerful. My Jewish Quarter free walking tour guide. We had stopped at a ruin bar and he was telling a story. Pretty interesting guy.
The ruin bar we went to, and went back to later that night.
Ruin bars are in abandoned courtyards. And everything in them is supposed to be “found”, aka, free. This makes for a lot of creative and interesting spaces.
On the Jewish walking tour: Dohany Street Synagogue. The second largest synagogue in the world, and the largest in Europe.
A new thing I learned on the tour: All synagogues have the ten commandments on the top of them. I had no idea…I grew up Catholic.
The graveyard/memorial in the courtyard of the synagogue.
Holocaust memorial tree, donated by the late Tony Curtis (best picture I could get through the gate).
This area of Pest is where the ghetto was in WWII
The entrance to the House of Terror. A museum and memorial to the victims of the communist occupation of Budapest that were detained, interrogated and tortured at the site.
Castle in Pest
Market at the castle.
Here they were cooking yummy sausage.
I’m a little obsessed with chariots on top of buildings.
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