More Than Just Shoes

Shoes on the Danube Bank was a memorial sculpture created by Gyula Pauer, made of casted bronze shoes. To passerby who don't know the history of the site, it may see out of place or strange, however, the cite specific art piece was created to commemorate the jewish victims who were ordered to take off their shoes before they were shot on cite and their bodies were carried away by the river. Located on the pest side of the river, trapped jewish peoples, who were housed in ghettoes awaiting the departure to concentration camps were forced by the Arrow Cross Execution Brigade to line up on the waters edge on January 8th 1945. They were shot on the bank while there belonging were stripped of them .

Of all the art museums I have visited over the past tow weeks in Europe, this piece was the most moving. There was an eeriness surrounding the forlorn shoes, a deep melancholy and sense of abandonment even on the bright sunny day ; and as long a they stand every person who walks by will remember what happened here.


Budapest Hungary

This morning we took a walking tour on the Buda side of the river, here they had beautiful art nouveau architecture on every surrounding building in the castle district. Within the walls of the castle we were able to see the new palace of the prime minister, an unbelievable cathedral dedicated to The Virgin Mary, and ruins of structure previous. It was almost overwhelming to take in all the history in this one small part of the city. I was able to get panoramic city views immediately outside of the cathedral and by the palace which satisfied the photographer in me (even though it was over cast), but unfortunately the museum of fine arts was closed for renovation, maybe next time right?  likewise, walking the Chain Bridge and getting to photograph it, was deeply moving for me because I have have studied it, and dreamed about visiting ; and now that dream has become a reality.

When the sun finally came out for the first time on our trip, we ended up having a lunchtime coffee and pastry in a cafe on the city street which is exactly what I would image one would do in Europe. It was a very nostalgic experience being my last day in Eastern Europe; and my latte blew any perception I had once held of american coffee out of the water!

One of the most interesting things that I have noticed about many of the countries I have visited in the past two weeks is how pedestrian friendly these cities are; Budapest for example has an unbelievably large christmas market that overcome the entire square on the pest side. Also, in Budapest there are large streets that are only permitted to those traveling on foot. The christmas market here was incomparable to any of the previous countries and cities I have visited; so many of the items and foods for sale were genuinely hand crafted (needless to say I have a few christmas presents up my sleeve ) which was different juxtaposed to other christmas markets.

I am sad to admit to myself that Budapest is my last stop of my Eastern Europe travels, the time I have spent here seems far to short , but its time to return home to the states and I will always remember the beautiful memories I have had here.

Budapest at Night

I don't have much to say about this post, I just wanted to share some photos I took last night when we arrived into Budapest. With the reflections over the water and the monuments lit up I couldn't resit!