Budapest – Bits and Pieces

Woke up early in the morning, I was wondering what really were my impressions of Budapest. We have seen the beautiful scenery of Buda and Pest, the blue Danube, the Castles, churches and many monuments. We have also seen the other side of the city with street side sleepers and people scavenging garbage bins for food. Budapest have a glorious past, will it ever rise again? We have been to the Heroes’ Square and were impressed by the statues. Would there be modern heroes to bring the country further forward ?

While thinking about these, I opened the windows and drew the curtains of our hotel room and noted that it opened into a backyard with windows and doors. They looked pretty interesting and regular. I then realized that my impressions of Budapest are in fact composed of various interesting bits and pieces, just as the view in front of me was interestingly composed of windows, doors and ladders.

Budapest have many facets; the bits and pieces are an integral part of the city without which the city would have a lot less appeal and character.

On our last day in Budapest, we first stopped by a Catholic church and were impressed with the stained glass windows and the reflections they made off the relic on display.

Then we wandered into a shopping area and were happy to discover the many arts and crafts which were made locally. In particular, we liked this shop which displayed very well designed objects of desire: pigs and elephants. We like the pig.

Back onto the street, we came across this metallic statue with a gentleman standing at the top of an arch footbridge. Why is he so lonely?

It was almost time for lunch. We made our way to the market. The market was full of life and colors. There were so many things that attracted our eyes. There were also so many things that we were tempted to buy: sausages, foie gras etc. Getting hungry in Hungary, we climbed to the first floor of the market and have a lunch of local specialities.

I was puzzled as to why we have masks in both the Oriental and the Western cultures. Apart for fun, are we trying to hide our facial expression so that people would not know what are our deeper feelings? I was intrigued to see these Venetian masks hanging up in the shop.

Then we wandered by the river promenade of the Danube and strolled as far as the Parliament house. We saw these shoes along the bank . Clearly, these shoes are not made for walking but are created so that we would not forget the terrors of war and the killing of the innocent people.

According to Wikipedia “The composition entitled ‘Shoes on the Danube Bank’ gives remembrance to the people shot into the Danube during the time of the Arrow Cross terror. The sculptor created sixty pairs of period-appropriate shoes out of iron. The shoes are attached to the stone embankment, and behind them lies a 40 meter long, 70 cm high stone bench. At three points are cast iron signs, with the following text in Hungarian, English, and Hebrew: “To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45. Erected 16 April 2005.” (Source: MTI, Saturday, April 16, 2005.)

When evening set in, we knew it was time for dinner. After a day of tiring walks, we were prepared to replenish ourselves; we found ourselves collapsed in the comfortable sofas of this almost empty restaurant.

Back to the hotel room, I was pondering whether Budapest is just like our travels through life. There is a main theme, but it is the  bits and pieces that make our lives more interesting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

22 thoughts on “Budapest – Bits and Pieces

  1. Michael, very reflective and thought provoking. I was jolted by the shoes on the bank; a creative and significant tribute to those who died.Thank you for sharing this historical “bits and pieces.” Interesting that this photo included someone walking by…no face to reveal her feelings of the moment.

    • Hi Lynne, While there I was reminded of the Nanjing massacre by the river bank. Yes, we can forgive and even forget but lessons must be learned. Thanks for following and commenting! Regards, Michael

    • Hi Rita, while there I was also moved by those shoes. The sculptors have done their very best to capture the incident. It will remain in our minds for a long time to come. Regards, Michael

    • Thanks very much for liking the post! As a new blogger, I am pleased to know that people in another part of the world also share my feelings.

  2. Very interesting pictures and comments, Michael. You seem to having toooo much fun in your retirement.

    The picture of the market reminded me of one we walked through in France (forgot which town).

  3. Great post! I like that last picture, the single guy in the corner makes the restaurant feel even more empty (is he sitting at a keyboard?) And I missed that shoe monument when I was there…I’ll have to go back now! Keep up the blogs and photos!

    • Hi Tim, Yes, the man is sitting at the keyboard. I also like the last picture, in partcular the light reflects from the glasses. I should have included more glasses in the picture. The shoe monument involves a bit of walking along the bank. Problem is you can’t cross over from/to the Parliament side as there is a lack of crossing facilities. Regards, Michael

  4. Very nice travel photos. And thank you for putting great captions on them; it helps a reader like me understand why the subject of the photo was important to you.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog! Sometimes I know I have written a bad post when I cannot relate the photos to my thoughts at the time of taking the photos or to the after thoughts. Regards, Michael

  5. Budapest seems to have a museum for everything. Unfortunately, I missed this when we were there. Every society has its own victims. I worry about Hungary again, today. We lost relatives to the Arrow Cross and Nazis, some in the camps, some in the underground. One escaped and fought his way back as part of the army that liberated the city. It is hard to forgive and forget. For you or your people, the Japanese during WWII; the family feud in the Balkans and the Middle East. Once disputes become familial atrocities, they move beyond geopolitical solutions. One forgets that politics in this sense is very local. Thanks for the photos- and other more pleasant ones!

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