Budapest Picture pin

Budapest Picture pin

Visited May 30. 2014

Buda 1 Budapest by Night

Budapest at night

This is the last full day of our journey. The plane departs too early tomorrow morning, heading to London, then DFW, and finally home.

Port Location. The ship docks between the Elizabeth Bridge and the Chain Bridge on the Pest side of the city.

Disembark after breakfast for a tour of Hungary’s lovely capital. The Danube cuts through the heart of the city, separating the Buda Hills and the Old City from the elegant boulevards of modern Pest. Start in “Pest” with a ride along the Andrássy Út where you will see the National Opera House and Heroes’ Square. See other landmarks, including the Parliament, before crossing the river to the more traditional “Buda” side of the city. Here your tour highlights the massive hilltop castle complex with its turreted Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church. You also see the famous Chain Bridge and Elizabeth Bridge, two of many that connect the two halves of this vibrant city.


Buda 3 Chain Bridge by Night

Chain Bridge at night

Buda 2 Chain BridgeChain Bridge, Budapest, by night







The Elizabeth Bridge

Buda 4 Elizabeth Bridge

Elizabeth Bridge









Buda 5 Cowboys

Hungarian cowboy

In the afternoon I took an optional tour to discover the heritage of the legendary Hungarian “cowboys.” At the outskirts of Budapest, near the edge of the Puszta region where the cowboys herd their sheep and cattle on horseback, the group waas greeted by these fearless horsemen where we enjoyed traditional Hungarian Pálinka (brandy) and Pogácsa (biscuits).

Then we were treated to a horsemanship exhibition where young riders control their horses with only bridles and the cracking of six-foot whips. They use no saddles or stirrups—the horse and rider are as one in a display based on trust between the two.






Buda 6 Synagogue

Budapest Synagogue

Budapest’s 19th-century Moorish-style Dohány Street synagogue, known as the Great Synagogue, is the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It was severely damaged and used as a stable during World War II, but in the 1990s—after the fall of Communism—it was restored. In addition to being a synagogue, the building also houses the Hungarian Jewish Museum. 400,000 Hungarian Jews perished in the Holocaust.

Budapest Jews

Buda 7 Jews Shoes

Shoes sculpture on the bank of the Danube

The Shoes on the Danube Bank is a memorial, which was conceived by film director Can Togay and was created by him and the sculptor Gyula Pauer on the bank of the Danube River in Budapest. It honors the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. It represents their shoes left behind on the bank.







The final picture from Budapest is that of Imre Nagy, actually a statue at Vértanúk tere (Martyrs’ square) in Budapest. Thirty-one years after he was hanged as a traitor to communism, Imre Nagy, premier for 13 dramatic days during the 1956 Hungarian revolt, was given a patriot’s burial in Budapest, Friday June 17, 1989.

A crowd of perhaps 100,000 flocked to Heroes [Martyrs’] Square, not only to pay tribute to Nagy and other martyrs of the only full-blown armed rebellion against communism since the division of Europe, but to mark what one speaker called “the border between two great epochs.”

Until a little more than a year before 1989, the name of Nagy and other figures associated with the revolt were taboo to the Communist authorities who took over after Nagy was deposed by Soviet tanks. But Hungary is now embarked on some of the same reforms, including a multi-party system, that Nagy envisioned.

Location: 20-C3

Imre Nagy Statue in Martyrs' Square

Imre Nagy Statue in Martyrs’ Square