The Blue Danube splits Budapest into two parts, the hilly Buda side with the castles and towering monuments and the flat Pest (Pesht) side with its government, university, civic, cultural and business iconic buildings. Towering church steeples are everywhere. The beautiful bridges that span the Danube link the two sides into one beautiful city.
Allen, Rhonda, Sherlene, Mike and Sandra marveled at the Great Synagogue just down from our lovely apartments. It is the second largest in the world and is quite beautiful. Unfortunately, it tells the story of the holocaust that claimed the lives of over 600,000 Hungarian Jews during World War II. The graveyard is left just as the Nazi’s destroyed it. The memorial to the Jews who were murdered is touching yet, at the same time, uplifting. The silver tree with silver leaves that bear the name of a lost friend or relative on each leaf and the memorial stone, “Never forget,” leave a lasting impression. We tried to eat at a highly regarded Hungarian Jewish restaurant, but being the Sabat (evening meal before the Sabbath) it was booked out.
The group also enjoyed the Grand Market. Huge by any measurement, it is filled with foods important to the Hungarian cuisine. It anchors one end of the beautiful pedestrian thoroughfare that winds its way through Pest. In the evening, Mike and Sandra attended a wonderful organ, trumpet and opera concert at the magnificent St. Stephen’s Basilica that featured Mozart’s Requiem. The rest of us watched an artist carve an ice sculpture to music and lights in the Basilica square. We all are in awe of the beauty and gracefulness of this city. WEG