Budapest On Our Own


Despite all our best efforts , we still fill our days too full.  We did manage to sleep in and have another relaxed breakfast complete with fresh baked pastries.  We started our day with a depressing note.  We toured the holocaust museum.   First observation:  it is interesting that in the Czech republic , Jews were put

holocaust memorial

holocaust museum

down for 600 years, limited to being bakers, butchers and money lenders along with many other repressive laws. It was only when the Austro-Hungarian empire came that things improved.

In Hungary, by contrast, the nobility seemed content to run the land owning and let the Jews run big business. Jews seem to have been treated well until 1920 when the Nazi movement started and anti-Semitic laws escalated for the next 15 years or so.  Then came the horrors we have all heard about and can hardly believe.  Hungary used to be 5% Jewish and Budapest it was over 20%. .  After the Nazi’s , it is now something much less than 1%.
The next stop was, in contrast, unfettered capitalism.  The enormous indoor great market it is something everyone should experience.  Everything from giant hamburgers, to Leather hats and gloves,    from a variety of fruits,  to tourist trinkets,  from  beer to jewelry.  I could fill this post .  Crazy interesting place.


Another late lunch,  while we were at the market, we tried Langos, which are deep fried bread slathered with sour cream, cheese, garlic and we added non traditional options of onion and pepperoni.  Interesting…. decent…. not my new favorite thing.

We took the metro up to the Franz Liszt square, the yuppie, in place to eat.  Had a nice meal,  good, but not great.  Man, they love their salt here !!  I can feel my blood pressure go up every meal   🙂

We completed the day with an Organ concert in St. Stephens Basilica.   Organ music always sounds a little sloppy to me, but the second piece was Handels water music with a trumpet solo that was astounding in that enormous place.  The sound continued for a second or two more after he stopped playing.   Next a soprano soloist, also not my usual favorite.  Over the course of the concert she did three versions of Ave Maria and it was beautiful beyond words.   How she could fill that space with sound is beyond me.   Fabulous.

In the middle was a JS Bach’s well known Tocatta and Fuge in D minor on the Great Organ,   yeah, well,  I guess 4,000 some pipes does, in fact, make an organ pretty great.   Awe inspiring….. again.

The finale , also on the Great Organ was something called the Organ Symphony.  Sound like slightly organized chaos to me.  Guess I have some more sophistication to acquire.

Home.  Collapsed.  Are we really leaving tomorrow?


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