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Well, here’s my last blog about my journey around Eastern Europe! Budapest was an interesting city. It was definitely the most beautiful, but I felt the least welcomed there. Maybe it’s because I could easily pass as Polish and I could speak a little too, whereas Hungarian is an incredibly difficult language and it was obvious that I was a tourist.

We traveled from Krakow to Budapest by train. While it took a long time with many delays, I was amazed at the thought that I had traveled in four countries in one day! We started in Poland and went through Czech Republic and Slovakia before arriving in Hungary. The first photo on the upper left was somewhere in Slovakia. The geography was so beautiful there, I sat in the train staring out of the window for hours.

 

 

Many of the other photos I took were of the many beautiful castles and architecture in Budapest. I learned that Budapest actually used to be three cities: Buda, Óbud, and Pest, but today most people only separated them based on which side of the river you were on. For example, on the third photo down on the left, Buda is on the left, while Pest is on the right. Buda is a nicer part of town, in my opinion. There were beautiful old places of worship everywhere and I never got tired of looking at them. One day while we were there, we saw six weddings! We went to the highest point of the city where we could see both Buda and Pest; that’s where I took a few of these photos.

Finally, the real reason we were there was to study the Holocaust. You can see a photo of the Israeli flag inside a metal shoe. This was taken at a monument representing the Jewish lives lost in Hungary during World War II. This monument was placed where a group of Jewish people were shot into the river one night. It was strange to see somewhere so nice and peaceful, knowing that something horrible has happened there before. One thing that interested me about World War II and Hungary is that it is still very controversial today. You see, Hungary was on the Axis side for awhile (with Germany). They helped the Germans by invading Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. However, later during the war Hungary went behind Germany’s back and switched sides. This angered Germany, so they invaded Hungary and bombed many bridges, leaving the city in two pieces once again: Buda and Pest.

 

Hungary’s culture is very unique because they’ve been invaded so many times. Some Hungarians say that their culture is a mix of all the countries they’ve been invaded by. The Hungarian people and their culture were delightfully different from Poland’s. While if I visited Eastern Europe again, I would prefer to go back to Poland, Hungary was amazing and definitely a city worth visiting.

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