As the crow flies the distance from Budapest to Amsterdam is just over 1200 kilometers. The winding route of our river cruise from Budapest along the Danube River to the Main River and then on to the Rhine River would be well in excess of that distance. It gave us an interesting view of European culture.
At every turn history was on display. Centuries old castles and their surrounding walls and narrow cobblestone streets all exuded a permanence that is difficult to compare with anything we’ve experienced here in North America. Homes and businesses occupied buildings that in some cases were built 500 years ago.
Three memorials particularly caught our attention. The Shoes on the Danube Bank Memorial in Budapest, The Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam and the ‘Stumble Stones’ Memorial Plaques in a number of cities, all commemorate Jewish persecution during the WWII in Europe. The memorials were riveting, poignant and thought provoking to say the least. Rather than write about each I’ve linked them to websites where descriptions are more complete. And within the gallery of some of my favourites below I’ve included an image of Anne Frank, one of the memorial shoes and another of three Stumble Stones.
We had never experienced the European culture. The food, art, architecture and life in general is so interesting. The landscape was just plain beautiful. In all of our walks, tours and interactions we found the local residents to be friendly and very helpful. Now that we have an understanding of how to get around and what we would like to see more of, I’m sure another European adventure will be planned for the not so distant future.