Since we had sailed overnight to Budapest, and had an early shore excursion, we were up by 5:30 a.m. We had breakfast at 7:00 a.m. with Richard, Judy, Lucy, Roy and Jill, Joyce, Rick and Mary.
By 8:30 a.m. we left on the shore excursion for Budapest. Some “Fast Facts about Hungary” from the ship’s info sheet:
Home to over a million people, Budapest spans both sides of the Danube River – historic Buda on the east bank and cosmopolitan Pest (pronounced “Pesht”) on the west. Brimming with history, culture and attractions, Budapest is full of baroque, neoclassical and Art Nouveau architecture, and plenty to do. Museums, shopping and restaurants are the places to be.
The bus took us around the town, then stopped at the square where we went on to the castle.
Back to the ship by bus, we had lunch, then to our new room on the Lif, for a nap.
At 2:15 p.m., we had a “Budapest by Boat” tour, with our Program Director, Carl West giving the commentary.
We went by the Parliament Building, which is the most famous picture shown in the Viking advertisements – red-topped building. Really beautiful.
We were back on the ship by 3:30 p.m., where we rested/napped and read some – quiet time for us.
We had our final/farewell dinner at 7:00 p.m. with Richard, Judy and Lucy. While it was a fun time, we had our last hugs and “wish we lived closer to you” from each of us. While I know it was a very concentrated two weeks with them, we all feel we forged a deep and lasting friendship, that will only continue when we all get to heaven.
Since tomorrow would be a REALLY early day (we asked for a 2:15 a.m. wake-up call, with a 3:30 a.m. bus departure time into Budapest), we showered that night, and were in bed by 8:30 p.m.
According to Google search: That’s the “Bálna / Whale” (formerly called CET building) a modern shopping, cultural, and entertainment centre, as well as a tourist attraction on par with Paris’s Eiffel Tower, or the Covent Garden in London – at least that’s what the city leaders want it to be.
According to Google search: The Shoes on the Danube is a memorial to the Budapest Jews who were shot by Arrow Cross militiamen between 1944 and 1945. The victims were lined up and shot into the Danube River. They had to take their shoes off, since shoes were valuable belongings at the time.
The memorial was created by Gyula Pauer, Hungarian sculptor, and his friend Can Togay in 2005. It contains 60 pairs of iron shoes, forming a row along the Danube. Each pair of shoes was modeled after an original 1940’s pair.
~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~~