Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Last Day in Budapest

After another middling breakfast at the hotel, we moved all our stuff into one of the students' rooms and then headed off to tour the Budapest Holocaust Museum.  I've taken students here before and I continue to be impressed on how good a job they do.  After meeting with the Roma organization the day before, I think the students were definitely more sensitive to how the Roma were included in the Nazis' genocidal plans.

This anti-Semitic cartoon riffed on Disney:  "Mickey Mouse?  No!  Jewish rat!"

As the museum makes clear, the robbing, humiliation, and murder of Hungarian Jews were carried out by the Hungarians themselves.

I ran into so many Israeli groups yesterday (and today).  Every time we went to a Holocaust memorial or museum, there were Israeli tour groups there.

Except this one.

Almost no one visits this memorial to the Porajmos (the Roma Holocaust) in Nehru Park along the Danube.  As you can see, it has been yet again defaced.

There were broken egg shells in and around the sculpture.  Two years ago, the interior had been partially filled with empty toilet paper rolls.  The Roma are the most hated group in Hungary.

We then walked to the Great Market Hall, and finally, a place I picked for lunch was open!  I really wanted the students to try Hungarian food, and this place also is great for souvenir shopping.

From left to right:  sausage and pasta, stuffed peppers (mine), and hortobagy on pasta (kind of like a chicken burrito).  Everyone was happy with their meal.

I then took a few minutes to wander around the market, since I love photographing markets:

One of the students was celebrating her birthday and really wanted angel food cake.  Unfortunately, angel food cake was invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch, which means you really can't find it in European bakeries.  I picked her up a piece or Rigo Jansci.

The cake (the one in the back closest to the student), has a thin layer of chocolate sponge cake on the top and bottom, which chocolate mousse in the middle.  It is then glazed with chocoalte.  I bought a Gerbeaud slice for myself, which is layers of nut meringue, with apricot, jam, crushed walnuts, and a chocolate glaze on top.  I cut it into small pieces and shared it with the students.

After that, two of the students and I headed up to the Szechenyi Baths (the others went back to the Great Market Hall for more souvenir shopping).  This is my favorite spa in Budapest.

Hungarian spas are very communal.  We remarked how the various hot and tepid pools, saunas and steam rooms in the inner area resembled what the Romans had 2000 years ago. 

This place is so relaxing.  I just I could have spent the whole evening there, instead of having to negotiate all the trains to get to Warsaw. 

This train was a little older than the one we took to Vienna.

Waiting for our connection to Warsaw in Vienna Hauptbanhof.

Finally, we boarded our sleeper train to Warsaw.

This was the entire sleeping compartment section of the train to Warsaw (there was another wagon of couchettes).

This is what my two-bunk compartment looked like:

This is one of the students' three-bunk compartments (the third bunk is out of the frame):

Although I could sometimes here some of the students at the other end of the corridor (even with my ear plugs) I did manage to fall asleep and slept for several hours.  I am rather tired tonight though, so I will write about today's exploits in Warsaw, tomorrow.

No comments: