Monday, December 1, 2014
Goodbye to Budapest
It was at least gentle, vertical rain - unlike Auckland's - so my umbrella did a decent job of keeping most of me dry. Gazing upwards like a tourist, though, did mean that I stepped several times into surprisingly deep puddles - but, dutiful as ever, I ploughed on.
Things got more serious at the Grand Synagogue where I walked past a garden containing the remains of more than 2,000 unnamed Jews who died of cold or starvation in the last years of the war, "a memorial to an era when all human feeling was lost". Upstairs there's a small but intense Holocaust Museum with photos of the ghetto, the dispossessed, the victims. In the garden outside names are engraved on the lower leaves of a stainless steel sculpture of a weeping willow tree.
and going into one of the many inviting-looking cafes (but that would have taken money, and I had no forints) - was to keep walking briskly, so it didn't take that long to get to the lovely covered market, all coloured tiles outside and high ceiling inside. It's a proper market and full of local touches: plaits of chilli peppers on the vegetable stalls, lots of pork (including heads and trotters) at the butchers', paprika in every imaginable form.
And then I was back at the boat, and that was it for Budapest: colder, wetter and gloomier than I was hoping, but still with enough interest, pleasure and delight to please those who have never seen the city's summer face. And, after all, it is December now.