Back in August, 2017, I visited the biggest synagogue in Budapest, the Dohány Street Synagogue, and was told the following story by the tour guide:
During WWII there were approximately 70,000 Jewish people put into a Ghetto. The Hungarian government made a deal with Hitler that in exchange for free transportation of the Nazi army through Hungary, these Jewish people would not need to be sent to the concentration camp. However, were these people safe? No. The Hungarian army rounded up dozens of people at a time, brought them to the Danube on boats, and shot them. They then pushed the dead bodies into the river.
The tree pictured above is in the courtyard of the Synagogue, is called the Tree of Life, and the leaves (as shown below) are engraved with the names of Jewish people who passed away.
Unfortunately, my computer crashed and I lost all of my other photos of inside the Synagogue. However, I would definetely recommend to visit.
As always, these guys give a great rundown of things to do in Budapest! The only thing that they do not cover is the inside of the Dohány Street Synagogue. My boyfriend and I did get the chance to go inside, and I will post photos of the same, in another post. This post was just too good not to share!
Welcome to the beautiful capital of Hungary, Budapest! Split in two by the Danube, you have the hilly Buda, home to the awesome castle, and the fairly flat Pest (pronounced Pesht, so you don’t sound like a total tourist!) Unofficially, it’s one of our favourite cities in Europe… but we say that about every place we go! The city with a rich history, funky culture and beautiful architecture has something for everyone. Here are just a few of the amazing things to see and do.
When to go
As always, it really depends on what you want to do while you’re here. If you want to avoid crowds and extreme weather (either too hot or too cold), make sure you go between March and May, or September through November.
The summer months in Budapest are the hottest and wettest. January is probably the coldest month, and the winter sees a…
These guys are one of my favorite travel bloggers. I was thinking about posting my own blog post about Vienna, but once I saw theirs I knew that I would never be able to write one that was as good. My only suggestion which would differ from the blog post would be to take the OBB train instead of the CAT train. The OBB train ticket would be for under €5, while the CAT is €15.
Vienna. The beautiful capital of Austria is said to be the “city of dreams”, for being the birthplace of Sigmund Freud. To us, Vienna was the start of our epic train trip through Europe, and it couldn’t have been a better place to kick things off.
Without surprise, Vienna has often been voted the most livable city in the world, due to its high quality of life ratings, as well as culture, infrastructure, and many markets. The city is often cited as a leading example of urban planning and we can totally see why. It was such a lovely city to walk around!
We are in awe of the St Stephen’s Cathedral
Although we managed to see everything in 2 days, we would suggest a full 4-day trip to Vienna. Here are our recommendations for what to see, where to go, how to get around, and where to stay.
“A Christmas market, also known as Christkindlmarkt (literally: Baby Jesus Market), Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Christkindlimarkt, and Weihnachtsmarkt, is a street market associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent. These markets originated in Germany, but are now being held in many other countries. The history of Christmas markets goes back to the Late Middle Ages in the German-speaking part of Europe, and in many parts of the former Holy Roman Empire that includes many eastern regions of France. The Christmas markets of Bautzen were first held in 1384.Dresden‘s Striezelmarkt was first held in 1434. Frankfurt was first mentioned in 1393, Munich in 1310, and Augsburg in 1498. In Austria, Vienna’s “December market” can be considered a forerunner of Christmas markets and dates back to 1298.
One of the things that I miss about America, is celebrating Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is an American national holiday which occurs on the third Thursday of November.
According to the History website, “Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, and Thanksgiving 2018 occurs on Thursday, November 22. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.” To learn more about Thanksgiving, click on the attached link.
Last year I hosted a Thanksgiving at my apartment, but it was super complicated. This year I decided to host a dinner at Tamu Sana, an East African restaurant in Linz. If you go with four or more people, you can order the family style meal. You can tell them whether you want vegetarian or meat.
In 1923, Mei Ling’s older sister falls gravely ill a few days before her arranged marriage to a man she has never met. Mei Ling is forced to take her’s sister place. Leaving her family in China, Mei Ling travels to America. In order to enter the country, Mei Ling must assume the identity of the man’s deceased wife, essentially using her immigration documents as her own (a “Paper Wife”).
When Mei Ling befriends a young orphan girl on the ship to America, little did she know that she was creating a bond for life. When it is Mei Ling’s turn to leave Angel Island (the unfriendly place where immigrants were housed until their entry application was approved) she is forced to leave Siew behind. Making good on her promise to see Siew again, Mei Ling searches for the child to ensure that she is safe, only to find that Siew’s Uncle wasn’t who he appeared to be, and that Siew herself was a paper child. This dark revelation has a damaging impact on Mei Ling and her family, who must fight to overcome the reality of Siew’s situation.
Once ruled by gangs, this cute little street in Copenhagen has been taken over by unique shops, including artist galleries, second-hand clothing stores, organic eateries, and cafes.
My boyfriend and I spent hours on this street, just popping into the little shops and browsing. On the weekend there are limited hours (sometimes only 11-2pm), so if you plan to visit, you should pay attention to the opening hours.
Copenhagen is much more expensive than in Austria. In Austria, a good latte can be purchased for around €3-€4 at a cafe. In Copenhagen, we spent around €6 per latte. Since I cannot eat gluten, I left it to my boyfriend to try the Danish pastries. The one depicted below is basically a cinnamon roll, which I am told was delicious. And, since I am addicted to Kombucha, I had to try the coffee Kombucha. It had a very unique flavor which I will definitely have to try to recreate at home.
I have been coming to Pt. Pleasant Beach for the past 20+ years. Kohr’s frozen custard shop on the boardwalk is a staple of the Jersey Shore experience. It is the best icecream I have ever had (it is so thick and creamy). Whenever I take a lick, I am transported back to the summer of my childhood, spent playing in the waves and building castles in the sand.
Coffee at Noon is a cute little shop in Bayhead that not only has a coffee bar, but also sells American handmade jewelry, soap, and other home goods. The cold brew coffee was really good (and something I needed after drinking nothing but Keurig coffee since coming back to the US). It was a little pricey however, at a 2-for-1 price of $2.50 each cold brew. If you are in Bayhead, this would be a nice little shop to visit, even just to browse the unique handcrafted goods.