Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day 14

Day 15 of the river cruise and Day 1 of the Prague extension were the same day. We spent it in a coach driving for seven and a half hours with two comfort stops. This is not what we had expected. We'd been told the drive would be half that but once you're committed, you're committed. There was no Internet access yesterday so I'm only able to post now and tomorrow will write some information about Prague.

We sailed into Budapest at 10:00 pm. The whole city is lit up with lights. It's extremely beautiful and we enjoyed it very much. We would have enjoyed it much more if there hadn't been a completely drunk woman acting inconsiderately and loudly on the deck with us. Ladies, it's not flattering to be a drunk. I hope that she is able to deal with whatever it is that needs dealing with in her life and find a more flattering path.

We all have our stuff and I'm so glad that as I age I am more and more comfortable with myself and my life. I feel freer and more able to experiment and risk. As trite as it sounds to say I've found my tribe, it's true and since I starteded to attend the Design Outside the Lines retreats four years ago and discovered women like me, I have felt more "normal" - for the lack of a better word-  and better able to be myself. It's quite wonderful.

In Budapest, we took a combination coach and walking tour of old town. Once again, I was attracted to the simple architecture and the layering of details and textures. Aren't these windows gorgeous?

A personal bench. I love this. I hate when some stranger is too close up against me. I require a fair amount of personal space. These benches are like armchairs and there was a long row of them facing the  city view. I'm not sure what kind of tree this detail shot is from. Do you know what it is?

The roof of the church was tile in an intricate arrangement. The building had been destroyed and rebuilt several times so I'm not sure if it was the original design of the architecture but most likely because more often than not the buildings were exact copies. It makes me wonder where they kept the plans.

LOVE the weathered look of this door and the intricate handle. The eggs were in a basket in the bazaar. There were rows of tents selling all kinds of goods, local crafts supposedly, definitely not handmade although they tried to give that impression. I bought a beautiful scarf for five Euros that I knew for sure was made elsewhere which was "confirmed" when I went to check the tag and it had been removed except for the part stuck in the stitches. Too funny. It was still a lot of fabric for that price so I was happy to buy it to make into something else.

Europe is not set up for handicapped people. There are uneven cobblestones and many steps with few elevators or ramps. This model of the church was designed for the blind complete with Braille information. It made me wonder which important person knew someone who was blind.

Neither our cabin on the ship nor our hotel room here in Prague had a clock. There are clocks in some of the towns squares but for the most part, what time it is is not at the forefront of living here. This clock gives you all the time in the world. No hands.

Only twice on this trip have I found Pepsi. Howard saw this sign first. I love how it's sitting with the barrels and displays of fine wine and beer. Our program director took this picture of us in the alcove under the bridge. Budapest was the first place that we saw pushy street vendors and the minute they noticed that we'd put our bags behind us on the ground, they started circling closer except that with the alcove walls behind us and Meike in front of us, they didn't have a chance. She was excellent at her job and did a fabulous job throughout the whole cruise. I would travel with her again.

All along there have been many memorials to commemorate people or events. This one - the shoe memorial - was especially  touching. It was along the river just past our boat in Budapest and...

... marks the spot where the Jewish people were told to remove their shoes just before they were shot and fell into the river. I can't imagine. There were flowers and candles tucked into many of the shoes and some had written messages. I couldn't help but feel emotional. What if... ?

In Canada, we haven't lived through the conflicts and atrocities that Europeans have and I can't even begin to understand how that feels or the impact it has on your approach to life. Both Howard's family and mine immigrated from Europe but it's too far back and was discussed so rarely that it has only impacted my life through the behavior of our parents that we cannot understand the source of and may attribute to personality rather than experience.  Our experiences shape our lives and the lives that touch ours. We are influenced by others which - interestingly - is the subject of my spiritual study right now.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - freedom


  1. Oh, that shoe memorial is powerful! Thank you for taking the time to open up your trip with your readers.

  2. Finding your tribe is essential, always.

  3. Both of my paternal grandparents came from the Budapest area of HUngary. Did you get a chance to visit the Central Market?

  4. I think that is a Catalpa tree. There was one around the corner from my childhood home. My sister and I named it the elephant tree because the big leaves reminded us of elephant ears. ;) As an adult I saw them in Williamsburg, VA and learned their real name. What a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing it with us. Lois K


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