Doorway to the perfect stopover swim in the balmy waters of Zurich 😄
Started the day in Salzburg, a town I was pleasantly surprised by. Old town was really pretty, as were the views from the steep cobbled streets up to the fortress, and I even stumbled across Mozart's birthplace
Parted ways with my hostel friend at lunch (thanks for the ride!) and caught the train through the stunning Arlberg mountain pass to Zurich, where I discovered you can rent bikes for free (!) so pedaled merrily off along the lake where I then discovered the Utoquai bathing zone and had a refreshing dip before catching the overnight bus to Paris. Honestly, put me on a bike or immerse me in natural water and I literally can't stop smiling 😁
Thus, a pleasant day's city hopping through Europe, as you do... .
Couldn't be doing this so smoothly at such short notice without a number of things helping along the way, namely: internet on my phone (and travel apps), train station luggage lockers and all those bloggers and travel people who write useful articles like "17 free things to do in Zurich", and finding all the good stuff to share with people like me. #kudos and #gratitude to you. .
Budapest has special meaning for me. My Great Aunts Lily and Blimscu lived here during the Second World War. The first shot is of Keleti station today and the second is a picture from 1940. It’s an impressive and majestic building, but tragedy struck here in 1944 when Lily and Blimscu were chased along the tracks by the Nazi Arrow Cross and their dear friend Rozika was shot and killed. My aunts were taken at gunpoint from their yellow star house to Varosliget Park ( the picture with the bridge) and interred in the Jewish ghetto which included the Dohany Street Synagogue ( pictured). One of the only ghettos to escape liquidation - it was the scene of unspeakable cruelty and squalor. Thousands perished there and I visited the garden of remembrance and the heroes temple - monuments to those individuals who risked their lives to save people persecuted by the Nazis. .. I remember learning about Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved hundreds of Jews, and I wrote my university dissertation on Joel Brand who tried to pull off a swap with the SS - Jewish lives in exchange for armaments and trucks. I would have liked more time to explore. There was so much still to see and so many more places where I could find a trace of Lily and Blimscu. The last picture is of Lily - a holocaust survivor and one very special lady. I had the great honour of meeting her and talking to her about her wartime experiences. Sadly she died earlier this year. RIP Lily, Blimscu and Rozika.
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