top of page

The shoes of shame on the banks of Danube. Budapest.

May 25, 2022

Patras - Athens - airport. This trip was not made by motorcycle.

The weather is cloudy without raining yet. Landing in hazy Hungary and the first thing you do is change your Euros into forints.

Τα παπούτσια στις όχθες του Δούναβη Βουδαπέστη.

The interaction with the world was not to the extent I am used to. In a hotel, after all, how much interaction can you have beyond the reception, let alone someone at the breakfast buffet.

The architecture of the city consists of various rhythms. From what I learned, high buildings are not allowed based on the building legislation since its buildings are a world heritage monument. I didn't visit all its attractions since I didn't have too many days at my disposal. Apart from some basics and the zoo which is huge if you sit and observe all the animals.

Its parliament is a truly imposing building. The largest and most famous building in Hungary.

κοινοβουλιο Βουδαπέστης

The Cathedral of Saint Stefanos.

Βουδαπέστη άγιοε στέφανος

The central market.


Βουδαπέστη κεντρική αγορά

The Szechenyi Baths.

Swimwear with you and a towel, although you can buy everything there. I paid at the entrance and wore the familiar wristband.

The hot springs that bubble up from the ground offer ninety million liters of water a day known for its beneficial properties for the human body. Crowds at the indoor and outdoor pools of this huge facility that attracts spa tourism. Too many saunas of various levels inside from mild to some ninety degrees Celsius. What impressed me enough were the saunas with various aromas such as chamomile and various LED lighting, but also the possibility to enter a barrel with thermal water and enjoy plenty of Hungarian beer by your side.

Θερμά λουτρα βουδαπέστη

Βουδαπέστη grintelas

Cruise on the Danube. For a relatively affordable 14 euros/person I boarded one of the many boats along the coast for the typical ride up and down the Danube. They have organized it well and it is something that tourists are looking for as it is the second largest river after the Volga in Europe. Although second largest it has a much greater reputation in the global community. For the price, they also provide you with a glass of champagne or some juice if you don't want alcohol.


The sun was slowly setting. The bridge lights came on. I turn my gaze sometimes to the right and sometimes to the left on the two banks. The buildings along both sides flaunted their architecture. Like cavaliers who dressed up in their best to overpower an equally beautiful and well-dressed lady at a dance who is on the opposite side.

Δούναβης grintelas

In Budapest, you won't encounter traffic on the streets, everything runs like clockwork, and that's because half of Hungary's population is not concentrated in the capital, as it is in Athens.

I still haven't realized what exactly the northern European capitals have to offer me, let alone in this way of travel. It may not be what expresses me. Their architecture is almost same and pattern too. Relatively high levels of cleanliness and cloud cover.

One night while I was walking on one of the busiest streets for Hungarian standards, I suddenly hear a voice in Greek saying "George?". I turn around and to my great surprise I see my old friend and fellow soldier Antonis. We served together ten years ago in Alexandroupoli and now we were lucky enough to meet by chance in Budapest. We sat and ate with Antonis and remembered the old days. The most incredible thing is that Antonis and I were staying in the same hotel without knowing it!


Since I caught the conversation about the food, I have to tell you that the traditional goulash soup is incredible. Something like braised beef chunks soup with lots of vegetables and paprika. They accompany it with thin slices of bread and a chopped pepper. In the central market you will see sausages hanging in all the grocery stores, it is a Hungarian tradition to have all the sausages.


Βουδαπέστη ταξίδι

It was afternoon and I was walking along the Danube from the Pest side. About three hundred yards beyond the parliament, having no idea what it was about, I saw a line of iron shoes, about sixty in number. I photographed them with my cell phone and then I found out.

Τα παπούτσια στην όχθη του Δούναβη

Shoes on the banks of the Danube is a memorial to the thousands of Jews who were massacred by the Hungarian fascist militia belonging to the far-right Arrow Cross party during World War II. They led the victims to the bank of the Danube and after taking their most valuable possessions, i.e. their shoes which could later be resold, they executed them and threw the bodies into the river so that they would drift away. The monument was built on April 16, 2005 by director Can Togay and sculptor Gyula Pauer and represents their shoes left behind on the banks of the Danube.

Despite this, the Hungarians seem not to have learned from history as the prime minister since 2010 is the far-right Viktor Orbán with anti-immigration policies that are only reminiscent of the 21st century. Giorgi Sopflin, an MEP with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's Fidesz party and a professor in London, proposed placing pig heads on the fence his country erected on its southern border in 2015 to keep out migrants. However, apparently they were satisfied with the following.

36 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page