Saturday- 7/4- Budapest

Happy Birthday America.   We celebrated the 4th of July in the city with the most Americans we have seen in three weeks.  Today we took a 1 hour boat ride on the Danube (kinda the Brown Danube, not quite Blue).  There was an interesting comparison between the Pest side and the Buda side.  The former was primarily more modern buildings and hotels, while the Buda side has many more of the old historic buildings (top pix).

In the early 1990's, with the elimination of Communist domination, there was a question of what to do with all of the Soviet statues.  Most other cities merely tore them down.  In Budapest many of them were moved to a park about 30 minutes from town.  In a rather stark and bizarre setting, the statues are placed in a small and not very well kept-up park (2nd pix).  There is a stereo playing old Soviet speeches and music, including the old Soviet Union National Anthem.   There is a small charge for entry. 

In the evening we went to a concert by the Danube Symphony Orchestra.  The orchestra had about 35-40 musicians and it was lively and fun (3rd pix).  The Conductor was quite an actor. 

Sitting in front of us we met Bob & Gae Alexander from Santa Barbara California (bottom pix).  They are traveling through Europe by train.   Their next stop will be Prague.   You could instantly tell they were a very nice couple, since they were married in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

They said they would tell their children to take a look at this web site.  If they would like to write back to us (or if anyone would like to write back), just send email to arthur@arandagroup.com

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