Day 2

Araby

Probably the most famous short story James Joyce ever wrote, and certainly my favorite of his, is “Araby,” the first story in his collection Dubliners. If you’ve ever read the story (which you should), you’ll see why I was smiling the morning of the second day.

A friend once mentioned to me taking a Pole to see “the Fall, uh, Mall of America,” a comment which seems to reflect the liberal, anti-globalization, tree-hugger’s view of malls. Mall = yet another way America is destroying the earth and all things good.

However, depending on how we define “mall,” it’s not really an American invention . . .

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Synagogue

Before the Second World War, there were over a hundred synagogues in Budapest. Something twenty survived. One which survived, though heavily damaged, is the largest synagogue in Europe.

Admission is not cheap – probably in part because of the expenive security measures. Visitors must pass through a metal detector and their bags are thoroughly searched. A sad commentary on the level of anti-Semitism still prevelant in our society.

Additionally, males must cover their heads. Those not wearing caps get their own yarmulke.

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Castle Hill

The second major hill in Buda is the castle hill, with its distinctive limestone Fishermen’s Bastion and Maciej church, both seen below.

The church is where Hungarian kings were coronated. Built sometime in the late twelfth century, it is a surprisingly modest church, no where near the dimensions of the St. Steven Basilica.

I don’t know much about the Fishermen’s Bastion except that it’s made of limestone and quite lovely at night.

View Church Gallery

View Fishermen’s Bastion Gallery

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