Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz - 2002

rehabilitation that these lovely buildings warrant. #60 Andrassy was pointed out to us as the address of the infamous and dreaded AVO during the communist era (Secret Police). It is now a museum recording those terrible times, called the House of Terror. People were taken away to that place and tortured before being deported or killed. Often their families never knew the fate of their arrested loved ones. A wide boulevard, openly modeled on Paris’ Champs Elysee, was our next destination. There were many nice shops, apartments and restaurants along this street. There is not as much green space in Budapest as in Vienna, but it is still an attractive city in these sections. However, Pest is the lower cost housing part of the combined city with Buda commanding much higher rents. As we turned towards the Danube to visit the Buda side, we passed the statue of Padre Gillert who had helped Christianize the Hungarians, but no thanks redounded to him since during a pagan uprising he was placed in a barrel with nails driven into it and rolled downhill until he died. Grisly tortures the Hungarians are capable of dreaming up and have evidently used through the centuries. Later the good Padre was canonized and he now has a section of the city named after him - some consolation?! The other statue we passed was Lady Liberty erected during the Communism period. After the fall of that regime in l989, there was considerable debate whether to retain the statue, but the Hungarians decided she was even more appropriate now that they are free again and she stays in her honored position. Between Buda and Pest is an island in the Danube called Margaret’s which is now a wonderful park with no cars allowed. There are pools and spas with natural hot springs, jogging paths, plenty of shade, picnic tables. Cristina told us the park is very well used by all the citizens of the city. There is hot water under the Pest side as well and there several Turkish baths there still in use as well as other pools with hot mineral waters and even a hospital for patients whose physicians prescribe the water cures.


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