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Finishing Up

Let me finish talking about the day I started.

So as soon as I'd finished posting this morning's post we headed out to lunch then to the Budapest Synagogue. It's the largest synagogue in Europe. I had to wear a little hat and we paid 600 forints (about $3) to get in.

We've visited a few churches this trip and you keep having to pay admission to get into the churches here. At least the nice ones. I don't really like it. I think church should be free. Even if it is just too look at the pretty walls and take happy snaps it should be free admission.

Anyway, we looked around the synagogue and it was about how I expected it to be. Like a cathedral with no Jesus. And a balcony for the women to sit in. Christians don't have dress circles. Except for when they stick the choir up there. Lucky choir.

After the synagogue it was off to the Holocaust Museum. That was a good building. Very nicely designed with lots of sand stone, glass, and big doors. I like big doors.

The Museum was very well done. It led you through the 8 stages of the Holocaust for Hungarian Jews and Gypsies as they were deprived of all their rights and eventually were killed. It's always sad to consider. And scary. While I know that if I lived in the time I would be one of the Jews, I identify more with the strong majority. The ones who just watched the atrocities happen. I wonder if I would have been brave enough to speak up. I wonder where I need to speak up now.

Humans, we can be so terrible. If only we learnt how to behave.

Once we got kicked out of the museum because it was closing time Grandpa took us to the place where he first saw a Russian as they liberated Budapest in 1945 (he describes the day here). It special to see the place for real. After our detailed explanation of events over lunch I was taken to the place. I stood where the Russians set up their field gun and looked down to where the German barricade was. I looked across the road to where the Russians had gathered and to the other side where the had played with a Voltswagon they had found. It was probably the place where I have connected with my Grandfather's experiences of World War 2 the most this trip (of course I haven't talked about all the rest yet, cause in the blog catch up I haven't even made it to Hungary. I'll get there.) I wasn't as moved as I have been other days, but today it lived in my imagination. And getting some idea of the past of my Grandfather is the whole reason I am here in Hungary.

After the visit to the Russian first sighting site and to see a block of flats Grandpa lived in during the war, we went to dinner at a little restaurant that Jo and I had eaten in a few nights before. I had Pork Cutlet "Good Woman" style. Don't ask me what "Good Woman" style is, I just ate it for its name. It wasn't too bad though.

After dinner we raced to the square across the street from our flat to watch the World Cup final on the big screen. We were an hour late. We thought the game started at 9pm, but it started 8pm. But no worries, we saw most of the game. It was so tense by the end. I really didn't want Italy to win, but I guess the Italians weren't interested in what I wanted, because they totally ignored my wishes and won anyway.

Oh well. It'll be Australia winning next time.