By the Beautiful Blue Danube

Since 1867, Viennese composer Johann Strauss II orchestral version of “An der schönen blauen Donau” or as known in English, “The Blue Danube” has become the epitome of waltz music.

Here are some of my views of the Danube/Donau followed up with a few photos around Vienna/Wien. I get tongue tied keeping track of the German place names with the English transliterations. I also have a little problem with WordPress re-aligning my photos.  I hope these are not too scattered.

Looking North at Donau Insel, Vienna
Looking South at Donau Insel, Vienna
From Bratislava Castle in Slovakia
From Budapest looking downstream toward Bratislava and Vienna














The streets of Vienna like Budapest invite us to walk on and on. “Just over there is another quaint little chapel. Look at this row of gabeled buildings. Whats beyond that garden?” They whisper.

Overlooking Schonbrunn Palace


Natural History Museum


Saint Francis of Asisi Church




National Art Museum


Vienna Main Station / Wien Hauptbahnhof

Looking up at Szent István Bazilika

Szent István Bazilika (St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest)

We climbed the stairs to the top of St. Stephen’s Basilica on the Pest side of Budapest. After we came down, I took two photographs with my iPad from the very bottom. On one I used the regular rear-facing camera while the other was taken with the facetime front facing camera.  Seeing the two photos together surprised me with their interesting symmetry.

Two ipad views looking up the tower stairwell
Two ipad views looking up the tower stairwell

The views from the dome were magnificent on that clear day. Very hard to choose only one to illustrate.


Looking North Towards Parliament
Looking North Towards Parliament



A Memorial in {Berlin, Krakow, Budapest}

I have mulled over this post for several weeks.  There is no easy way to approach a history in a few words or a few photographs. Here is a list of influences that have matured for me during our walks of the old cities of Eastern Europe:

  • Diary of Anne Frank
  • Live performance of Fiddler on the Roof
  • Friends erased in the Civil War of Angola
  • Los Desaparecidos de Argentina
  • Standing at Latin Bridge in Sarajevo in 2014
  • And on and on

We stumbled upon the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die Ermordeten Juden Europas). Even not knowing at the time what the monument represented, the atmosphere generated by the stone slabs is powerful. Some of the pictures are touched by innocence, some by mystery. Regardless of the criticism and controversy of this monument, it creates a powerful atmosphere.

Continuing down Eastern Europe, we came upon other monuments that are found below.

The site of the Krakow Ghetto lies a few hundred meters from Schindler’s Factory.

Plac Bohaterów Getta memorial to the deported Jews of Krakow
Plac Bohaterów Getta memorial to the deported Jews of Krakow

A fifteen minute stroll from our place in Budapest brings us along the Shoes on the Bank of the Danube.

An artist photographs her shoes at the Shoes on the Danube Bank Memorial
An artist photographs her shoes at the Shoes on the Danube Bank Memorial