Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Pictures

(Either Picasa is my new best friend or the world's biggest pain in the butt.  Let's find out.)

I mentioned this earlier.  THIS is where they put the safe in my Warsaw hotel room.  Can't say a whole lot of planning went into this particular design.

This next pic is of one side of the Old Town Square in Warsaw.  For some reason, it made me think of Epcot -- I mean, this is how Disney constructs an old European town square -- and it actually is the old town square in Warsaw.
Next up is the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial.  It has two sides -- a side to memorialize the victims, and a side to memorialize the young fighters in the ghetto uprising.  We saw plenty of statues and memorials in Warsaw -- they really know how to make a monument there.
That's the side for the victims, obviously.  Our tour guide told us that the stones used for the memorial had conveniently been brought there by the Nazis, who had wanted to use them for a victory monument.  Using them in this way is a sort of "Fuck you!" of which I wholly approve.

The next shot is my sister admiring the side remembering the fighters in the ghetto uprising.
And if the memorial isn't depressing enough, our tour also stopped at an old Jewish cemetery in Warsaw.  They had some symbolic graves there for holocaust victims.  When I was looking around for a stone to place on one of those graves, I saw this clearing...
 ... except it isn't a clearing.  See those white posts at the far end (marked with a black stripe)?  They're marking off the area.  It once served as a mass burial pit for the people who died in the Warsaw Ghetto.

In retrospect, I gotta say that this hit me a bit harder than Auschwitz did (or rather, it hit me how I expect Auschwitz would have hit me, had we seen the crematoria or the sites of mass burials).  I was standing there on the edge of a pit in which countless, nameless bodies had been thrown.  And something green was trying to grow there now. 

On to happier photos.  Here's a tower from the outside of the old town of Krakow.  I expect a princess to be held captive in there.
 And a series of shots from the Danube dinner cruise.  Budapest at night is just one beautiful building after another.  (And, at some point in the future, I may actually know what each of these buildings is.)

(Yes.  Picasa is perfectly suited to this task.)

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