The travel theme this week at Where’s My Backpack? is Strong.
I find the best travels are the ones that evoke the strongest reactions. The places that make you feel, make you think, make you question. These are the ones that remain with you. That change you. As a student sitting in my university history classes, I never imagined that one day I would have an opportunity to visit the places I’d studied.
In Prague, we visited the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius. The memorial to the 7 parachutists killed in a gun battle following the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich is a simple one, and extraordinarily moving. This represents so many facets of the word strong: strength of character, strength of belief, strength of courage, and a strong love of country.
You can read about Operation Anthropoid here.
Another Prague location sure to bring strong memories is Wenceslas Square. Always a place of strong resistance and emotion, it is the location where in 1918, the proclamation of independence of Czechoslovakia was read. Where in 1969, student Jan Palach set himself on fire to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Where in 1989, the Velvet Revolution occurred.
Read more about Wenceslas Square here.
In Budapest, Hungary I found another strong, simple reminder of the tragedies of the past. Not too far from the Chain Bridge in the shadow of the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, you will find the Shoes on the Danube Bank. This moving memorial is dedicated to the victims of the Arrow militia, who were shot into the Danube River in 1944 and 1945. This beautiful, strong, quiet statement is the perfect place for reflection.
You can read more about Shoes on the Danube Bank here.
Not all strong travel encounters are historical. Sometimes it’s all about the food. Here are some of the strong flavors of Hungary!