Denver Botanic Garden

There are several cities with wonderful botanical gardens, but we believe that the Denver Botanic Garden is one of the best. Between the tropical flowers, rotating art displays, and special events, there is always something interesting to see at the garden. We especially enjoyed the variety of colorful orchids that we saw during our visit there. It is a great way to spend a summer afternoon, walking the flower lined paths and seeing the gardens dedicated to different regions around the world. The Denver Botanic Garden will often create displays on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver to allow shoppers to see some of the wonderful flowers that can be found in the gardens. If you are planning a trip to Denver, we’d definitely recommend that you consider adding the Botanic Gardens to your itinerary.

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One of the Garden Displays
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Lily Pond
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Orchid in the Hot House
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Walking the Grounds of the Botanic Garden
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Colorful Flowers
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Another Orchid
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Bridge Over the Water
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Reflections in the Pond
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Statues Made of Drift Wood
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Walking Through the Hot House
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Victorian Secret Garden
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Water Feature in the Garden
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Garden Outside of the Hot House
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Unique Tropical Flowers

 

Shoes on the Danube Bank

One of the interesting things that we saw when we were in Budapest was a memorial to honor the citizens, most of them Jewish, who were executed along the shore of Danube River. In December 1944 and January 1945, as World War II came closer to an end, the local fascist militia group called the Arrow Cross killed thousands of people along the shore of the river. It is a humbling reminder of the atrocities that were committed during the war. Making it even more tragic is the inclusion of the shoes of children as entire families were brought to the shore to be executed.

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Iron Shoes Along the Bank of the Danube
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Children and Adult Shoes
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You Can Almost Imagine the People Standing Next to Their Shoes

Soldiers from the Arrow Cross would go to the Jewish Ghetto, where the majority of the Jewish citizens of Budapest were forced to live in horrid conditions, and take them to be executed along the river. The Budapest Ghetto was made up of several blocks of the Jewish Quarter that were surrounded by a high fence and stone wall that completely isolated them from the rest of the city. The reason for the shoes as the memorial is that they would be forced to remove their shoes before being executed. According to one of the people that worked at our hotel, the soldiers would tie groups of people together and then shoot the first few in line so that they would fall and then drag in everyone else to drown. Apparently it was done in an attempt to save on bullets, which were needed as the Soviet Union forces approached.

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Walking Among the Shoes
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Even Starker Without the Flowers
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Flowers and Candles

The memorial was erected in 2005 and was conceived by director Can Togay and consists of 60 pairs of shoes made out of iron that attached to the stone embankment. We visited the Shoes on the Danube Bank on a rainy day, which only added to the impression that it created. People leave flowers among the shoes to honor the memories of all of the people who lost their lives there.

Unusual Focus

As we’ve been going through our photographs from Budapest and Bratislava (over 1,700), we have found a few unusual photographs. Regardless of where you travel, you will often find statues that focus on the hands of the subject as the can be very expressive. Whether it is welcoming, comforting, an offering of peace, or fists of aggression, the hands can be as emotional as the eyes. One of the photographs that we’ve included here was taken at the hotel bar where we were staying in Budapest. After a long day of walking around the city, we stopped for a glass of wine and there was a weird green light that glowed underneath the bar top. It actually made for a strange effect and we couldn’t help but take a photograph of our hands. Do you ever find yourself taking photographs of odd subjects during your travels?

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From the Hungarian National Museum
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Peace Offering in Bratislava
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Glowing Hands
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Hands Towards the Sky
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A Comforting Touch
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The “Watcher” Taking a Break
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Getting Ready to Strike