Budapest is full of sculptures, monuments and statues of all shapes and sizes, but this one in particular moved me so deeply, it needed its own post. Shoes on the Danube Promenade by Gyula Pauer and Can Togay, is a memorial to the Jews who were shot into the Danube at the hands of the Hungarian fascist group, Arrow Cross, during WWII. There are 60 pairs of iron shoes, forming a row of about 40 metres.
I can't think of a more personal item than shoes. They form to your individual shape and are worn down by your experiences. You dance in them, walk miles in them, you run in them. Every pair in this memorial reminds you of the person— she was short and balanced on the balls of her feet to better reach things, he ground down the soles of those boots between work and home every day— those tiniest shoes held feet that just learned to walk.
Watching the silent grey river, I was overwhelmed, knowing how the same spot was stared at with frightened eyes— how the water's coldness would be the last thing that so many people would feel. Grey turned red, eventual silence. I couldn't help but look at my own shoes, and feel thankful for all I have been given in life.