Budapest, Hungary was the first city we visited in Eastern Europe. Much of the time we spent touring and exploring the city was spent crossing the Danube River, which separates the Buda and the Pest (pronounced “pesht”) neighborhoods of the city. This photo was taken as we ascended Gellért Hill, visiting the Citadel where the Liberty Statue overlooks the Danube.
After playing a concert in Austria as we travelled from Budapest to Vienna, we had one night to explore the majestic, unbelievably beautiful city. Every time our tour guide lead us around a corner, we found ourselves facing a new panorama, each more breathtaking than the last.
In both Budapest and Prague, we spent quite a bit of time exploring Christmas markets. These outdoor conglomerations of small booths offered an enormous array of unique gifts and trinkets that we purchased as gifts, as well as pastries, sausages, and hot drinks to consume as we wandered the market.
The day we visited Terezín, a former Nazi concentration camp, was the most impactful day of the trip. Though it was not used as an extermination camp, Terezín was a prison camp where tens of thousands died and hundreds of thousands were transported to extermination camps. At the end of our tour of the camp, Gabby Bloom ’14 and Pasha Temkin ’14 organized a memorial service that was held at the camp. During the service, several Studio Band members volunteered to read short stories and poems from Holocaust survivors, followed by a short prayer and a song for peace. It was a sobering, humbling experience.
Our final night in Europe was spent in Lisbon, where we stayed the night on a layover. After more than a week of freezing Eastern Europe, it was lovely to walk around the 60-degree weather of Lisbon.