The members of the German ethnic minority ousted from Slovakia could
have not found a better site for their memorial than the hill of
Braunsberg, rising on the Austrian side of the “Porta Hungarica”. A
particularly funny fact is that this is one of the favorite Austrian
site of excursion of the inhabitants of Bratislava, a point with a great
view on their capital. Those who want to take the best picture of
Lamač/Lamacs/Blumenau, Devín/Dévény/Theben, the
Kamzík/Zerge-hegy/Gemsenberg, or the castle hill of
Bratislava/Pozsony/Pressburg, must climb up to the memorial. With many
Slovaks already the name “Felvidék” (Upper Region), the historical
Hungarian name of their country beats off the fuse. What will they think
about the country of “Nordkarpatelnand” and its German-speaking cities?
Once a friend of mine, who is a history-geography teacher just like me, told me there was a competition in their school. One of the questions was: How many Danubian islands are there in Budapest? He told me what he tought the correct answer would be, which was an irrationally big number, and asked me if it is true. I told him: it depends. What do you call an island?
In my opinion, island is a peace of land, which is completely surrounded by a body of water all the time. Not just a few months of the year, but the whole year. I told my friend, there are a very few islands in Budapest meeting this criteria.
We have to wind back the clock till the dawn of written history. By the Budapest section it means the time when the first Roman legionaries settled down next to the Danuvios river. Until this time there was no human impact on the Danube valley. No dredging, no locks, no stone embankments and no bridges.