Tired of waiting at Budapest’s Keleti Station, thousands of refugees decided to take the journey to Western Europe on foot.
Thousands of refugees have been sleeping rough at Budapest’s Keleti station, waiting for trains into Western Europe. Tired of waiting, many left to walk 100 miles to the Austrian border. This report follows their journey.
“We’ve had enough of sleeping on the street in the cold with small kids”, says a woman standing outside Keleti station. “We’re going to walk to Austria.” Reem, six-year-old Malium, two-year-old Mohammad and Majid are a Syrian family from Idlip. Their dream, like so many other Syrians, is to reach Germany. But first they must get to the Austrian border 180 kilometres away. As they begin their long walk with thousands of other refugees, Hungarian citizens show their support along the road. “They are people, that’s all. We must help them”, says one Hungarian woman handing out supplies. Under international pressure, the Hungarian government sends buses to take refugees to the border, but panic spreads through the group as they think they are being tricked, and that the buses will take them to a Hungarian camp instead. A long journey awaits the refugees ahead, but a hopeful and optimistic atmosphere prevails. As one man explains: “I have given my slippers to my wife because her feet are bleeding. My feet are bigger than her shoes. What shall I do? To be or not to be, that is the question. We will be. Right?”