Giant Statues and Giant History Recorded

From my Facebook Page ( and TripAdvisor review

I have started writing up my reviews of Budapest on TripAdvisor.

Giant Statues and Giant History Recorded

There are few places left in Europe where you can see the monumental monuments and statues the Soviets placed to remind the conquered of their station in life. Memento Park is one of them.

Despite the Disney World approach to selling the park it does have a serious purpose. That purpose is to act as a reminder of how much the Soviet System brutalized the populations it tried to rule and subdue. The statues remind us of the enormity of the ego of the Soviet invaders and the belief system they tried to force on people e.g. Socialism with an Inhuman Face. Once you get past the tacky tacky souvenir shop, itself a comment on the tackiness of Sovietsky, then you are in a surreal world of monster statues.

Not all the statues are really really huge. Some are just normal pass-by without noticing size, some are just about noticeable and some are so huge they can probably be seen from outer space. The huge ones generally represent the fallen Soviet heroes or commemorate heroic events by the Soviets; the smaller one remember the fallen, the quietly heroic and the people who made a difference to life in the country.

The park is a place of wonder and reflection. There’s a huge pair of boots near the entrance which were Stalin’s boots. One could say, that they remind us that he got “too big for his boots” which is why he was deposed and most statues of him destroyed. Lenin fared better. Karl Marx, who stirred up the whole revolutionary business in the first place, sits at the entrance looking rather academic.

The park is accessible via metro from Gellert Station and a 150 bus. The bus trip goes through residential areas and a bit of countryside before stopping near a dirt track. When you get off the bus, the Statue Park is behind you . Look around for the boots!

Creating interactive activities

What is Twine?

Twine is a resources you can use to create an interactive activity or story. Using embedded links you can create branches and choices for the reader or user. This allows the reader different pathways through a story. For a student you can create activities which allow the student to choose their learning pathway.

Twine is an open source tool. That means that it free and is improved on by a variety of independent developers. The current version is Twine 2. It is a WYSIWYG application – what you see is what you get. The basic program is very easy to use.

What can I do with it?

Originally designed for creating interactive stories to be viewed on-line, Twine is great for:

  • getting students to create their own stories which they can share with others
  • you can create a decision-making tool/ activity ( see example on
  • getting students to choose which activities they wish to work on through making a series of choices
  • individualised learning
  • group work
  • sharing links, ideas and picture
  • group decision-making and sharing options
  • creating non-linear texts
  • creating testing and exam materials complete with choices and answers
  • game creating
  • add sound, pictures, videos etc.
  • lots of uses I haven’t thought about yet….

What are other people doing with it?

Games for Research

A game protype

Twine in education

More educational uses

Where can I upload the completed activity?

You can put it on Moodle, an App, your own website or on the Twine website.

I want it. How do I get it?

This is the easy part.

First, go the website: Twine.

the website

Then, decide if you want to use it on-line or download it. I recommend putting it on your memory stick or hard drive so you can use it offline.

Get it.

OK. I’ve got it. Now, how do I use it?

To get started, just start the application that you find inside the folder (on Windows this is the Twine.exe file and on Linux it is just called Twine). This just takes a few minutes to load up.

Stories in Twine 2 are saved to your web browser itself, not to the web site. 1) This is the case even if you’re running Twine 2 from a copy you downloaded to your own computer. The best thing to do to avoid these problems is to regularly archive your work with the Archivelink on the right sidebar of the story list. This saves all of your stories to a file on your computer that can then be restored with the Import link on the same page. I recommend storing the HTML files on to your USB or hard drive so you can access them and upload them easily.

Once you are up and running you should see the workspace where you will start to create your work. It looks like this.

start screen

Use the green + Story button on the right side of the screen to get started with your new story. It will pop open a balloon asking what to call it. You can name it whatever you like.

As soon as you give your story a name, you’ll be taken to its story map. The story map is a canvas for your story that will expand in size as much as you like. You can move around it using the scroll bars of the window, or if you’re using a touch-based device or mouse, just drag it around. You can also zoom out to see more of it by using these buttons:


Ok. Now we are ready to create.

You’ll notice that a box pops onto your story map as soon as it opens, called “Untitled Passage.” Your story will be made up of individual passages. Usually, passages are shown one at a time to a reader. Let’s enter some text in that starting passage. You can do that by either double-clicking it with a mouse, or by tapping it with your finger on a touch-based device and choosing the pencil from the icons that appear. I think it is a good idea to label this box START  or INTRODUCTION + whatever topic you are using. This way you know where the journey begins.

Type in the first text. Where you would like the reader to make a choice, you need to input the link. To do this surround the word with the following: [[|…….]]. This will change the colour of the text you are highlighting and using as the link. If it has not changed colour then you have not created the link. Go back and try again. What should happen if you have done this successfully, is that a new text box appears on the screen connected to the parent box.


You can add as many links / choices as you want. On the screen, you can move them around by using your mouse or finger. This is better for inputting and seeing the story structure. It does not affect what t he reader sees when the text has been uploaded.

Once you’re done with your story, click or tap the title of your story in the toolbar. It has a little upward triangle at its end, like ▲, to indicate that it’s a menu. This is the story menu. It contains options that you won’t use as often as you work on your story. For example, you can Rename Story from this menu, but what we’re interested in doing is Publish to File. This will save your story into an HTML file that works on its own – your readers don’t have to install Twine themselves. You can email this file to someone, upload it to the VLE.

And then…

Once you have saved and uploaded the file, you can then use the interactive activity in class or assign for self-study.

Create a story

Twine is great for creating interactive stories. I will explore this in a later blog.