Budapest on Our Own - Day 1
June 19, 2008
Posted July 29, 2010
© 2008-2010, Herbert E. Lindberg
Mary had never been to Europe, and I had been there only once, for two weeks in 1970, so we decided to splurge and take the Tauck river tour through central Europe. The main reason we hadn't gone earlier was that we both hate to fly and knew a tourist flight would just about kill us (5 hours across the U.S., 10 hours across the Atlantic, 2 hours to our destination in Europe, plus about 6 hours of waiting and baggage handling between legs).
This time, our children are grown and we had some money saved for retirement, so we went first class all the way. That made a huge difference, especially on the outbound trip which had very good flight service.
|Here we are, over the ocean heading to Frankfurt in the second row of first class, having wine with dinner.|
|Everything went smoothly until we got to Budapest. We waited and waited for our luggage, which never came. Finally, at about midnight local time, we decided to have the Tauck driver take us to our hotel, where we slept in our underwear. Early the next morning a bellman rapped on our door with our luggage, and we gave a sigh of relief. The relief was short lived, however. I found that the baggage handlers at LAX had stolen my new shoes and a few other things. Mary was missing all her jewelry, new stockings, and her new shoes. So we had to go to all the fancy Tauck events dressed like waifs. Worst was that we arrived so late that no one at the hotel desk told us that breakfast and evening dinner were included in our room rate. We learned that from other cruise participants whom we met as we were leaving on the last day.|
|Dome of dining room ceiling, viewed from our room hallway.|
|The next morning as we were looking for a breakfast restaurant, we walked past this fellow playing water glasses beautifully.|
|It turned out that the Budapest annual Danube River Festival (Karnival) was taking place in a square not far from our hotel|
|How cute can they get? Their mother was happy for me to take their picture.|
|On this first morning, folk music took center stage.|
|The stage was set up in front of this elaborate statue, titled in Hungarian.|
|These dancers were talented and handsome or beautiful.|
|Most of the troop.|
|Most beautiful was this girl, near center stage.|
|Nearby were a few mimes posing for some forints change (100 forints is about 50 cents).|
|This beautiful old building was a bank and is now apartments. Our hotel is on the right.|
|This girl guarded the entrance to our hotel, as
well as herself.
She put me in mind of our daughter Barbara.
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