Budapest and the park.
Aug 10, 2014
|Up at 7:30 and down to breakfast. Poured coffee in my tea – forgot that the pot on the table was coffee… Had to get another cup. Still a bit tired. Anyway, back to the room and pack up, then to the lobby and check out, and a taxi to the train station. Same price as the ride in so it seems it was just pretty far away. Up on the platform and we finally figured out where to stand… Train showed up and we got on our car and found our seats and stored the suitcases with no trouble at all! Best train yet as well – RailJet -= quite modern with a TV information screen, excellent seats, even a charging plug under the seat!
Trip to Budapest went smoothly. Two hours with five stops. We passed mostly farm fields with the occasional village and wind farm. Lots of wind farms – some with 20+ generators. We also went quite close to the denude at times – and there were usually industrial areas there. Of the crops the two prominent ones were corn and sunflowers. Lots of sunflowers.
We finally got to our train station and lugged the bags down stairs and up stairs to the taxi stand. There was only one elevator and a long line. The cab ride cost almost 20 euros – right through the middle of town. I think we were sent o the wrong station… Oh well – it was nice to see the town.
Got to the hotel and checked in with no problem. Nice room with what seems to be good AC and free wifi. No honor bar! Can’t get the safe to work but really nothing but passports to worry about. After resting for a bit we stopped at the desk and got a map and instructions to the nearest ATM and underground station. Could not find the ATM but did find the underground – they gave us directions to an ATM – or so we thought. Back past the hotel and up the street and no ATM. We asked a server at a restaurant and he said around the corner – and there it was, just outside the Budapest Zoo.
I tried to get 100,000 forint (about $400) but could only get 41,000 – and that was the end of the cash in the machine! We stopped in at a café and tried to get some salads but it was 2:00 PM and they had stopped serving lunch – but they were serving salads next door… So we went there – a very fancy place called Gundel – and had lunch. Interesting to get a bill for 6,272.
Then Alice talked me into going to the zoo. I don’t like zoos. But we went. Anyway. Alice was to be in charge. A nice entrance to the zoo, and once inside we got some ice cream. The first exhibit we visited was the American exhibit – and there were river cooters and cormorants. Felt like home! The zoo was set up by regions, so next was South America with some small mammals, Spider monkeys, and lots of fish. Then the normal stuff from Australia and Asia, plus Tigers and Giraffes and Seals and Elephants along with fruit bats and sloths. They even had a dinosaur!
We left the zoo and went to the park across the street. A huge place filled with people. Interesting Burger joint – BRGR – Live, Love, Eat Burgers. Sounds like it was taken from some other title. Anyway there was a large lake with paddle and rowing boats and plenty of food places – even corn – first I had seen since Turkey. Also an island in the middle that housed a museum.
The museum was in a castle that was quite remarkable with gates, towers, the requisite figures on the church and everything that went with a castle – even a gift shop. We didn’t go in as it was late, but we wandered through. Then we came across a statue of George Washington. Only jis name was in English so we have no idea why he was there. Anyway, we continued around the lake taking some more pictures.
Ended up at Heroes Square – where all the important Hungarian leaders from the 1300s to the 1800s were on display, plus Winged Victory” on a column in the middle. Big area used for various events. Right across from the art museum. Which was just closing as we walked up the steps.
Back to the hotel for a bit then off for dinner. We argued about where to eat and after much anguish ended up at Robinson’s Kitchen – a fancy place on the lake in the park. Alice had Goulash Soup then Spaghetti with Prawns (which she didn’t like much), and I had some pretty good roast chicken on vegetables in a nice sauce – very good. The bill was a bit of a shock - 11,227 Ft. Then back to the hotel.
Tomorrow we have a 10:00 AM tour of the city, and then… we’ll see.