Oct 9 budapest
Budapest is big. We started our time in Budapest with our usual bus tour. The hotel recommended the red hop-on-hop-off tour. For 5000 E you can ride the red and yellow buses and the blue boats for two days. We took this and did the red route. The bus tour was really good. It even stopped at a marvelous vantage point where we could see both Buda - with its hills, castle, churches and fortress - and Pest - the low-lying, often flooded, commercial core of the combined city. Of course the historic Danube flows through the middle of all this splendor.
Warning, the schedule is in the tour company's brochure and they leave on time. We were banging on one bus's door and it still drove off.
The one place that we did hop off was at the State Opera House. We managed to be first in line for rush seats and got tickets for Carmen this evening. We got dressed up and went to the opera which was excellent.
Our hotel was a twelve minute stroll from the Opera and one block from the New York Cafe, which is sumptuous (and the rabbit ragout, although small, is delicious)
The hotel sends guests to the Lido Cafe, just around the corner for breakfast. They seem to have live music every night. We could not get in tonight as it was full ; so we went to another restaurant on our street that said it had the best goulash in Budapest. The goulash was very good although we had a soup-sized portion rather than meal-sized one. A violinist and clavier player were performing.
There are too many things Grammar wants to do tomorrow. She booked a walking tour of the Jewish district and says she must go to the market and the therapeutic baths. At this rate, we won't get to any museums.