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Trip Report back from budapest

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First a big thanks to all who helped with suggestions, websites, etc. to assist me in my never-ending overdose of trip organization.

We were very excited about going to budapest and we were not disappointed.

We stayed at the millenium court marriot apts. which IMO were excellent value for money with their 135 euro /two bedroom /two bath weekend rate. we had emailed asking for a room higher up hopefully with view, and we got it. although this is not directly on the riverfront, i had a corenr view of elisabeth bridge.

Well situtated lodging with plenty of shops/restaurants/transport nearby for those unable/not interested in trekking too far for a meal or metro. abundant, simple continental breakfast with cheese, juice, teas, coffees, cereals, croissants and pastries and bread.

Taxi from airport was 5,200 HUF (about 22 euros). taxi driver was very nice and spoke reasonable english. (from official taxi stand, although we were approached by others)

This city is in disrepair, as far as maintenance of official/residential buildings, but the hidden beauty of the the monuments and architecture still shines through the years of pollution residue.

We set out on longer than expected walk to our restaurant choice up at the city park. (lovely grounds,lake, agricultural museum, and castle). all lit up at night just beyond heroe's square.
We ate at Owl's Castle. (enjoyed all our meals everywhere, BTW.)

This is around the corner from gundel, and we did have a few specialties, dessert and coffee. price: approx. 75 euros for 4 persons.

Next day was sunny so we ventured up to szentendre by train. this is an easy excursion.. and can be done in a few hours. train takes about 40 minutes to get there. and once there, this small town can fill a morning easily. we took a carriage ride,(16 euros) which was a good way to see side streets without all the up and down on the cobblestones.

Food and souvenirs (even the chocolates)were a tiny bit cheaper here than in budapest we realized as we later compared. our quick lunch for 4 was about 30 euros .

I won't get into everything we did and saw.. as any tour book can describe that. The trams in budapest that follow the river(2, 19) are a nice way to get a feel of the perspective. also, bus number 16 from in front of the meridian hotel takes you UP to the castle hill .

We enjoyed a ballet at the spectacular opera house. then a highlight of our dining, entertainment experiences was a dinner at BELCANTO, next door.

I wish we had this type restaurant on all our journeys. The singing... piano, violin, cello, bass, playing not only hungarian music, but famous international songs, and bits of opera . we were there for HOURS and didn't even realize the time. it was a wonderful way to say goodbye to such a lovely weekend.

Other restuarants we tried:

-Baraka.. food here is tops.. service ( as noted here on other posts).. not up to food, which to me, brings the whole experience into another realm. ( no tablecloths..and totally understaffed) but the BEST salad, and duck breast i have had. all food was worth the visit but they have some problems to work out IMO. P.S. this was also the most expensive meal in four days.

-Kehli.. very nice. near a great plaza of interesting buildings and vasarely museum.

-Gundel sunday brunch.. food was o.k., but a jug of water ..6 euros????

-Foccacio--food was good. view was nice.. it is convenient but not atmospheric in itself. staff very pleasant. excellent grilled goose liver dinner.

And for after dinner drinks and coffees, SPOON CAFE floating river restaurant is fabulous. the views across the chain bridge/castle are just exquisite.
closes at 2. am.

So much more to tell. Will let you rest.
Going to unpack!

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