Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Back from Budapest- Report Including Eger, Szentendre and London

Back from Budapest- Report Including Eger, Szentendre and London

Apr 17th, 2014, 07:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 742
Back from Budapest- Report Including Eger, Szentendre and London

I recently got back from a wonderful trip to Budapest, with overnight layovers in London coming and going. Here’s a little trip report (ok, not so little). I traveled alone and on a small budget.

March 23, Flight from Houston to London on British Airways. The flight was only 1/3 full, so everyone got their own row. Hooray! Off to a great start.

Flight was uneventful and arrived into Heathrow just a little bit late, around noon. Heathrow kind of boggles my mind, with having to disembark by going down stairs on the tarmac and being bussed to the terminal. I felt so sorry for this one guy on the plane who only had an hour to make a connection for a flight to Singapore . Even with a nearly empty plane, it took forever to get off the plane. I feel sorry for those passengers who are mobility challenged flying into Heathrow. Heathrow is not ADA friendly, that’s for sure!!!

Immigration was mercifully quick, my bag was waiting for me, and I was on my way.

I picked up a day travelcard and headed to my hotel, Travelodge, to check in and drop my bags. Since I had a morning flight to Budapest the next day, I wanted to be near the airport and I’m a budget traveler, so this was my place at 53 pounds sterling (having to pay 10 of that as an early checkin fee, grrr…). The hotel is located two blocks from Hounslow Central tube stop. There is no escalator or elevator at this location, so it was loads of fun lugging my suitcase up and down those 35 stairs!

The hotel sent me to a room that had not been cleaned from the previous guest, not a happy thing when you are tired and eager to get into the city. I did not care for this hotel at all and wouldn’t recommend it. It gave off a bad vibe to me. Anyways, I finally got the second room, dumped my stuff and headed into the city, about 40 minutes by tube.

I’ve been to London several times before, so this brief stay was just to break up my journey and have a taste of one of my favorite cities. I lucked out with nice weather for my limited visit.

First stop, at the recommendation of Fodorite Bette, was Farm Street Church . I loved it very much! Thank you, Bette! I took lots of pictures and then moved on to my next destination, the Parliament complex. I visited St. Margaret’s, a church whose opening hours I have missed on previous trips. Fodorite latedaytraveler recommended that one and I’m glad for the reminder.

Parliament is my favorite building, so I must pay homage each time I’m in London . After paying my respects, I hopped back on the tube and alighted a few minutes later at Monument stop.

I tried to visit St. Magnus the Martyr Church , but it was closed (even though it normally would have been based on posted hours). So, on to the next stop, St. Mary at Hill. That interior was not very church like, but I’m still glad I satisfied that curiosity. Then on to St. Dunstan’s in the East, as recommended by Fodorite TxBookworm. St. Dunstan’s was shattered during the blitz and all that remains are a Wren tower and some gothic arches. The city turned it into a quiet park. It’s a lovely, calm oasis and one would never dream a treat like that is back there, surrounded by office buildings. Thank you, TxBookworm!

I stopped into All Hallows by the Tower church, Fodorite GoSox’s recommendation, and found that to be pretty cool too. I don’t know how I missed it on prior visits. Not counting St. Margaret’s, which was very busy, I was the only one at all these churches. This was in contrast to the exceptionally busy condition on the streets, filled with what appeared to be high school and college kids from across the globe on spring break.

I ambled by the Tower of London, walked across the Tower Bridge, and made my way to Southwark Cathedral, admiring the HMS Belfast en route.

This was my second time to visit Southwark Cathedral. I really liked it the first time, so I had to go back. I took lots of photos of the stained glass windows (paying a £2 photo fee) and I believe one of them will be used for my Christmas card this year. I have a tradition of using a religious image from my travels as my card and they prove to be a big hit with family and friends.

I was really starting to fade by this time, having been without sleep for a long time (no sleeping on the plane for me), so I made the trek back to the hotel, ate dinner at the hotel (not good) and called it a night.

March 25, 8:30 am flight to Budapest . Uneventful flight to Budapest and quick entry into the country. Special note: British Airways actually serves a lite meal on short flights. What a novel thing!

As stated in various guide books, there were numerous car sharks circulating around the exit of the airport trying to get customers. They spoke English and I pretended like I didn’t understand them. I followed advice and went to the official airport taxi stand to get my cab.

My ride cost 6652 forints and took about 30 minutes to the Danube Guesthouse. I rang the buzzer and Zoltán came down to greet me and help me with my luggage. The guesthouse is in a large multipurpose building, on the second floor. Zoltán and Bob (an American) sat me down in their living room, brought out a map and gave me a little orientation of the city. These guys were exceptionally nice and helpful throughout my stay. My room was a small double, for 45 Euro/night. They list prices in Euro on the website, but I paid in HUF. By staying multiple nights and paying cash, my price was reduced by 5%.

After freshening up, I found myself to be starving (passed on the BA plane meal) and set out for lunch at a place the guys recommended. It was an Italian place, name escapes me. It had a really cool décor/ambiance and the waiters were really nice. One in particular was very chatty and when he learned I was from Houston, he proceeded to tell me of his love for the Houston Rockets (basketball team) when he was younger and mentioned specific players from the past. That was unexpected!

Fortified with food, I headed to St. Stephen’s Basilica. Beautiful church! Cost: 200 HUF as a donation (with church personnel standing by the box with full expectation of payment - no problem).

I made my way to Parliament, the most compelling reason for my trip to Budapest. I have long admired photos of this building (and the appearances in Viking River Cruise tv commercials) and was absolutely thrilled to see it in person. The whole area was spic and span clean. An underground visitor’s center is under construction and should be open this summer. I visited the Holocaust memorial featuring shoes on the banks of the Danube and tried to get some good photos that accurately portrayed the emotion of the site. While doing so, I got off balance, dropped my ipod, and sadly, scraped up the screen. At least it still works.

The memorial is poignant and well done.

I wandered up and down Andrassy Utca, stopping in to the opera to check out the gorgeous lobby.

Hungarians seem to love books, based on the number of book stores I saw during my trip. This made me very happy, since in my own country, bookstores are closing/going out of business. A popular chain in Budapest is Alexandra. On Andrassy street, there’s a huge one that has a beautiful café on the top floor, serving nice looking desserts. A man was playing piano and it was an elegant scene.

I can’t remember what else I did this day. I was pretty tired from the early morning wake up, so I called it a night. My guesthouse had free wi-fi, so I spent the remainder of my night emailing pictures home from my ipod and playing words with friends.

March 26

First stop was the Bocadillo Café for breakfast of croissant and hot chocolate. The hotel provides vouchers for breakfast, so each day was started here. The café is really cute, but there was a really snooty waiter that turned me off on the days he worked. I’m sure he hates the hotel guests since they aren’t lucrative to his pocket.

I spent much of the day wandering around, admiring buildings, and going into every open church I saw. Unfortunately, the Serbian church was never open when I went by.

I went into the Central Market Hall. The lower level sells meats, produce and other foods and seems to be filled with locals doing their shopping. On the upper floor you will find stall after stall selling souvenirs, most of the stuff repeated over and over, across a huge space. I was a bit disappointed, to tell you the truth. It was crammed and crowded and not my idea of fun. I did buy a cute t-shirt for my niece.

I dropped my purchase at the hotel and then decided it was time to head over to Buda. I leisurely made my way in that direction, stopping at anything interesting along the way, including a stop at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace to check out the lobby and avail myself of the facilities (very nice).

The Chain Bridge is very attractive and I took a lot of photos of it during my trip. I love the lions especially.

The funicular was broken that day, so I hoofed it up to the top. I wandered around the Royal Palace , but didn’t go into any of the buildings. I had a hot dog (600 HUF) because I realized I hadn’t eaten in hours.

It was such a beautiful day, as were all the days in Budapest (I was so blessed!). I really enjoyed relaxing up here, admiring the views, and taking lots of photos.

On my way to Matthias Church , I noticed Ruzswurm café, a place I had read about, so I thought it a good time to stop for a cake break. I ordered a dobas torta and Canada Dry. I think my bill was 1000 HUF, including service. It was a very quaint, cozy experience and I’d recommend stopping there.

By this time, it was getting late in the day and I hurried over to Matthias Church . In retrospect, I should have come back another day, because I had only 30 minutes before it closed. It’s a magnificent place worthy of more time. I took so many pictures! The positive side of being there late in the day was that I was able to take many photos without other tourists in the way. I was the last person out of the church and they never said anything to me about hurrying up, which was nice of them.

I explored the fisherman’s bastion, but without paying to go to the upper level. The views that are free are plenty awesome.

The bus down the hill was packed, so I just walked down through a residential area and ended up near Batthany Ter, which is right across the Danube from Parliament. More photos were taken! I must have taken 200 shots of Parliament in different lights.

I took the tram back to Chain Bridge and then wandered home for the night.

A note on the public transportation and the “controllers” who can ask for proof of valid ticket and impose fines on violators: I never saw them on the trams. I saw them at every single entry to the Metro system checking everyone, so you just know to have your validated ticket out and show it. You don’t even have to slow down. No ambushing to worry about. Reading about the controllers in advance of the trip sounded almost intimidating, but things were a breeze.

May 27 – Parliament tour day!!!

I started out with my breakfast at Bocadillo Café and then I made my way to Parliament for my 10 am tour. I had purchased my ticket in advance online, maybe two weeks before arrival, so I could be sure I’d get the tour I wanted and not have to go stand in a line to purchase.

Groups seem to be in sizes of 35-40 and are organized by language. The tour, including going through a metal detector and having bags go through x-ray machines, came to about 45 minutes. I hardly listened to the guide because I was always lagging behind, trying to get some good photos without the crowd in them. The interior is beautiful and impressive.

After the tour ended, I visited the Holocaust shoe memorial again. I was annoyed and disturbed to find an obnoxious lady posing for photos in her bare feet, pretending to try on the shoes. I told myself to give her the benefit of the doubt, that hopefully she didn’t know the meaning of the memorial. She spoke a Slavic sounding language, so I was relieved she wasn’t an “ugly American”.

I went to the tram stop, and hopped on to head to the site of the “Little Princess” sculpture. There’s a stop right by it, perfect! She’s a fun little thing to visit, with her quirky crown.

I then decided I had best make my way to the Great Synagogue to check it out. I didn’t want the week to go by without visiting the big attraction on the very street of my guest house.

The synagogue is quite large and is beautiful, inside and out. One must go through a metal detector and open any bags, but it’s no big deal. I noticed at night there’s always at least one police officer on duty by the front door.

I thought admission, which includes a small museum, was a little expensive (2850 HUF), however, I would not have missed it for the world.

After a quick stop in my hotel, I proceeded by Metro to Heroes’ Square and City Park . The square is expansive and quite neat. I loved City Park! This was another highlight of my trip. It was very quiet and relaxing by the castle. I enjoyed seeing the “Anonymous” sculpture and the other artistic details of the buildings. I went into the Agricultural Museum, expecting some nice architectural features. Other than the staircase and the ceiling on the second floor in one room, I was disappointed. That was ok, I loved the grounds so much it made up for any interior disappointment. The little chapel was closed, a bummer. There is a very clean restroom on the second floor, by the way.

I walked over to the Szechenyi Bathhouse and entered the lobby to check it out. It was quite steamy in there! I could feel my pores opening! The ceiling is beautiful. I had contemplated bringing my swimsuit on the trip in case I wanted to try the baths, but I didn’t, thinking it would be a pain and take up too much time. Now I was regretful because it probably would have been a relaxing and unique experience. Next time! You can actually rent suits at some of the bath houses, but that’s not for me.

My next activity was a highlight of my trip, a cruise on the Danube. I chose the Legenda company, as recommended by Rick Steves. Turns out this company is probably the most expensive around, but it was nice. I found out by walking along the dock area that there are cruises for half the price.

I had about 30 minutes to kill before departure, so I went into the Marriott hotel to relax on the couch in the lobby and have a drink. I met a very nice lady from Minnesota who was about to start a Viking river cruise the following day. I had a pleasant chat with her, then used the restroom (very clean) and headed back out to catch my cruise.

The cruise had only three other people on the trip out to Margaret Island . It was great to have this big boat practically to myself! They serve two drinks on the journey, which was nice. I raced from side to side and up and down, taking photos throughout the journey. I was thrilled to see Parliament from this vantage point and as we were passing it, the sun had begun setting, so the building was just glowing. I love that building!

March 28 Train trip to Eger

I actually bought my train ticket to Eger the day before, at the office on Jozef Attila street. It was kind of funny because when I went in, no other customers were present and there were four employees staffing the ticket booths. I went up to one and stated I’d like to purchase a ticket to Eger for the following day. The lady told me I needed to take a number (hadn’t noticed a number system walking in) and wait to be called. I dutifully took my number and within a minute or so I was called. I found it amusing. Must maintain order! Perhaps it’s the way of keeping stats on how many served in a given day.

A round trip ticket to Eger cost 6500 HUF, with seat reservations (which turned out to be unnecessary since the train was sparsely populated coming and going).

I set out on the 9 am from Keleti, two stops away from my hotel metro stop. The train left on time and was a smooth ride. Smooth, that is, until arrival in Eger . The train started unloading passengers and when I started to go out, the door closed on me! Squashed!! I hit the open button and the door opened. I started to proceed out again, and the door started closing again. Keep in mind that the stairs retract as the door closes, so I almost fell into oblivion. Finally, when it opened again, I took a huge leap off the train, bypassing the steps entirely. My shirt (a recent purchase) got an oil stain from the experience of being compressed by the doors.

What an intro to Eger !! My right Achilles tendon got strained from the awkward jump, but oh well.

It’s about a 20 minute walk into town. What a lovely little city Eger is! I found it really enjoyable and relaxing.

I first stopped into the basilica. It’s pretty big and is nice enough. I like the exterior structure and grounds more than the interior. I then stopped into the Lyceum. Note: this is a good place to stop for a WC if needed as they are clean and free.

The visit to the Baroque library is 800 HUF and the “magic tower” and camera obscura add another 1000. I loved the library very much and it’s worthy of a visit.

The magic tower, 6 flights up, has various science displays geared for kids. The camera obscura was pretty cool. I was the only one up there and the young woman manning the device was really sweet. She kept apologizing for her poor English, but I thought she was great. You can go out onto the roof of the tower and you will find wonderful views of the city and the hills beyond.

I spent more time here than I had planned and realized I needed to scurry along. Foolishly, I had booked my return trip to Budapest for only 4 hours after arrival in Eger , thinking that would be plenty of time for this small town. I definitely could have used a few more hours.

I walked to the Serb church, which is quite a ways down from everything else and it was not open. Darn! And lost time!

From there I walked by the minaret. I didn’t climb up because I was tired from all the stairs I had already done that day and my Achilles wasn’t too enthused about the prospect.

There is a street full of shops that leads to the castle and it was completely torn up, as was the area around St. Anthony’s church. I was glad I had sunglasses on to protect my eyes from all the dirt that was being kicked up and blown around by the wind.

St. Anthony’s is a nice church and I went in and lit a candle.

I wandered around a little more, popping into some shops before heading back to the station to catch my train. If you go, please allot more than 4 hours for a visit!

The trip back to Budapest was uneventful. I went back to my hotel to rest for a while and then I set out for dinner. I hadn’t eaten since my croissant at breakfast, so I was starving.

I had read about a place called Trattoria Toscana on the Danube waterfront and decided to treat myself to a meal at a nice place.

When I got there, only two tables in this big place were occupied. I requested a table and was asked if I had a reservation. I said no and the hostess said she was sorry, she couldn’t help me. I must have had a “you’ve got to be kidding me” look on my face. Or maybe poor, hungry urchin? She looked through her book and announced that if I got something fast like a salad or pizza and could be done in an hour, she could seat me. I should have just passed, but I was hungry and didn’t want to walk any further on my empty stomach (it had been quite a walk too).

After being seated, it took a long time to be acknowledged by wait staff. Ridiculous. I ordered a pizza and it was pretty good, but I was just put off by the snooty and less than attentive staff. By the time I had completed my meal, only two additional tables had become occupied.

I spent the rest of my evening taking pictures of the monuments and bridges so stunningly lit up at night. I always thought Prague was the prettiest city at night, but now I think it’s Budapest .

Along my way home, I found a festive pedestrian area filled with market booths selling food and souvenirs, so I enjoyed checking that out before calling it a night.

March 29

My time in Budapest was dwindling and I realized there was so much more to do and see! I was feeling guilty that I didn’t have gifts to bring back home, so I went back to the Central Market Hall. I honestly couldn’t stand the crowded vendor arrangement upstairs, but I must have spent at least an hour wandering up and down, back and forth, evaluating prices and merchandise. In the end, I bought two “secret boxes” for my niece and nephew. These things are really cool. They look like ordinary decorative boxes, but it takes about 4 or 5 steps to get into the box. In retrospect, I wish I had purchased a few more to give to other people, but it would have blown my budget and my luggage situation. At a grocery store, I bought miscellaneous chocolate bars for gifts as everyone in my life loves chocolate.

Note: the Central Market Hall seemed to have the best prices in town for souvenirs. The same items on Vaci Utca, for example, are so much more expensive.

I dropped my boxes off at the hotel and then headed to the HEV (suburban railway) to go to the town of Szentendre , about 40 minutes away. This rail line is the most awful, bouncy, noisy rail ever! Goodness gracious! Note to self in the event of return to this rail line and to any women reading this report and contemplating the trip: pack and wear sports bra!

Most of the journey is less than scenic, with unattractive highrise apartment buildings and graffiti along the way. An English couple seated behind me asked me where they went wrong on their journey, they were trying to get to Szentendre. I assured them they hadn’t gone wrong, that our mutual destination was another 20 minutes away by that point and that the town was the last stop on the line. I ended up having a nice visit with them (well, really the lady since the husband was very quiet) for the remainder of the ride.

The town is pretty cute and has some nice churches to visit. The Serbian church interior was definitely the most unique of my trip.

I was surprised to find the town with so very many shops!!! For whatever reason, I am no longer a shopper on my journeys. I guess I have come to realize that my family and friends really don’t need any more t-shirts or odd trinkets from my journeys. When I had my fill of walking around, I bumpily bounced back to Budapest on the beleaguered train.

The HEV station is right across the Danube from Parliament, so I popped up to ground level to take a bunch of pictures of my favorite building. Then, I zipped by Metro back to my hotel for a rest.

I had read about a fancy McDonald’s at the Nguyati train station, so I thought it’d be fun to go check it out. It is indeed cool, and I had a nice piece of cake in the McCafe, but it honestly wasn’t worth making a special trip. There’s also a huge mall next to the train station. I popped in just to get a feel for Hungarian malls and it was really nice and enormous.

I went back to the Danube, across from Parliament to get yet more photos of the building in another light.

March 30, Final day in Budapest

Oh no, what to do with my last day in Budapest?! How is it the days zipped by so quickly? I had thought about taking a train trip to another town, but decided to just chill in Budapest, stop to smell the roses so to speak and just enjoy the city.

I walked to Parliament for a final visit, meandering through the nice park that is nearby. Tons of families were there enjoying the outstanding weather. Upon arriving at the square outside Parliament, I found it very busy!! There was a huge line of people waiting to get into Parliament, so I speculate that maybe it was a free day or something like that. I was glad I wasn’t part of that line. I walked towards Andrassy Utca and found there was a political rally going on and the streets were blocked. Anyone trying to visit the opera house would be out of luck. I struck up a conversation with a member of security, who confirmed the rally had to do with the upcoming election (reminds me I need to look up the outcome of the races). The person seemed quite happy to speak with me and tell me about the political situation. As a matter of fact, with the exception of a couple of restaurant staff, I really enjoyed the Hungarians I came across. I found them to be helpful and pleasant people. Of the former Soviet bloc countries I have visited, Hungary by far has the nicest and warmest people.

I also want to note that I always felt safe during my time in Budapest . No shady people ever came near me and I never felt that I or my belongings were in danger. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t protective of my purse, but it was quite a contrast to the way I felt in Paris last summer, with gypsies, beggars and suspicious people on the Metro, at the train station, and in high traffic tourist zones.

I know in the past year, Budapest has implemented a controversial initiative aimed at keeping homeless from loitering in public places, and it seems to be effective. I didn’t see any at tourist centric attractions, nor on the Metro, trams or train station. I saw a couple of vagabond men sitting against a building along a busy street late one night, but that was it.

Back to my tourist activities…I hopped on the tram and took it across the Danube to a stop outside the Gellert Hotel. I popped into the lobby and it was very nice. Someday, when I grow up, I want to stay in an upscale hotel! I lucked out in being able to visit the interior of the cave church between masses. It was a lot cooler than I expected.

I wandered all over the city, photographing beautiful buildings along the way. The Lizst Academy lobby was open, a nice surprise. It is quite ornate and beautiful.

I spent a lot of time walking the streets around Parliament. There is so much wonderful architecture in the city and this particular section seems really clean and beautiful.

In a different part of the city, I had lunch at some pizza place where I was able to sit outside and enjoy the streetscape. The food wasn’t good, but the dining atmosphere was fun.

Dinner was a happy meal at the Astoria McDonalds near my hotel. May I make a comment about the propensity for young Hungarians to engage in public displays of affection (PDA)? I had actually read about this in a tour book and was not put off by subtle or casual signs of affection, such as hand holding, innocuous smooches, etc. HOWEVER, in McDonalds, I saw the most offensive display. A couple was engaged in some seriously revolting deep kissing at a table, over their Big Macs and McNuggets. Ugh!!!!!!! It was so disgusting!!!!! It astounded me to think anyone would think it appropriate or romantic to make out in such a fashion in front of tons of people in McDonalds. When I got my food, I had to seek out a table in a different section of the restaurant where they would not be in my line of sight.

Later that evening, I decided I needed to check out Budapest ’s most famous ruin pub, Szimpla Kert, which was just around the corner from my hotel. Zoltán had told me I should walk through the whole place, checking out both levels. It’s huge!! It’s cool in a weird, funky way. It’s a swirl of bohemian bar, dimly lit college lair, and in the stairwell, the feel of being in a crack house.

The place was nearly empty on a Sunday night, but I’m sure it’s quite lively on Fridays and Saturdays, or maybe just later in the evening than when I was there. I left after checking out all rooms. I stopped for my evening Canada Dry at the Tesco, a habit I developed on day 1, and then went back to the hotel to pack and get ready for my flight to London the following day.

March 31, Goodbye Budapest !

It was time to say goodbye to beautiful Budapest . I allowed quite a lot of time to get to the airport because I was worried if there was any problem on the roadway, it would be a source of stress. The route to the airport does not feature a highway, it is a really small road and any accidents would be woeful to the flow of traffic.

I got there in 30 minutes though (6900 HUF) and the check in desk was not open. It didn’t open until exactly 2 hours before the flight, so by that time, there was a huge line for check in. Very annoying! It was very slow, and I was towards the front of the line.

Once you clear security, you find a really upscale shopping center, with prices to match!

My flight into Heathrow was a little bit late due to busy conditions in the air space. Once again, we had to go down a flight of stairs to get off the plane, a slow and painful process with the full flight, and be bussed to the terminal, this time terminal 3, and go through immigration. Oh my goodness! The line was HUGE!! A plane from Japan and another one from the Middle East had landed just before my flight. It was really hot in the line, with all that body heat and it took an hour. I think they need to try harder to keep these halls cool. I was in an immigration line at one airport in the past with similar warm conditions and someone actually passed out.

Heathrow staff did an absolute terrible job of getting people to immigration booths as they became free. It all adds up when you think of the number of people being processed. I was quite anxious to get the heck out of there, because it was uncomfortable and I had dwindling time to do what I wanted in London that evening.

By the time I got to baggage claim, my suitcase was sitting sadly on the ground, looking abandoned, having long since been removed from the carousel. Most of the people on my flight had been British nationals, so they had gone to a separate place for immigration and zoomed through, so my suitcase was almost alone. I was relieved it hadn’t walked off. I grabbed it and hustled to get to the tube. I was staying near Hounslow Central again, this time at the Days Hotel, next door to the crummy Travelodge.

Days Hotel was crummy too (59 pounds sterling). When I went to my room, there was a strong smell of cologne. It felt like someone was just in the room, which creeped me out. I realized later, once the scent dissipated, that it was covering the smell of cigarettes, even though it was supposed to be a non-smoking room. The carpet was filthy, with many stains. The walls were in dire need of a paint job. It was shameful. The room was also missing the security chain. One had been present, but had clearly been ripped out. I didn’t want to stay at this hotel, but it was 6 pm by this time and I didn’t want to lose the rest of my time finding another place.

I headed into the city for a final hurrah. I went to see Parliament and take a few photos. I had hoped to find an affordable pub to get something to eat, but everything was expensive. I picked up some snacks at Marks and Spencer at Green Park , wandered around a bit, and then headed back to my hotel, arriving by 9 pm.

April 1, morning flight home to Houston

I like to subtly take note of other passengers on the tube, and this morning I had noticed the guy sitting across from me. He was clearly going to the airport to work. Funnily enough, when I got to my gate to board, he there he was working the line. Out of all the gates and places he could work in this huge airport, he was at my gate.

The flight was thankfully empty again (I was beaming), with everyone getting their own row. Fog was heavy, so departure was delayed by an hour, but in the end, arrived in Houston only 20 minutes late.

I had a great trip, blessed with beautiful weather and wonderful sights to see, along with the pleasure of meeting nice people like Bob and Zoltán. I really loved Budapest and highly recommend it.

Thanks for coming along with me and reading this report!

I've posted some photos:


 

            

aggiegirl is online now  
Apr 18th, 2014, 03:49 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,989
Hi Aggiegirl,

Thanks for getting back to us describing your stop off in London and your visits to the various churches suggested to you on an earlier post. I will check out that lovely Farm Street Church on my next visit in June. Wow, you really got around after your overnight flight but then time was of the essence, eh?

I also enjoyed your description of Budapest with such specific info for others to use. I was only there for a few days but loved St. Stephen's and the Parliament Building, especially as seen by moonlight on a Danube cruise. Sigh. A last vestige of empire.

Great pics too.

Thanks again.
latedaytraveler is offline  
Apr 18th, 2014, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,024
Good report, I liked Eger too, though I rode a bicycle there. The tower was ne of my high points of a holiday.

Bad news, I'm booked into the Travel Lodge at Heathrow for a conference, I should know better as I never normally stay there but the price was so good I was attracted.
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 18th, 2014, 07:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 742
Bilbo, I understand the attraction of a good price at Travel Lodge, I fell for it myself, but I do urge you to consider another option.
aggiegirl is online now  
Apr 18th, 2014, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 159
So glad you enjoyed your trip. And you saw Parliament at its new shinny best!
JulieCallahan is offline  
Apr 18th, 2014, 12:58 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,024
Aggie, flipped to the Ibis
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 18th, 2014, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,590
Nice exploration of Hungary, aggiegirl. You were on your own? We enjoyed Budapest and area on a tour several years ago. Stayed at Radisson not far from Andrassy which is the major street. Did you ride the historic subway? Lucky you missing any harassing! Heroe's Square and nearby park and fine arts museum were special.

Parliament is an elaborate building, isn't it. And of course Castle Hill. What a shame you didn't take a boat on the Danube getting to Szentendre only 12 miles distance. Some of us toured a little art collection there of Margit Kovacs. We had some jaunts into the countryside as well.

Ozarksbill is offline  
Apr 18th, 2014, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 645
Thanks for the report! I enjoyed reading it, and I also picked up a couple of tidbits I didn't know for our upcoming trip.
MareW is offline  
Jan 17th, 2015, 08:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 179
Interesting report. I've pick up lots of good ides for my 7 day May trip to Budapest this year. Thanks aggie
jenmorg is offline  
Mar 12th, 2015, 07:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 742
Have a good trip, jenmorg! You'll love it.
aggiegirl is online now  
Mar 13th, 2015, 05:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
What an interesting report! Don't know how I missed it on its first time through. Loved thinking of my time in Budapest, and picked up some hints for my upcoming trip to London.

Thanks for sharing!
irishface is offline  
Mar 13th, 2015, 07:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,556
Awesome report aggiegirl. I realise it is from a year ago, but that doesn't change anything. Still factual, pertinent and interesting.

Budapest is one of my favourite cities in Central Europe. I first visited in 2004 and then went back 3 more times over the next 5 years. I love it for the same reasons as you and visited all the sites you did, some repeatedly over the many visits

Same goes for London. 12 visits to the UK so far and counting.

"I have a tradition of using a religious image from my travels as my card and they prove to be a big hit with family and friends."
I do the same thing ! I often photograph several images and sites for use in years when the pickins' are slim. St. Petersberg, Russia provided me with enough to last a lifetime The recipients also appreciate them very much.

Thanks very much for the very enjoyable read.
Mathieu is offline  
Mar 13th, 2015, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 6,062
Hoping to get to Budapest one day so thanks for this.

Separately, I can second the recommendation for St Dunstan in the East. Few pics from my visit in December attached.

RM67 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2015, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,671
I enjoyed your report, and your photos are wonderful. We were in Budapest in 2012 and stayed at the Radisson Blu Beke Hotel just up the street from that pretty McDonald's in the railway station. I have a photo of it, too. The Radisson was the former hotel where passengers of the Orient Express used to stay in the old days and had a life size statue in the lobby of an Englishman with rolled umbrella and newspaper as well as copper cutouts on the wall of ladies in fancy hats, taking tea, etc.

I don't make a lot of purchases, either, but did buy a card table size tablecloth that is made of embroidered squares put together and edged in bright red tatting-style lace. I used it at a Christmas party last year, and someone asked me where it came from. I was smirking inside as I casually replied, "Budapest."
carolyn is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Aug 6th, 2008 11:56 AM
Nov 5th, 2005 03:48 AM
Sep 16th, 2005 02:49 AM
Jan 21st, 2004 02:38 PM
Aug 24th, 2000 06:30 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:38 PM.