Greetings from Budapest

Mar 21st, 2002, 06:55 AM
  #21  
Hiho
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Leslie -

When you were in Szentendre, did you happen to visit the synagogue? They claim that it is the world's smallest.

Also, I would suggest a visit to the city of Sopron, if you ahve time. It is near the Austrian border, about 2 hrs. by train from Budapest. Very nice old town with interesting sights.
 
Mar 21st, 2002, 01:39 PM
  #22  
Eva
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Alice, after reading your post this morning, I had a lesson at the university for postgraduates.There
were some 50 women between 25-52yr,15 of us were wearing jeans.
Leslie IS in Budapest,I met her on Sat and will meet her again tomorrow.
 
Mar 22nd, 2002, 06:08 AM
  #23  
Leslie
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Sorry, Hiho, didn't get to the synagogue in Szentendre. Didn't know one was there, but I would have gone had I known. Szentendre is a quaint little village, but it is full of little shops selling all kinds of souvenirs.

Today, I went to Godollo, which was the summer residence of Princess Elizabeth and Emperor Franz Josef -- what a great place. The royal colors are purple, so throughout the whole residence there are shades of purple in practically every room. A good portion of the summer residence is being restored as it was destroyed by the Russian army, but I did get to see the royal apartments. Also went to the University of Agriculture and a church in Godollo that was a bit bizarre -- a church built on top of another church, so there are two chapels in one place, and the monastery is next door.

Had dinner with Gil and Grace of Florida last night. I hope that they will post their adventures, but they were both in Budapest and Prague. And, tonight, I am having dinner with Eva Tokody.

Tomorrow is my last full day here, and I am not sure what I will do, but I will make the most out of it.

 
Mar 22nd, 2002, 06:18 AM
  #24  
marilyn
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Leslie:
Great to know that you are having a wonderful time. Looking forward to read your "budapest travelogue".
Enjoy your vacation !!! marilyn
 
Mar 22nd, 2002, 06:45 AM
  #25  
Barry
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Hi Leslie -

Hope you are having a great time gt;)

Sorry we missed seeing you in Budapest... as you know we were there on the 10th, 11th and 12th and then up to Praha..... ( and your information on Praha was invaluable!) And folks, the weather was indeed gorgeous! Beautiful clear blue skies and temps in the high 50's day (may have hit 60) and high 40's at night. We walked across the Chain Bridge at about 10:00 one night and it was very mild and comfortable. The "colors du jor" for women seemed to us to be tan/beige slacks/pants (tight) and black leather coats.

Hi Alice The Magyar... we really enjoyed getting to know the Hungarian people and culture,,, we spent one morning at the "Main Museum" (us and about 1,000 Hungarian school children gt;) We stayed at the Mercure Korona so we just literally walked across the street to the museum, the Calvinist Church and the wonderful market. The 15 bus stops at the hotel so we could ride that down to the bridge and Parliament area.

We really appreciated the nationalism of the Magyar people.... the Hungarian flag was flying everywhere! Never seen a national flag flying at more places in a city (other than the USA after 9/11 and the "Maple Leaf" in Ottawa).

Great time, great city... 3 days just wet our appetite (speaking of which, we ate one night at Fatal and "Oh My God"... the quantity of food for the price was truly amazing!!! Best bean and ham soup imaginable and a "boat load" of "rump goulash"... my wife had the "mixed grill shish kebap" and it was really more than enough for two!!! There were as many potatoes left on her plate AFTER she had eaten all she could, as I would fix if we had another couple over for dinner. The dinner for two with two beers each for $20 usd for WAY more than we could eat!

Love it and can't wait to go back!!!

Leslie... we'll swap notes when you get back!

Best wishes,

Barry
 
Mar 22nd, 2002, 06:53 AM
  #26  
Leslie
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Barry, I've eaten at Fatal 3 times -- twice with Gil and Grace and once on my own. I had that kebab last night too, wow, was that a lot of food. Had a rump steak one night, and the roast pork another time. The roasted garlic potatoes are very good, but the mashed potatoes are to die for. Three of us had dinner, drinks and dessert for 9000 forints, including tip. By the way did you try the dessert made with the crepes, vanilla pudding, rice pudding, fruit and whipped cream? The three of us shared it and barely made a dent in it.
 
Mar 22nd, 2002, 09:10 AM
  #27  
Barry
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Hi Leslie -

Nope... no desserts... too full ;>)

Glad your having a good trip... we really had only 1 regret about Budapest... 3 nights there was not enough time!!!

Oh well, actually I do have one other regret. I always know that when I see something I like I should buy it without thinking too much! They had some cool "baseball style" caps upstairs at the market hall that had the Hungarian seal/coat of arms on the front... did I buy one? But nooooo!!! Am I sorry..... yep! Next rip it will be my first stop!

BTW ... I was waiting till Praha to buy crystal (the colored Bohemian)... so I priced it in the market hall for comparison... guess what... cheaper in Budapest!!! I could spend a whole day just walking around that market hall!!!

Well.... make the best of the time you've got left there!!!

best wishes,

Barry
 
Mar 22nd, 2002, 09:38 AM
  #28  
Art
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Hi Leslie, so glad that your enjoying Budapest, my favorite city. It has the most beautiful setting of any city in Europe. Leaves Paris in the dust. There are a lot of museums aren’t there. I hit as many as I could while there but need to go back to see some more. Sounds like you are really covering a lot of ground. Szobor Park was a hoot wasn't it? Don't know of any other place where they have the since of humor and irony to take all of the soviet statues and put them on display in an outdoor park like that, complete with typical soviet marching music as you enter.
 
Mar 22nd, 2002, 09:42 AM
  #29  
mark
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Leslie - did you get to Gundel?
 
Mar 22nd, 2002, 01:21 PM
  #30  
Jetta
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Art: Budapest is a beautiful city, but it does not leave "Paris in the dust".
 
Mar 22nd, 2002, 07:37 PM
  #31  
Steve Brunette
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Hello all, I'm planning on a trip this June with my family, all 7 of us. We have family all over the country. We thought we'd just dress casual, kinda like we do at home, summer dress - shorts, sandals, t-shirts, jeans if it gets cool. We'll take slacks and shirts for dinner dress and family reunion time but I don't think you have to dress up beacuse they locals do. Just be yourselves.
I look forward to checking this site to read any updates anyone has and gives me more ideas of what to see, where to eat and what to do. Keep them coming. Thanks again, Steve
 
Mar 22nd, 2002, 07:50 PM
  #32  
x
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Steve, just because it was your wedding did everyone dress up? or was it an elvis theme? i guess the powder blue tux prom night really gave you the taste for the good life. pig.
 
Mar 22nd, 2002, 07:54 PM
  #33  
x
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btw there are some caravan parks right outside Budapest, you can even ride around on a tractor what a site all 7 of you will provide they locals!
 
Mar 23rd, 2002, 03:15 AM
  #34  
Leslie
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Went to an awesome restaurant with Eva last night -- her favorite place. Don't know the name of it, but 4 course dinner for two, including wine was 8350 forints. I had goose liver and a French salad for an appetizer, cream of tarragon soup, duck in a cherry sauce, and a scrumptious chocolate cake with whipped cream. There was a pianist, who was awesome.

Today, rode the number 2 tram to take more pictures of the castle and St. Matyas Church. Then went to an open air concert in front of the Parliament, and then to the museum across from the Parliament. I love the fact that they check your coat for free. In the great hall of the museum was a wonderful craft fair. The museum has many textile displays -- costumes, china, hand tools, furniture, toys -- too cool for words. And, there are English translations.

Don't know where Anita Kalmar and I are going for dinner tonight, but I doubt it is the Gundel. The Hungarians think of the Gundel as a tourist trap. Better value and excellent food at other restaurants, so I am happy to just go along. Budapest is a wonderful city, and everyone is very nice to tourists, even if we have to communicate by smiles and miming. Oh well, the trip is almost over, have a 7:30am flight tomorrow via Zurich. My flight is overbooked, so I am intending to get bumped.

Art, I have been into about 15 museums, and have barely made a dent. This Budapest card is a bargain -- gains me entry into all of the museums and all modes of transportation for pennies.

Barry, I'm close to the Great Hall now, if you don't mind my tastes, I'll look for a baseball cap for you.

Best regards,

Leslie
 
Mar 23rd, 2002, 08:40 AM
  #35  
Barry
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Hi again Leslie -

What a sweetheart for that offer on the cap !!! But please, don't go out of your way or cause yourself any trouble... the folks at the Mercure Korona were so nice that I had thought I might call them. It's weird about things like that, at the time I said to myself that I did'nt "NEED" another hat...but... I collect hat pins from everywhere we go (that sell hat pins of course... in some places they look at me like I'm nuts!) I have different hats with pins from different parts of the world or trips. I've got what I call my "European campaign hat" and a "Tropical campaign hat", an "Alaska campaign hat", a "Baltic campaign hat ( I swear I'm "brain dead", I know I'm misspelling campaign but I don't know how at this moment!). I had two pins that I took off before this trip... I got them both in Israel in 1999... one was the Israeli flag and Palestinian flag crossed together in friendship... the other was the American and Palestinian flags in the same fashion! I didn't think they would be too cool for the situation at this time so they are in my drawer waiting "the world to change"!

A funny story about the Budapest card... nobody ever looked at ours! Not one bus driver, tram driver, metro person! we would hold them out to show and we got the distinct impression that the people actually looked away! We were in the hotel lobby one night and a couple from another Central or Eastern European country (judging by the accent) was talking to the concierge about one of their friends being fined heavily (according to them) for not presenting the card. I told them that no one had ever even cared to see ours and his reply was "vell, you are beeg scary man vith beard"! We have laughed and laughed over that!

Best wishes and safe journey home! Please e-mail me when you get in....

Barry
 
Mar 23rd, 2002, 10:15 AM
  #36  
gary
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Hi Leslie, thanks for the trip report. Brings back many pleasant memories. Am looking forward to returning next year, first time back since 1986 so I expect lots of changes!!! I didn't see any mention of the Gellert or one of the other baths. The Gellert's pool is quite an architectural artwork in itself.
 
Mar 24th, 2002, 05:00 PM
  #37  
Leslie
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I am home -- arrived at my door at 8pm. Many thanks to Tom for telling me about the pros and cons of voluntarily being bumped off a flight, because although I am home 6 hours later than planned the day was very profitable. Took off from Budapest on the Malev flight at 7:30am and arrived in Zurich early for my 10:40am flight to Boston -- which was way overbooked by 27 people. Volunteered to be bumped, and was put on a Swiss Air flight to Chicago, and then a connecting flight on American Airlines to Boston which was also overbooked and I volunteered to be bumped, as there was another flight an hour later. Swiss Air put me in a business class seat from Zurich to Chicago (O'Hare is a massive airport, so I don't advise doing this unless you have 2-3 hours for a connection), and gave me $650 in cash and a voucher for a roundtrip flight from Boston to anywhere it flies in Europe (that is good for one year on the new airline, Swiss). And, American Airlines gave me $300 in cash. So, for being delayed 6 hours, and up in the air more hours than I want to remember, I made approximately $1800 - $2000 today. The best part was sitting in a business class seat. But, the worst part was that my luggage didn't make the flight, but Swiss Air has guaranteed to me that my luggage will be delivered to my home tomorrow afternoon. Right now, I am just happy to be on the ground.

So, my next flight to either Poland or Germany is paid for.

Barry, when I got to the market it was closed. Didn't realize that it closes at 2pm on Saturday. My apologies for not getting you a baseball cap. Maybe next time.

I had a great time in Budapest. Last night I had dinner at the Gellert Garden which is a wonderful restaurant almost at the top of Gellert Hill.

The Kalmar B&B which I stayed at is an absolutely wonderful little hotel. Mr. Kalmar and his housekeeper, Eva, are warm, kind and generous people. Had a great room. The rooms in the front of the hotel have a view of the famous outdoor Gellert pools. The rooms are quite large and beautifully decorated, all with lots of new granite floors, many antiques, and with comfortable beds and pillows. The bathrooms are beautiful -- and yes, they even have washcloths. Breakfast was great -- fresh fruit, vegetables, yogurt, coffee, juice, assorted cheeses, breads, and deli meats. This B&B has a great deal of charm, I couldn't have found a nicer place to stay and the price was wonderful -- $32 USD per night which included breakfast and taxes.
 
Mar 24th, 2002, 07:04 PM
  #38  
Art
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Welcome home Leslie. Glad you had such a nice trip and enjoyed Budapest so much.
 
Mar 24th, 2002, 07:32 PM
  #39  
ger
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Leslie: I am printing this thread to enjoy later over a glass of wine!

As it happens, I was watching a travel programme on BBC-WS and it featured ... Budapest - it looks SO enticing. If I decide to go later this year, may I contact you for advice & recommendations?

Regards & welcome back ... Ger
 
Mar 24th, 2002, 08:27 PM
  #40  
Alice The Magyar
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Hi Eva, I never said Leslie was not in Hungary, Please reread my post, it was Hiho who said that she was not there, and a bunch of nasty stuff too. I was defending Leslie not going against her. I know she is in Hungary. I know she got to meet you,and that you two did some tours together also, also had a wonderful Dinner with you too. She had a wonderful time with you. All I was saying was I really didn't see older women in jeans, while I was there. Leslie did e-mail and tell me jeans were fine to wear there. I personally wouldn't wear them, there, or here. I just don't like them on me. Other folks look good in them.
Hiho, when I was in Hungary in March it was very cold to me, I hate cold weather, anything below 60 is very cold to me! of course it was the begining of the month too. I am not a cold person!! I made many friends while there! Stop knocking people! Alice
 

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