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Trip report: Poland, Czech Rep., Hungary, Poland, UK

Trip report: Poland, Czech Rep., Hungary, Poland, UK

Mar 20th, 2007, 06:12 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Still enjoying your report. I saw that hotel in Budapest attached to an old church, built right into one of the walls. Looked beautiful.Too bad dinner sucked. Thanks for the lingerie link- looks like an Italian company- will have to check that out- I'm sure the girlfriend will love her new stuff.
laartista is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 09:57 AM
  #22  
 
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Great trip report! Hope the weather improves for you.
Rachele is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 06:38 PM
  #23  
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Kristina,

Thanks for the suggestion. I made plans to be there Friday.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 07:32 AM
  #24  
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Had couple of interesting days in Budapest.

Buda - the side I'm staying on is the historic, castle area. Great if you want to explore the castle, the walled city's narrow lanes and streets.

The Pest side is where all the major shopping, restaurant and action is.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind staying in the Buda Castle area. In fact I'm liking it. It's a quiet oasis after day of exploring the much more busy and loud Pest side.

Getting there is very easy. There is a bus that runs through the castle area and drops you off at a bus/tram/subway station. From there it's a quick subway ride to the center of Pest or downtown area. Tram if you are more adventurous or a bus if you are really brave....

On Tuesday I actually walked from Pest across the bridge back to the hotel. It's not a walk for everybody. Much of it on the Buda side is up a very steep hill, but it's very much doable.

Today I'm feeling a little under the weather. The irony is that spring has returned and it's a beautiful sunny day with temps in the mid 50s.

Walked around the walled in city and stopped at the pharmacy. Drinking a lot of tea with honey (thanks to the wonderful Executive Lounge manager. He told me that tonight he will prepare his special "cocktail" that should cure everything..

I believe it includes some very expensive Hungarian brandy with hot tea and honey.

Tomorrow I plan to visit one of the thermal spas and also do the National Museum. That is if I'm still alive....

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 03:01 PM
  #25  
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Never made it to the spas or national museum. My cold/flu bug really brought everything to a halt. Stayed in bed all day on Friday. Today I felt better but then another disaster struck.

I took some clothes to a laundromat on Wednesday. The laundry was done in 2 hours and it was just a fraction of the cost of what Hilton wanted to charge me for the same....

BUT,

as I found out when I woke up on Friday morning in my freshly laundered pjs, that whatever detergent they used, it did not agree with my body. I hardly, if ever, have any allergic reaction to anything, but this was an exception. I would wake up in the middle of the night scratching my body all over. Friday morning I noticed big red welts all over my arms, my legs and some other places... (sorry I don't mean to be so graphic) but it's true.

At first I thought it was something to do with the medicine I bought at the pharmacy, but finally I realized what it was. Within hours of shedding any (freshly) laundered clothes the welts and itching went away. Nevertheless another day wasted.

I will need to re-launder my clothes in Warsaw.

Anyway, I'm packed and ready for my 2 segment morning flight on Czech Airlines to Warsaw. I'm somewhat sad that I didn't get to do few more things here in Budapest but that's the way it goes sometimes.

Intersting and beautiful city, but when compared to Krakow or the very vibrant Prague, it is still years away from getting to the point at where the 2 above mentioned cities are at the moment.

See YA in Warsaw!

Good night.

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 05:10 PM
  #26  
 
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AA, too bad you couldn't get more out of Budapest, maybe next time. I am making a Poland tour this year and want to rent that apartment in Krakow, but your link is in Polish with no trail to English that I can see...am I missing it?
Fidel is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 07:04 PM
  #27  
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try:

www.cracowonline.com

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 07:41 PM
  #28  
 
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AAFF, Have really enjoyed reading your report. Sorry about the minor setback. Looking forward to more.
lucy_d is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 09:35 AM
  #29  
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I made it safely to Warsaw.

Got up early on Sunday morning at the Budapest Hilton. Felt a lot better. I packed the night before so all I needed to do was to take a shower and pack my toiletries.

The pre-arranged taxi showed up right on time - 6am and it took about 30 minutes to get to the airport. Although this was a Czech Airline flight number it was oped by Malev the Hungarian airline under their codeshare agreement. The flight was fine and uneventful. In Prague I connected to a Czech Airlines flight to Warsaw. Once again, the flight was on time and uneventful.

Upon landing in Warsaw I had to go through passport control. My "old" passport has seen some abuse over the years and the picture page has little "opening" where the picture is. Many of the border control people look at it for the simple reason that they think the picture was replaced with a fake, but I have never witnessed a procedure of what the Poles did. The agent had a special microscopic light that she looked through at the picture to determine if it was a "fake" It took her about 5 minutes but apparently she determined that it was real and allowed me in to the country.

This time I just took a regular taxi in front of the arrivals hall. It was 30 zlotys (~$10) plus tip from the airport to the BRAND new Warsaw Hilton. The hotel was just opened last Monday. This is the first time I'm staying in a hotel room that nobody else has stayed in yet....

As with any new hotel this size there are some mishaps but at a VERY much reduced rate of 7,500 HHonors points per night at the moment who am I to complain??? This will be category 6 hotel which means it will be 40,000 points per night once it kicks into high gear.

Some shops are still not operating, the pool/gym/casino is still not completed (the hotel has an arrangement with the Radisson down the street for use of their facilites). Couple of items missing in the room, the internet working or not. The room service girl knocking on my door in the morning when I had the "DO NOT DISTURB" sign out. Small things and I'm sure with time this will be all adjusted and fixed.

Had a wonderful day in Warsaw today. It was a picture perfect warm spring day with clear blue skies and a bright sunshine. Went to Old Town, an easy tram ride #32 for 2.40 zloty (less than $1) one way and had the most amazing lunch at the www.pierrogeria.com right next door to the Barbakan. I can honestly say that the only time I had better borscht and pierogis was when my mom made it at home, and I try very hard to have pierogis everywhere I go so I'm talking from experience. It's a must for any pierogi lovers when in Warsaw. They also deliver and at the moment I'm very tempted to call for more......pierogi heaven

That's about it for now....

See Ya!



AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 12:00 AM
  #30  
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I'm happy to report that my package mailed from Prague arrived in Sarasota, somewhat beat up, but the items not damaged....

DHL wanted something like $150 for a few kilogram package consisting of my own winter jacket and small 4 pcs. of crystal. I went to the post office and it was just ~$35. I was told that I should not trust the Czech Postal Services. Perhaps I should have bought insurance and/or delivery signature required, but at the end it all worked out.

Another beautiful, warm, sunny spring day in Warsaw.....

Today it's Lazienkowski Park and the Palace....

See YA!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 02:49 AM
  #31  
 
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AAFrequntFlyer

Outstanding trip report. Thanks.

Sandy
SandyBrit is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 06:10 AM
  #32  
 
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Thanks for the great report! pp
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Mar 27th, 2007, 06:33 AM
  #33  
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Warsaw Hilton is really trying to make up for all the mistakes.

Yesterday I was told that internet access will be free for the duration of my stay. At ~$25 a day, that's very generous.

Today I received a call from the HHonors manager with another apology and an offer of 100 zloty (~$33) voucher to use in one of their restaurants.

Not bad for missing internet connection for about 3-4 hours.....

See YA!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 07:14 PM
  #34  
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My British Airways flights were uneventful. Both segments were on time. Unfortunately I fell down the escalator after my luggage decided it was time to go down!!!!!! I have some serious bruises on my back and my left hand.

Took the train from MAN airport to Manchester Piccadilly. Then a taxi to Victoria and Albert Marriott.

Can't go out anymore. Everytime I do, I spend money on my new gf, so I decided to stay in today. Saturday I'm making my way to Old Trafford to see ManU boys kick some butt....

Sunday it's time to go home. To be honest, I want to go home now. I miss her...................

I got the Marriott through Priceline. At ~$100 total per night, it's a great deal. I believe their prevailing rate is ~100BPs, so about 50% savings.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 02:26 AM
  #35  
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Victoria and Albert Manchester Marriott

Perfect example of how one gets a lesser room when purchased on Priceline -

I love this hotel.

Have stayed here twice before.

Checked in and was given a room on the 4th floor. At first there didn't seem to be anything wrong with the room. Regular size room with a king size bed.

Unfortunately the internet and the room safe didn't work. Fortunately the front desk agent tried every which way to get it fixed. He got the safe fixed but after numerous attempts, could not get the internet access fixed.

At some point he gave up and decides to move me.

WHAT a difference???

The room is twice the size, better view and everything works.....

I guess "you get what you pay for" is still true....
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 05:47 AM
  #36  
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Reporting from Manchester, UK. Going to the ManU vs Bolton match tomorrow and flying home on Sunday. Seat 3D on AA flight #55, if anybody is on the same flight. AA flight # 1254 to TPA, seat 3E, if anybody is on that flight.

Flagship Lounge invite (free drinks and food) for any Fodors member if in ORD, terminal 3, anytime between 1:30-3:30 pm.

Just post here. The FL is located at the
the very end of concourse K, right next to AA crew rest lounge.

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 06:13 AM
  #37  
 
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Have a safe trip, and thanks for a great report!
Rachele is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 09:48 PM
  #38  
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What a dummie?

It's not Bolton, it's Blackburn....

3pm at Old Trafford......can't wait!!!!!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 09:52 PM
  #39  
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ok, once again, what a dummy?
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 06:03 PM
  #40  
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Saw the ManU vs Blackburn match yesterday at Old Trafford. It was a rough going at first for ManU. They were down 1:0 at half time, but came on strong during the 2nd half to win 4:1.

Unfortunately none of my bets made at the stadium came to be true. I had Rooney scoring first and he had about 3 wide open chances to do just that and missed all. I had ManU winning 3:0, well they did win by 3 goals but not exactly what I predicted. I also had Ji-Sung Park scoring the last goal of the match but Solksajer screwed up that bet for me by scoring in the last minute. oh well...... It was still fun.

btw, I bought the ticket from a scalper in front of the stadium. No problems.

I'm staying at the Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport for this last night of my trip. Nothing spectacular, but for $85 Priceline bid, it's ok. Free airport shuttle thrown in, kind of a rarity in UK. I'm ready to go home. I will be flying on AA in business class to Chicago in ~7 hours and then connecting to AA flight to TPA. Should be in TPA ~8pm and home ~9:30p tonight.

It was a fun trip, but as I already said, I'm ready to go home.

Anybody has any specific questions about any of the places I have been to, please post.

See YA!

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