I am finally back....in the US and online. These events did not happen simultaneously though.
First the ranting.
We arrived home on Sunday, it is now Wednesday and still no internet despite 1.5 visits (as I have been trapped at home for the last 3 hours waiting for them to show up for their second visit/effort to resolve the issue) from cable company. I'm beginning to feel like I live in a technological black hole. No phone, no internet and a very moody cell phone. It is one thing to be without our modern communication devices when traveling abroad. This is expected and something of a gift at times, no access therefore no pressure to engage in the digital world and an opportunity to engage in real life for a while. BUT, when I get home I expect to be able log on, call, text, chat and search at will, not sit at home waiting hours and hours for some dude to show up and tell me that he can't fix the problem so the more qualified dude needs to come back tomorrow to fix the problem. Still waiting......and have resorted to just typing up a draft of my most important travels and tribulations for all of you readers with the hopes it will soon be posted!
There, I feel better, don’t you?
Maybe a little bit of Budapest will make you feel better.
The Buda Castle on the Buda side of Budapest
Yes, that's just how I felt when I saw the view from our hotel room! Beautiful!I could look at that view all night long!
TJ and I decided to take a bike tour on our first full day in Budapest. It turned out to be pure pleasure. I highly recommend biking through any city you visit, except Milan, more about that in a later post. Anyway, we met our group at 11 in the morning and finished the tour at 3. We saw all the sights and learned a lot about Budapest. Our group was made up of a couple in their 20's from Venezuala, 40ish couple from Australia and us...who are younger than any of them, in our hearts. A perfect size group and our guide was very good.
This is me insuring that my writing skills improve, according to Hungarian lore. This fellow, named Anonymous, is credited with writing Hungary's history and if you rub the pen in his hand it will improve your writing skills. Bring it on!
There are many hot springs in Budapest and this is one of the bath houses. After riding our bikes in the cool weather, sitting in one of those baths would have been amazing, but who knew I would need a bathing suit in Budapest? Oh well, keep riding.
Apparently Hungarians are big on rubbing things on statues for various reasons. Here TJ is rubbing part of this horse, which I will let you figure out for yourselves, and it is going to bring him good luck. Again, bring it on!
See? The things you learn on a small bike tour!
This is just another beautiful church in Buda. We rode our bikes across the Danube over the Chain Bridge and up, up, up the hill/mountain, to this church and the Fisherman's Bastion. I am proud to report that I did not have to walk my bike up the hill/mountain and not that I am competitive or anything but I was the second in our group to the top. Take that, cute, young, girl from Venezuala!
Not all of Budapest is perfect. This is a building with signs of the many bombings Budapest has endured throughout their years. There are still signs of the turmoil the country has survived. They keep this building the way it is to remind them of the past.
Just for excercise the next day I walked about 1/3 of the bike ride from the day before. The entire time I was thinking to myself, I sure wish I was on a bike. I am sold on biking as a mode of transportation! Especially in big cities, except Milan, but another day.
Now for the food! I found the food to be delicious! I searched every pastry shop in town, and it was a terribly difficult task but one I was willing to sacrifice myself for in hopes of finding kifli and kolache. Alas, no kolache but I did find kifli! The Central Market Hall, pictured below, is very much like St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. Don't miss it if you go to Budapest! Beautiful market and great prices!
These cookies are like ones I remember my grandmother making and they were the best! I wish I had bought more!
The kifli had poppyseed filling and walnut filling. They made an excellent breakfast the next morning. Again, I was sad I did not get more.
To end our time in Budapest we went on a late night cruise of the Danube. The views were amazing from the boat and well worth staying up way past even my bedtime. That's late!
Beautiful city, mini Paris as far as the city of lights, almost everyone speaks English, very user friendly city, very affordable with great food and shopping. Definitely worth a trip, but not a long one.