Friday, June 13, 2014

Eurocruise 12/05 Budapest

We had our first breakfast on our ship, buffet style. There was no end to selections of food on offer and I'm afraid the first day we had the full English and some more. After breakfast the 152 passengers were divided into groups by issued colour cards. Red gets on this bus, blue on this bus, etc. We were taken to the Budapest Opera House for a guided tour by the first of our local tour guides and what a fine lad his was. The opera house wasn't half bad either.





The opera house is old, but unlike similar buildings in other cities, there were no warnings off. We could walk on specially made and old carpets, lean against the walls and touch things. It is a living building, beautiful but also for use by performers, students and the public. In my experience, seldom are such buildings so people friendly as the Budapest Opera House.


We were treated to a short performance of a popular opera piece with a glass of champagne in our hands.



The colour is a bit weird in this photo and R and I got on the wrong coloured bus, not even thinking about our colour cards. Our APT issued backpacks all looked the same and there was R's backpack sitting on our seat, where we had left it. Except he was challenged about it and was asked to double check. Oh, not his. Embarrassing. We are on the blue bus and need to be on the yellow one. 'Excuse me, you have left your camera on the seat.' A close call.


We were then off to Hero Square, which I found quite underwhelming. Madame, that is broken down trolley bus being towed, which I find interesting. Clear yourself from photo, if you please.





A nice building on the edge of Hero Square.




Slightly odd bus. What is that about? Revelation later.


We saw quite a number of seagues in Europe, especially in Hungary.


We are on our way to Fishermens Bastion, with great views over the city.


A Trabby, that is the communist car, the Trabant, made of cardboard I think. Put your name down for one when you are pregnant as you are about to become a family. By the time your first child is 18, you might receive one. There are various models, but it was up the government to decide which you receive, so our local guide told us.


At this point old churches were a novelty to us. This is Matthias Church. Note the roof tiles.





How good were the views of Budapest. One of the older single woman on our cruise had become confused, and so R, experienced in caring, steered her in the right direction. For the rest of the cruise, she ignored us.


Parliament House, again.


We had a quick lunch in a cafe and then we were transported back to ship.


Our ship departed about 1pm. Bye bye Budapest. Bye bye number 2 tram.


Elisabeth Bridge.


The Chain Bridge.


The Buda Castle funicular.

Once again, Parliament House.


Remember the bus earlier at Hero Square? Here is in the water.


Under Margaret Bridge and up the Danube, next stop, Vienna, Austria.



I'll just write a little about public transport in Budapest, as it is an interest of mine. Our quiet and air-conditioned trains seem luxurious compared to those in Budapest but that is where the good ends. Budapest trains are noisy and utilitarian, but they are fast and efficient and with a flat fare of I think $1, cheap, for us at least. They absolutely rocket along and the underground stations are well designed and attractive too. However, you would not want to be a person with a physical disability.

The trams were similar. They were hammered along by the drivers and the loading and unloading of passengers was fast. I don't think they have a lot of priority at traffic lights, but drivers of rubber tyred vehicles get out of the trams' path very smartly. They were also noisy, especially outside. I am not sure if the wheels needs grinding to smooth them out or the tracks needed grinding to smooth them out.

To wrap, we did notice some high rise buildings on the outskirts of Budapest, exactly where they should be.

20 comments:

  1. Morning Andrew
    Just popped in to say its great to see you back home - will come back later to read this's and your previous posts properly
    Cathy

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  2. Memories, memories; your itinerary was the same as ours. Did the singers at the Opera House sing two arias from La Traviata like they did for us (Drinking song, etc)? If so they must do it every day for tour after tour.

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    1. Victor, I recall one song from La Traivata. I did not recognise the other.

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  3. I am really, really enjoying this. Thank you. I am a bit ashamed at how fast I became 'templed out'. Did all those beautiful churches have the same effect on you?
    And shipboard food? If I hadn't been chronically seasick on the way to Antarctica I would probably have to have been winched off the ship...

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    1. EC, very much so. ABC, another bloody church. The food was terrific but we held back at times.

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  4. I scrolled through your whole cruise posts, and read that you have also been on the Rhein. That's where I lived before Brussels, in Bonn precisely. Budapest seems to be a beautiful city, I always say I will go there, from here it's not far at all !

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    1. We did travel along the Rhine, Gattina, but not past Bonn. You should visit Budapest.

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  5. WOW I am so envious! Following the posts about this trip makes me wish I had been there. So cool it would be to see that opera!

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    1. Keith, just a couple of pieces. I couldn't do a whole opera.

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  6. I can't believe it.. My highly detailed and long comment just disappeared before my eyes.. what the heck. Ok so the gist of it was .. enjoying your travels and looking forward to more. (dam blogger)

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    1. Sympathy Grace. It happens, and it is never as good when rewritten. Thanks.

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  7. Andrew, it, s amazing Budapest Opera is so friendly. I have never been in that friendly building. The Parliament House is old and looks so luxorious. The Trabant is very funny car and I have known from history it was made of cardboard in Eastern Germany. Budapest it is a great city definitely and so impressive in some areas.

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    1. Gosia, I am not really sure it is made from cardboard. Parliament House has been well renovated.

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  8. Wonderful visit to Budapest: haven't been there yet but hoe to later this year when a friend moves there and assures me that his place will have a guest room.

    Segways are big in Europe as a fun way to do a city tour - we've seen them on offer in pretty well every major city we've visited so far.

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    1. Lucky you Kath, a free room in Budapest.

      Segways can be dangerous. They are banned here, on public property at least.

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  9. Glad you enjoyed the opera house. I loved it, just a pity I had to sit through the whole opera to enjoy the surroundings.

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    1. Fun60, haha, yes I remember.

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  10. So much beauty, what a great place.
    Merle.........

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    1. That is certainly was Merle.

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