Thursday, June 12, 2014

Eurocruise Day 4 11/05

Sunday was the day to join our cruise but we needed to occupy ourselves in the morning. We had breakfast in a small cafe in the colonnade below. As you can see, the weather was not lovely like it had been the day before, so we sat inside out of the breeze. We checked out of our hotel, left our cases there and ordered a taxi for later to take us the short distance to our boat.


I think the purpose for each bin is clear, but where is the general rubbish bin? There always needs to be a general rubbish bin where there are recyling bins.


The important looking edifice on the hill is apparently an apartment building. To the left is a church and the white bridge is Elisabeth Bridge.


Note the 'stop homophobia' sticker. While there is a gay scene in Budapest, gay men cannot live open lives as they would in other parts of Europe.


After breakfast we walked along Vaci Ucta and crossed the main road and there were market stalls.






We turned right towards the river to see if our boat had arrived at port, and sure enough, she was there. 


Liberty Statue, high in the Buda Hills.


Suherhen
We decided to ride to southern terminus of route 2. While waiting for a tram, along came these older models, presumably running Sunday excursion trips. There was little to see at the southern end except for an impressive market building roof.


We then caught the tram to the northern terminus where we had been the day before at Margaret Bridge where route 4/6 tram travels. We avoided the place where we had lunched the day before and slipped into a side street, possibly Jaszai Mari Ter, for some lunch.


At the end of the street I spotted these trolley buses. I was a bit excited as I had never seen one close up, well not for three decades anyway.


 Both old trams were sitting at the northern route 2 terminus.


We walked halfway across Margaret Bridge and then down to Margaret Island.


Teen age girls the world over seem to love squealing.


On the island was a really amusing fountain that had many variations of water sprays and spurts.




Back up onto the bridge and the tram back to the hotel to collect our cases and catch our taxi to our boat.


Just as we were about to leave the taxi, it poured down with rain, the heaviest rain of our whole holiday. The first items pointed out to us on the ship were the automatic hand sanitiser dispensers.  This is a daily bulletin, left in our room each evening detailing the plan for the following day. It is a very useful daily record and reminder of what we did, meaning I pretty well stopped writing the point diary I keep. At 6pm was a safety briefing and an introduction to the ship by the captain and the tour director.


Dinner was waiter service and all was good except we chose our seats poorly and were somewhat trapped. We didn't make that mistake again.

That evening the ship went down river to the illuminated Parliament building and then back to the mooring. The lights of Budapest were fantastic, but my camera and I are not, so no pictures. It was lightly raining and R and I went up onto the sun deck and stood under shadecloth that gave us some protection against the rain. A waiter came up onto the deck with a tray of schnapps for anyone stupid enough to be on the deck in the rain. I'll have two of those, young man, each.

There aren't too many photos today, so I will add some of the ship.


We were at the end of the very long central passage. We decided it was a good thing as we would walk off our food intake.


We didn't sleep well the first night as the bedding was too heavy and warm for us. We had the maid separate the sheets from the quilt in the future and that solved that problem. The doors slide right open and you can hang outside the ship, but the aircon goes off when the doors are open. More expensive rooms are larger and/or have a small balcony.


The shower wasn't too bad. The toilet was aircraft style, whoosh. The bathroom was a tightish squeeze though.


Three levels, with the lowest only having porthole windows. We were in the middle level about four windows back.


These are great devices for walking tours. Switch it on, get near your tour leader to pick up the frequency and the tour guide can speak to you in the ear piece. The range is impressive. We were warned and sure enough it happened to me. I could still hear the guide talking but I could no longer see him and I was following the wrong group. Note the usb ports, very useful for charging up phones and tablets. Keeping two phones, one tablet, one note book, an mp3 player, digital radio and a camera charged up was a nightmare for the whole trip. I wanted to take a power board with four outlets but R said it would be heavy in the luggage. I wish I had.


Tomorrow, organised sight seeing in Budapest before we begin our cruise up the Danube.

21 comments:

  1. Andrew, another nice day but not everything was perfect. Budapest seems clean city. And your photos of public transportation look like Polish ones. It's obvious because in EU is almost the same.

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    1. Gosia, it was clean, as was Austria and Germany. It went downhill then.

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  2. We had the balcony version cabin on our cruise imagining that we would spent hours sitting there but that didn't transpire.

    We spent most of our time in the common areas and also on the various land trips.

    Those hearing devices are terrific once you receive sets that work. Unfortunately I heard nothing of the tour guide's commentary at the Budapest Opera House because of a faulty set which was replaced when we returned to the vessel.

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    1. Victor, some had problems with the head sets, but there had been a faulty batch of earpieces.

      We didn't get to spend a lot of time in our room, because there wasn't time.

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  3. I do the four outlet power board trick on every holiday and it is invaluable - plus you don't have to buy multiple foreign plug adapters.

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    1. Marcus, maybe you mentioned it in the past and that is where I hear of the idea. I might take an eight plug one next time.

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  4. Wow. I am loving this, and envious. Thank you.

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    1. EC, thanks. It was hard work at the time though.

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  5. Your room looks lovely and I am drawn to that hallway for some reason!!

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    1. Fen, it was about a 100 metre walk from the lounge/dining area to our room. Walked off the food a bit.

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  6. I'm really enjoying your holiday posts. The boat looks large for a river cruise. Good choice of room, I couldn't bear the thought of being on a lower deck with just a port hole for a view.

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    1. Fun60, it would not be worth doing if you can't see out of your room. The boat is the absolute maximum size. A bigger one cannot be built. As it was there were height issues, which I will mention in later posts.

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  7. It all looks so wonderful Andrew! I love that long central hallway, it looks very posh. And I do like posh even if I don't live it. All the buildings, bridges, fountains are obviously well maintained, there must be much historical pride in Budapest. Love the trolley buses, I haven't seen one in real life since I left Adelaide to live in Port Pirie in 1958.

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    1. River, the ship is only a month and a half old, so there was no shabbiness at all. Yes, Budapest was well maintained and as I said, very clean.

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  8. The Margaret Bridge looks beautiful! And Andrew I'm with you on the general rubbish bin? I can hardly seem to find one anymore amidst the recycle bins!

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    1. Keith, so what happens when there isn't a general rubbish bin? The recycling bins get contaminated with general rubbish. The Chain Bridge is more historic, but I too liked the Margaret Bridge.

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  9. I just knew you would be fascinated by the trains and trams Andrew, think rail travel is a wee bit of a passion.. Am I right :) love the look of your river cruise, a bit like ours down the Nile.. so reassuring to know that there is a river bank not too far.. Cruises on the ocean, no way! So much wonderful old architecture, especially as we come from such a relatively young country. So have you settled back into normal life as you know it!
    P.s. Happy that you looked in on Perth while you were away :)

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    1. Rail travel is interesting to me Grace, possibly more so because it can be hard to understand. The age of some buildings is quite overwhelming.

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  10. A great walking tour. As for the quarters onboard, the bedroom and bathroom are quite spacious compared to some I've seen. I was expecting much more limited space given the size of the boat. Great photos.

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    1. Really Mitchell. I don't know how much smaller a cabin could be. I must say, the space was well utilised. I just checked and the boat is 135 metres long.

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  11. Very interesting Andrew.
    I laughed to myself when you wrote you ended up following the wrong group :)
    The bridge looks good, the new one, but so does the old one...

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