Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hop ON & OFF Bus and another Concert in Budapest

Took our time this morning and finally started putting our expenses into an Excel Spreadsheet; that will help when I get home and start to figure out what we’ve spent!
By 10 am we were at the Square where we caught our Hop Off and On Bus for today.  We rode nearly all the way around listening to the narrative about what we’ve been seeing for the past several days.  When we reached the boat dock about 12:30 we got off and boarded the boat for a one hour tour that was included with our tickets.   Not many people on the boat and we had time to get a hotdog and beer for lunch plus some ice cream.  It was a beautiful day and fun to be floating down the Danube River.  We even saw one of the buses that they can also use for a boat during our ride.  About half way through the boat ride the rain that had been threatening all morning finally arrived.
By the time we docked it was coming down pretty good so we got out the clear plastic rain ponchos to add to our umbrellas.  We walked towards the area where we thought the bus would be for the Pink Line; we’d done the Green Line this morning.  Missed the bus and the Information Person for the bus line talked our ears off while we waiting and waited and waited for the next bus.
Finally about 3:30 pm I said…”you know, the Pink Bus does the same route on land that we just finished on the boat, I think it’s time to cut it short and find the Metro.”   So off we went..yes the rain had stopped…and found the Red Metro that took us to the Blue Metro and soon we were back at the Hotel.  It must be time to leave as we’re comfortable on the Metro!
A nice break for phone calls and resting before we dressed up and headed out for our evening concert.  For dinner we stopped at the TGIF…yes…the USA restaurant…and enjoyed a very tasty Hungarian style food with an American slant. 
While we were eating dinner we used their WiFi for my smart phone and made some calls home plus checked emails and Facebook.  And…sure enough…it rained all during our dinner and stopped before we had to leave to walk the three blocks to St. Stephen’s Basilica for our concert that started at 8 pm.

Beautiful church and wonderful music.  The Organist, Miklos Telski, is an international award winning performer.  And we had an Opera Singer and Flute Soloist who performed with him.   The hour flew by and soon we were walking through the night crowds of young people enjoying their evening as we headed for the Metro and home by 10 pm.
The Metro:  It was excellent; the escalators are very fast and long as the Metros run deep underground.  There is always a spare so that you are never without a working escalator.  Our Hotel and our friends all said that seniors ride free… probably only if you are a resident of the EU but everyone said not to get tickets and just walk on.  We braved the gauntlet day after day and never got stopped; there are guards at every entrance.  We didn’t smile, didn’t crack jokes and definitely didn’t ask for directions.  And, we rode the whole time in Budapest on Metro, trams and buses without tickets!
But…one thing that was very different was that no one ever got up and offered us their seat as we’ve seen in all the other countries that we visited on this trip. 
Tomorrow we pack and head for the airport for our flight to Paris.  It’ll be like going home because we are so familiar with Paris.  But, it is to a new apartment in a new area.   So until we are in Paris…Au Revoir…
Hope you enjoy the slide show below….

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