29 May 2011
29.05.2011 75 °F
This morning we had to pack up and check out of our hotel because we were taking the night train that evening. THe Leo Panzio got high marks except for when the front desk guy told me to call the cruise company for a reservation. I asked him to do it and he told me I could from the room. Then when we checked out he charged me 16 Ft for the call.
Anyway our activity for today is to cruise the Danube but we had some time before the boat went off so we stopped for kurtoskalacs.
This is a hungarian specialty. THey wrap dough around a rolling pin, fry it and cover it in all kinds of goodies like honey, cinnamon and sugar, chocolate, etc. The worker seemed bored and was glad to provide a kodak moment.
Our group chose the two hour cruise of the danube that included a stop in margaret island.
The audio guide was pretty good giving us info on Buda and Pest while we sailed along.
There are plenty of cruise lines that make the route but we chose Legenda which had a large "rick steves" discount. It was even more than the budapest card.
The cruise passed all the most important landmarks in Budapest like parliament and castle hill. After an hour most passengers disembarked on Margaret Island.
The place is uninhabited except for swarms of small insects that congregate every few feet.
There is a nice jogging path where people are running, walking and enjoying the beautiful weather. The island also has a water park, zoo, gardens and ruins from a dominican nunnery.
For us an hour seemed a bit long to be on the island but we got our exercise hoffing around the path. The cruise then took us back to the starting point where we rested and had pad thai for lunch.
After the last few days on our feet and the hike around the island we weren't enthralled with walking all over the sites on buda so we did some more shopping on the vaci utca and hit up a free concert in one of the churches.
I was thinking it would be the musical works of mozart, beethoven, etc but it was more like organ music with a soloist. We cut out early, hit subway for sandwiches and made our way to the train station.
The train was actually cool this time, well, all except our berth. Curt called in the worker and he turned the dial and said 5 minutes it would work. About 20 minutes later Jerilyn tried the same thing and he came back in, turned the dial and said minutes. Finally we convinced him it was never going to work and he opened the window for us.
We really enjoyed Budapest and still only scratched the surface of what it has to offer. I would return here in heartbeat.