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Life in the Big City of Budapest

HUNGARY | Friday, 5 June 2009 | Views [873] | Comments [2]

Lake Balaton, Hungary

Lake Balaton, Hungary

Entering Hungary… At the border, a police (Austrian) check point waved us over (those darn French license plates!) but it was just a passport check.  He wanted to continue through the parking lot without stopping but P, B and A insisted he stop.  Driving in Hungary and not being able to read the Hungarian road signs was a bit unnerving.  Vinnie was focused! 

We stopped at a country restaurant and were relieved to get the menu in German.  Back on the highway, we practiced our few Hungarian tourist words in the car: yes, no, please, toilet, beer, my girlfriend is two months late, etc.  For afternoon coffee we stopped at Lake Balaton, a large resort area which was somewhat off season.  We managed to order ice-cream….much to their dismay, paying with Euros because we had yet to get Hungarian money.  P,B and A decided not to tell Vinnie that one of the guide books said that driving in Budapest was a “Death Wish”.  He did great!  The parking garage was a trip.  All signs only in Hungarian and we didn’t grasp that it was an automatic car elevator that stacks and racks the vehicles.  We sat in the car for a good 10 minutes before figuring out that we needed to take some action.  After much discussion and agonizing we voted Philip out of the car to check things out.

Staying at the hotel Astoria, a nice old place downtown.  They speak English…”Whew!”.

On Wednesday we headed up to Castle Hill in Buda.  Beautiful views of the city and Danube waterfront, statures everywhere, royal palace, St. Matthias Church.  Lunch included Greek Salad, Goulash in Bread bowl and roasted goat cheese.  We all agree that we don’t like the Hungarian goulash as much as Anita’s recipe, a thinner broth and not very piquant.  Walked to Margit Island (100 miles away) and passed the parliament building (the largest in Europe) a long walk for Philip of the hurt foot.  Dinner was at the hotel restaurant (Duck liver pate, salts, chilled strawberry soup, salts, more duck and more salt) not a good dinner and the place was empty.  We should have realized that when we asked for reservations earlier in the day and the staff responded with *startled* replies “Yes, of course!”.

Thursday, we dropped off laundry at a local stop (Bernie thought the lady was tres sexy!).  When Bernie, excitedly, went back to pick up the laundry early (he was very excited!!) the morning ladies (fat and very scary) were there to greet him instead…”NOT YET!”  he will have to go back tomorrow L. 

We got on the train to Szentrendre, an old town with a preserved past largely focused on the Serbian population.  Serbian orthodox church very cool.  Lunch included cabbage rolls, stuffed paprika, and deep fried bone marrow globs (tasted like dog shit), Anita almost yakked her guts out!!  Back in Budapest in pm, coffee in famous café Gerbeauds (Philips must stop place).  Back at hotel, Philip realized that he left his coat back at the café and since his feet were the worse for wear made V and B retrieve it.

Bernie got propositioned by streetwalkers (Vinnie wouldn’t admit to it) and we almost lost him!  Chick magnet or easy mark….you decide!!!

Written by Bernie, typed and edited by Anita!




1) Why is V driving so much when all he seems to do is attract poliezi, submit to passport checks, tangle with incomprehensible road signs and suffer some serious back-seat driving, and be saddled with death wish thoughts?
2)Take care with the "my girlfriend is two months late" talk....you may end up with a new scary hairy haus frau from Bumfrig, Hungary on Polk street.
3) I have seen your parking garage escapade already now....it is on You.tube having been posted by Hungarian parking lot attendants hiding behind a one way mirror.
4) The laundry ruse is as old as the hills....muy bonita daughter works the pm shift, hooks the unsuspecting neophyte from America, Scary Mommy works the AM shift to seal the deal....perhaps two haus fraus on Polk St.?
5) Kudos to you all for sampling the local food fare....not such good luck sounding like....but valiant indeed. The bone marrow sounds like a textural challenge not to mention the taste.
6) What happened to Phillip's feet? First hands, now feet?
7)Bernie seems to be on the major euro chic prowl. Take unobtrusive pix so I can help judge!

  Stephen the Bone Marrow Crusher (ancient Hungarian prince) Jun 7, 2009 5:39 AM


Sounds like you guys are having more "adventures" as you venture off the Grand Tour path! Ifr anybody can drive like a maniac through europe, it's Dad. I'm glad Uncle B. is finally getting the female attention he needs/deserves. Maybe a young, non-english speaking, meek Haus Frau is just what you guys need around the house...in fact...bring one home for me...the Laundry Mama is just fine. Maybe she can whip up some cabbage rolls and bone marrow.

  Beth Jun 9, 2009 11:28 PM

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