I earned a few dollars this morning, and Kent came home early from work to finish mowing the lawn. After lunch, we closed up the house, and Jim B came before 15:00 to take us to the Bonanza bus terminal. We took the 15:30 bus for Logan Airport in Boston. The driver said Brynne did not need a ticket until she is five-years old, so we saved $11 already on this trip! Windy and pouring rain on the way, with some lightning. Clear and sunny in Boston, but heavy traffic. Arrived at the airport about 17:10, and were second in line at the check-in counter, but it was taking a long time. When we reached the agent, it took one minute. We were carrying on one small suitcase, one overnighter, and one backpack, and I had my waist pack. At the gate we had drinks and bought apples and popcorn. Made a final restroom run, and boarded at 18:45 while a Windham Hill music video played on the screens. We sat five rows back in the middle three seats. Plane left on time at 19:26, and took off at 20:00. Brynne soon fell asleep. Beverage and peanuts at 21:00, and dinner at 22:00. We had ordered special vegetarian meals, with green salad with tomato and dressing, rice and beans, and a dish with bulgur wheat, walnuts and beans with green beans and sautéed zucchini. Also a roll and butter, water, and oatmeal cookies. Plus baked apples with raspberry sauce and burnt caramel ice cream! Woke Brynne to eat, but she had only a bite. She was up the rest of the night! Dozed on and off during the movie that began after the duty-free cart went through.
Tuesday, June 29, 1993
Breakfast was at 1:00; a muffin, yoghurt, banana, and orange juice. We landed at Heathrow Airport at 13:45, which was 6:45 local time in London, UK. It was very bright outside! We had to wait for a gate to open, then unloaded, went through a maze of walkways, moving sidewalks, and waited in a room for a terminal bus. Oh! We drove on the left side of the road, to Terminal 1. A check-in point, then security where the backpack was hand searched. Entered the terminal full of shops and with the flight information on an old fashioned or railroad type sign with flipping letters. We were not able to get Hungarian money here. Sat in a general waiting area until the call to board was announced at 9:10, telling us to go to Gate 46. There we sat until 9:30 and finally boarded the 9:55 flight for Budapest, HU. We slept for the most part, except for lunch of a roll, beans and mushrooms, slice of roast beef, some slivers of pastrami and mayo, then crackers with butter and yellow bleu cheese. Ended with a rolled cake; too sweet. Arrived five minutes early at 13:20 local time, a one hour difference from London. Long lines at passport control. We could not see, but there was a lot of stamping and stapling. Received our passports back without a word spoken. Exited to be met by Dot L and an embassy driver. We went out to the embassy van, without any baggage checks. The airport was out in a flat area. Took a straight-ish highway into Budapest, with hills in the distance. “Old” city sights were pointed out along the way. We were dropped off at the Ls’ apartment, with high ceilings and an incredible view of the Danube right below the balcony! It was sunny and pleasantly warm. After visiting with Dot a while, we went for a walk, taking a right just out the front door and headed downriver. Passed a couple playgrounds and a stark white building with bars over the windows, which we learned was the “White House.” It was once a dreaded power center where Hungary was governed nominally by the Central Committee for the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, specifically by János Kádár for 32 years. There are no more black Mercedes belonging to the only ones who could turn directly off the Margit hid/Margaret Bridge. In the square was a bare pedestal, once the base of a statue of Marx and Engels. We crossed the Margit hid, the second permanent bridge over the Danube, built in 1872-1876 by the French Ernest Goüin. Halfway across, we took the branch of the bridge (1901, and the only part that is still original) to Margit-sziget/Margaret Island.
|Margit-sziget/Margaret Island and the Danube River|
|Merging of Buda and Pest Centenary|
Monument (1873, by István Kiss)
|Brynne at the Margit Island Zoo|
|Margit Island Gardens|
|Brynne provides Daddy with a hood|
|Imre Madách statue (1973, by Tibor Vilt|
and architect Miklós Hofer)
|Girl with a Flute sculpture (1967, by Jenő Kerényi)|
at Franciscan Church of St Clare ruins
|Brynne at playground|
|Margit Island View upriver with the|
Fehér Ház/White House on the left
|Margit Island View farther upriver toward Parliament|
in Pest on the left, and Buda on the right
(One of the first things you learn about Budapest, is that it is actually in two parts, called Buda on the right/east bank of the Danube, and Pest is on the left/west bank.)
We apparently walked only half the length of the island, and missed the hotels and thermal spas.
|Brynne at another playground|
|Empty pedestal of Communist-era statue|
|View from the balcony of Dot's and Tom's apartment (Photo By Brynne)|
|View from the balcony, panning to the right ...|
|... panning across Buda ...|
|... continuing panning to the right ...|
|... down to the Margit Bridge|
|Brynne and Kent at another playground|
|Americans walking their dogs ...|
|Parliament with the flag of Hungary|
|Mom with the Parliament lion (PBB)|
|A lion of Parliament|
I was disoriented on the map, but we found the station and had our tickets validated. Hopped on the escalator and whoa! It was steep and deep! There was an exhibit on the walls along the escalator, about the Danube and the need to “save it.”
|Exhibit about the Danube River|
|Mária Magdolna Torony/|
Church of St Mary Magdalene remains
|Flying Nun (1977, by Miklos Melocco)|
|Országház utca/Street of medieval buildings|
|Red Hedgehog House|
We entered the Hilton Hotel, completed in 1976, designed by Béla Pintér, which includes parts of the 13C Dominican cloister and monastery.
|Hilton Budapest (1976, by Béla Pintér)|
|View through the Hilton Budapest|
|MTV! Magyar Televízió/Hungarian TV truck|
|View across Buda to Pest from Fisherman's Bastion|
|Kent and Brynne at Fisherman's Bastion|
We went to enter the Matthias Church, passing street musicians and dodging photographers.
|Church of the Blessed Virgin on Buda|
or Matthias Church
|Photo op behind Matthias Church|
|Szentháromság szobor/Trinity Statue (1710-1713)|
in front of Pénzügyminisztérium Ministry of Finance
|Peek into courtyard off Úri utca|
|András Hadik statue (1937, by György Vastagh)|
We headed towards the Budavári Palota/Buda Palace, passing the ruins of the Ministry of Defense and the Várszínház/Castle Theater (originally built in 1736 as a church of the Order of Our Lady of Mt Carmel in late Baroque style).
|Várszínház/Castle Theater and Sándor Palace|
The palace was accessed through a wrought-iron gate in a stone arch, and at the corner a gigantic eagle (actually the mythical bird Turul who is said to have led the Magyars from the steppes to the Carpathian Basin) is overlooking the Danube.
|Royal Palace Gate (PBB and TMS combined)|
|Palace gate |
|View across the Danube (PBB)|
|View across the Danube|
|Prince Eugene of Savoy Statue (1899,|
by József Róna and Rezső Nay architect)
|Palace from Hunyadi udvar/courtyard|
|Palace Cour d'honneur/Court of Honor Wing|
|Royal Palace gateway|
|Mátyás kútja/Matthias Well or Fountain (1904,|
by Alajos Stróbl and Alajos Hauszmann)
|Brynne and Kent with a roaring lion|
We walked across Széchenyi Lánchíd/Széchenyi Chain Bridge, designed by William Clark and built 1842-1849 by Adam Clark, who was so proud and confident in the bridge that he would drown himself if a flaw was found.
|Brynne and Kent on the Széchenyi Lánchíd/Széchenyi Chain Bridge|
|View back on the Royal Palace|
|Gresham-palota/Palace (1904-1906, by Zsigmond Quittner and Jozsef Vago)|
|Széchenyi Lánchíd/Széchenyi Chain Bridge|
Next: Esztergom, Etc.