Monday, December 12, 2016

The Danube River at night

Tonight we did a dinner cruise on the Danube River - in all of my wildest dreams I never thought I would do that! It was very cool. It was a four course dinner with all drinks included.

                                           A pumpkin soup with roasted pepitos on top - really good

                                                    Four different pate's in a pastry shell


I drank draft beer because I know from past trips to Europe that their draft beer is better than bottled back in the States. (I talked to the guy at the table next to us and he told me to wait until we got to Prague their draft beer is the best isn't he world!!!!) Our cruise was so cool -

A picture of the Parliament Building.

 there was a band playing and there we folk dancers - at the end the violin player played all Christmas songs - it brought tears to my eyes to hear people from all over the world sing Silent Night together - we may be different but we all want the same things.

Thursday - we had a city tour with Julia -

a delightful young lady that told us so much about Budapest. I think living in America our whole lives we are shielded from the effects of war. She took us to the Jewish ghetto where 20,000 jews were killed. Prior to sending them to the camps in Germany they had to live in the ghetto surround by these walls. The are the only parts of the wall left. We learned so much and it was so interesting. We watched the day end from atop a hill on the Buda side where we got a magnificent view of the city.

Next it was on the to Christmas Markets and some warm mulled wine to warm us up.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Everyone might speak English.....but not all signs are in English

The Christmas Markets of Eastern Europe
escorted by Cobblestones and Pomegranates Travel 

And so another adventure begins.Just started another adventure. I left St Louis at 6pm on Tuesday - flew to Chicago and then to Munich Germany then to Budapest. The flight getting in to Munich was a little late but no problem. I find the display with the flight info to Budapest and see that I have 13 mins to find the gate and board the plane. I get a little nervous but I overhear some people saying "it's gate G4 - let's go" I was going to G3 so I thought I'd follow them. First thing you have to do is go though customs. There is a long line and a short line at the automatic scanners. I go to the short one. Well my passport won't scan. I tried and tried - finally I heard someone talking English so I asked her and she said "Do you have a Euro chip on your card? I said "Beats me, it's a American passport." She replied "You need to go to that line." And pointed to the long line. So I go to that line. Finally it's my turn and I notice a sign and I said does this sign mean it's only for Europeans? The man behind me said "yes" - I freaked - now I'm down to like 8 mins to catch the plane. But the customs agent let me go through his line and told me "You need to start reading the signs" I smiled and said "yes" but I really thought was if the sign was in english....anyway got out of that jam only to find out that I had to get on a shuttle to get over to gates G. Find the shuttle - get on - go to the next concourse and see signs for G25- 48. I'm like "I wonder where G3 is?" Of course there is no one to ask - you are on your own baby. So I go over to the flight display only to see that my flight is out of K3 - now I have to get back on the shuttle and go back where I came from!!! It now says the plane will take off in 14 mins. OK - now I'm thinking there is no way I'm going to make this flight. I'll have to spend the night in the airport and catch a flight tomorrow, but I get over to the K concourse and think "well it's K3 so it's close" Not so!!! K3 was the last damn gate on the concourse. I was going as fast as I could, sweating like a bitch and praying I'd make the flight. Right when I get near the gate I hear "This is the last call for flight whatever to Budapest" I was the last one on the plane. Sweat dripping off my face. So much for good first impressions!