But again,The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley.
I took lots of pictures of Budapest; buildings, statues, a castle, bridges, parks,
a food fair and us in a spa that dated back to the 16th C. I put the camera chip
in the computer, renamed each picture and then took the chip and put it back in the
camera and formatted it. WITHOUT TRANSFERRING THE PICTURES!!!
So we had a great time in Budapest. We took the first day and did maintenance, laundry
and small bike things. The campground was at one end of a bus line and the castle
was at the other, very simple. So on the second day we took the bus and walked up
the hill to the castle, along its parapet looking out over Pest. (Budapest is actually
two cities, Buda on the hilly west bank of the river and flat Pest on the east side.) We
walked out the other end of the castle after sampling the tourist shops and buying
some more table linens. Then along the river to a bridge and over to Pest. We walked
the pedestrian streets and had a late lunch. Then back to camp.
The third day we rode the bus and the metro (subway) to Pest's major park and found
our way into the spa. Buda and Pest sit on major hot springs and have had spas here
since Roman times. This one was originally built during the Ottoman occupation but
was last remodeled during the 1700's. It had statues around the main pool area and
decorative moldings and busts in the hot pool rooms. There were at least a dozen
hot pools of a variety of temperatures. The main swimming pools were outside with
lots of area to sunbathe. There were fountains and a circular area, enclosed by
a wall, and then there was a second circular wall (sort of like a bull's eye target)
that formed a ring. And at every half hour there would be jets of water that made
the ring of water circle quickly. Getting into it one was whisked around the ring
without effort, except to try and not bump into too many people.
After a few hours trying out all the waters we got dressed and went wandering through
the park. We followed a trail around a lake and came on a food fair. There were
lots of booths of foods and wines and even a few handicrafts. We got an Hungarian
cookbook, for free, and sampled some liquor. We had had lunch at a roadside stand
as we left the spa and weren't hungry (not hungry in Hungary??) so we skipped the
food. Like our US food fairs the booths charged money to eat the foods offered,
although some had sample bits to taste and tempt you into a purchase.
Kathy's pictures did not get lost and here is a picture of us running down the trolley
tracks behind a local motorcyclist as we arrived in Budapest. We are passing strings
of stopped traffic because it is rush hour. Even without that assistance European
cities are packed with cars and traffic is always a mess. European cities were built
in the day of horse carts and walking and don't handle well today's demands of trolleys,
cars, trucks and buses without the addition of motorcycles and scooters.
From there we went to the Magyar Route 66 motorcycle campground. We took this road
because it looked interesting on the map. Evidently it is very popular with motorcyclists
and after riding it we agree with that idea. Too bad some of them take it too fast.
This road led to the town of Eger where there is the Szépasszony völgy. This translates
as the "Valley of Beautiful Women". It is a small valley with small caves cut into
the hillsides that were used to make and store wine. Today the caves are still there
but the tourists are too and they cater to them.
Not all the caves had these nice fronts on them, some were still just the cave with
its ancient wrought iron doors. The only person who greeted us as we walked along
the row was this gentleman, in one of the plain caves. Kathy insisted that we go
back to his business because he took the time to greet us. (He had said "Guten Tag"
because he had assumed we were German.) (Most merchants greet us this way!)
We sampled a couple of his wines.
And bought some. Which he then proceeded to fill the plastic 2 liter bottle in the
back room. It was a drinking today wine, not one to put up for the future!
After the night at the Magyar Route 66 campground (www.magyarroute66.hu) we headed
on into Romania. (Sorry about the lost pictures, you're not a mad about it as I