Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Travel With Me Tuesday: A Full Day in Budapest

On this day, we had a tour of the State Opera House, pastry and coffee at Gundell Restaurant, free time and lunch on our own, and then a visit to the village of Szentendre.  A good day and I was glad all this was done in chilly weather not hot. Sightseeing is best done in not-hot weather but that's not the opinion of my husband. However, he knows to pack and dress sensibly after many trips. Layers, lad, layers.

Last week I left you at our arrival at the Opera House. While we are both somewhat philistine in regard to endless museums, having had enough of them in our younger adult days, he is still entranced by any opera house and wants to see it ALL.  Pas moi. I will give you a taste of our numerous photos.

No, it wasn't a crime scene, but to preserve the carpets and wooden floors we wore these booties. Not a bad idea and probably cheaper than endless washing and waxing.

A truly grand house, just the way one imagines an opera house to be. We were being led at the same time as a group of students. I wondered how interested they were but then on a school trip you need to take notes and be ready to report back in your classroom.

Our guide was quite pleasant and you'll note that she is dressed warmly and we mostly still had our coats on. No need for heat for touring.

This is the kind of decoration that I can take in very small doses. My husband loves over the top stuff.

We meet the students again, and we all meet Bela Bartok of course.

Finally we are ready to go and you'll note the paddle that she carries, not to spank, but to indicate we are an American group of English speakers. As if no one could tell ...

Back on our bus, we headed out to Gundell's, a place I was anxious to visit. The drive was beautiful and it was still mid morning on a Saturday so not a lot of people out yet.

Our guide, a young Hungarian who had grown up in Budapest, told us that his grandfather used to take him to this park below when he was young and when there was a political speech being given, grandpa took him away. Grandpa had little faith in Communism and remembered Hungary pre WWII. Our guide had an interesting family...

No ice skating for us though I used to skate as a small child and wonder if that contributed to my weak ankles.  Below, we arrive at Gundells.

 By now I realized my camera, my phone i.e., had a dead battery and so I had to rely on his photos.

Alas...the restaurant was not really open and only opened for us so it was rather strange sitting in an empty place with only our relatively small group. Kind of eerie...

However, the palacsinta (pancakes) were wonderful and had the place been full of others enjoying a coffee and dessert the occasion would have been different. I also remember this kind of pancake, crepe, from my childhood but many of our group seemed to feel it was rather odd. It was also still rather early and an afternoon visit would have been better I suspect. As for me, there is never a wrong time for chocolate.

Gorgeous table settings and I'm sure dinner here would be an very special experience. I wonder how long this place was out of reach for the majority of people in the city...

We were lucky to get this shot as the person we asked to take our photo was not at all used to an iPhone.

Finally I get a self portrait and show the tiled ladies' toilet area. I always love it when you have the solid wooden doors for each stall. Pure elegance.

Next week, you'll see our afternoon.

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