Wi-Fi access has eluded us for a little while, so when this is being written vs. when it's being posted will be a little different. Our apologies to our loyal readers! (Our mothers especially!)
We've finished our tour of Budapest and have just boarded our overnight train to Venice. We're a little tired, a little punchy, but all in all have had a great time in the Hungarian capital.
We spent our two days here with Janea and Dean, and have introduced two new experiences to them - Hostels, and the Hop On - Hop Off bus tour. Admittedly, one is slightly more pleasant than the other. They spent the second morning here looking for alternate arrangements for their second evening :-)
Our first day was spent touring the many different sites of the city, the most impressive of which would have to be the fisherman's bastion. At present I don't remember the reason for the name, however it was an amazing sight atop the hill on the Buda side of the city, which also offered some incredible views over the city.
For those unfamiliar with the geography of the region, the city is essentially made up of two halves: Buda (the hilly side) and Pest (the flat side), which are separated in the middle by the Danube. The whole city, however, is over large aquifers of mineral water which have given rise to many spa facilities around the city where you can enjoy everything from a thermal mineral bath to a foot massage to mud treatment. Jill and I and our companions took a dip at the Gellert facility. There were some language barriers at the front desk (they didn't seem to understand what we wanted) and some as we entered the facility (Graham was vehemently escorted away from the entrance he was half way in, as it lead to the women's changeroom), but all in all it was a fine afternoon. It's essentially a pool, however the water is cooled down instead of warmed up, as it is pulled from the earth at very hot temperatures. Dean and Graham especially enjoyed the fact that the main pool turned into a wave pool for 15 minutes every hour.
Our fantastic hostel host Matt recommended our "formal" Hungarian dining experience at Trofea. If you're ever in Budapest, make sure you go here. €18 for 3 hours of all you can eat AND all you can drink. And though it is a buffet, the food is pretty good... Though the beer is better :-)
We were sad to leave our new friends, but have penciled in Labour Day plans to watch the Roughrider/Bluebomber game in Saskatoon. Dean may even get us wearing watermellon hats.
Now to let the gentle rocking of the tracks beneath us lull us to a good sleep, as tomorrow we get back on the water, only this time it will be leisurely floating down the canals of Venice!
Until we meet again... Or have Wi-Fi anyway...