Budapest, second day
Posted by kernelbob on August 8, 2009
Synopsis: rode the funicular to the palace, ate lunch on a river boat, walked around some more, had the most boisterous dinner yet, said goodbye to the Eugene Concert Choir.
Remember, you can click on any picture to see a medium-resolution (1024×768) enlargement.
Budapest Palace is on top of a hill overlooking the Danube. The hill is kind of steep. That’s why the palace is there — the hill adds to the fortifications. Anyway, you can walk up the hill, or you can ride the funicular. The funicular has about a 90% incline. There are two cars on parallel tracks, and they counterweight each other. Each car’s cabin is built on three levels.
Anyway, we got to the top, and we looked around the grounds, then we had to sprint back to the hotel, about 2 km, to catch the tour bus. The bus took us to the dock, where we boarded the Ister. We ate lunch on the Ister, cruised the river, and took about 10,000 pictures.
One of the choir members, Mark, said that he’d taken over 3,000 pictures on this trip. Eva, our Hungarian guide, quipped, “You’re worse than the Japanese!”
After the boat ride, we went back to the neighborhood of St. Michael’s and walked through the city. Had some gelato at a sidewalk cafe. Then back to the bus and off to dinner.
I’ve mentioned boisterous dinners on this tour, but this was the boisterousest. Everyone was going home the next morning. There were no more concerts to sing. So hair was let down.
And there was entertainment. Anne and I sat 2 meters from center stage (unintentionally) and got the best seats in the house. The entertainment started with a five-piece band: two violins, a clarinet, a bass and a cimbalom. Then as we were finishing, a singer sang songs in six languages, including Ugandan, since there was a Ugandan in the audience. Then came the dancers. Then the dancers started audience participation. They brought me on stage to crack a whip, which I did badly. Others got to dance, walk blindfolded, chug wine, try to kiss the dancers, and similar. It was good fun, and better since we all knew each other.
Then we rode the bus back to the hotel and started saying goodbye to people. The choir left for home the next morning, but we did not.