La Aventura with Patti & James

06 July 2018 | Faial Island –Atlantic Portugal
24 June 2018 | National Holiday day in Faial
22 June 2018 | afternoon whale watching boat trip
20 June 2018 | an enjoyable day trip to another island.
19 June 2018 | Fabulous Faial. – Azorean Island
18 June 2018 | Faial Island – Horta Harbour - Mid Atlantic
29 May 2018 | Mid Atlantic - in the middle of nowhere
26 May 2018 | the cruising yachtsman’s haven
25 May 2018 | party day in Hamilton
10 May 2018 | Vero Beach/Ft Pierce –road trip to Jacksonville.
12 April 2018 | Vibeke onboard
17 March 2018 | lovely to return to Belize and Mexico and meet up with sailing friends along the way
24 January 2018 | I have become so interested in Guatemala textiles
17 January 2018 | So great to catchup with so many friends and our families
01 November 2017 | what a wonderful Guatemalan fiesta to experience
29 October 2017 | Volcanic crater
28 October 2017 | Antiqua - Guatemala

Our Hungarian Health Holiday – dentist for James and post-op R & R for me

13 July 2016 | Budapest – 2nd to 12th July 2016
IMAGE:- our views of Budapest

Sat - 2nd July: Our Ryanair flight missed our take-off slot - so we sat in the plane on the tarmac for 1 hour before taking off. We arrived to hot weather - 32deg. Due to my research we had an easy bus and Metro journey to our Apartment - a lovely old Budapest 1st floor apartment opposite the grand List Music Academy. Quiet night - beers on our terrace and then Chicken takeaway dinner. Woken late into the night by nearby bar/restaurant diners watching the Germany V Italy Football game - won by Germany after 8 penalties.

Sunday 3rd July - early morning thunderstorm gave way to a cooler, breezier day - a every enjoyable temperature. We took a walk along the lovely wide tree-lined Andrassy Street towards Heroes Square and City Park. We came across a parade heading for a gathering in the square. A whip cracking and drum beating re-enactment of the historic The Battle of Pozsony - great to see. A lovely City Park - great green space to wander and enjoy the various historic building and museums. The boating lake is drained to become Europe's largest outdoor an ice skating rink in winter! The stunning baroque Vajdahunyad Castle was picture perfect. The Pecsa Bolhapiac Flea Market was very disappointing. We wandered past the Museum of Fine Art, Budapest Zoo and the exclusive Gundel restaurant before heading back home for lunch on our shady terrace and then spent the rest of the afternoon watching the Austrian Grand Prix on local TV. I cooked dinner - Hungarian Sausages with salad and then we had an evening stroll of the local area. The local bars had a less busy night, and therefore a quieter night with the Iceland V France football match.

Monday 4th July - dentist day. All OK on the public transport to get to the dentist. I had a quick free check-up and then James survived a few hours of preparation work for his new set of 9 front teeth - all OK. After a shopping trip to the local small supermarket we had a quiet afternoon/evening in the apartment. I cooked veggie omelettes as James had a sore mouth.

Tuesday 5th - lots of walking and wandering the nearby Balvaros (Inner Town) Pest neighbourhood. Vaci Street is the main shopping street - but I was more interested to windowshop in the smaller boutique and handmade speciality shops off the sidestreet. Shoes, gloves and hats, quirky handcrafts and fashion designers. For our snack lunch we headed to the 1897 Rakoci Ter market for Hungarian sausage. James bought some pork scratchings for our afternoon drinks snacks (not as good as our Panama City street pork snacks!) We caught the tram right back to our apartment - and had a quiet afternoon and evening. Pizza and salad for dinner - and then a lap of the neighbourhood. We enjoyed an ice-cream too! - an evening treat we have not had for ages.

Wednesday 6th - a 9am dentist appointment for James - then a transport adventure up into the Buda Hills.The Budapest public transport is very easy and inexpensive. We prefer the trams so we can see the sights along the ride. Our 1st unusual ride of the day was on the Cog Railway - built in 1874. The 'Cog' climbs steeply up into the exclusive housing areas on the Buda hills for 3.7kms to a height of 427m. We got out at the Szechenyi stop, and enjoyed the short walk to our next unusual ride of the day on the unique narrow-gauge Children's Railway. The railway has 8 stops, and chugs along for 11km as it meanders through the beautiful heights full of walking trails. The railway was built in 1951 by the socialist Scouts and is now staffed by schoolchildren with adult mentors. We enjoyed the cooler, higher climate. Our little train ride was exciting and very interesting indeed - a lovely adventure. The views down the valley were lovely through the very green, full trees. The children were indeed the ticket sellers, ticket inspectors, track signal staff and they proudly carried out their duties, spoke good English and saluted the train as it passed through each station.

After completed our journey back down into the city outskirts we headed to the large Szell Kaalman ter square - a major transport hub for Metro, trains and busses. In the back streets we found a very local butcher/convenience store selling cooked snacks -if it was good enough for the locals, it would be good enough for us for a snack late lunch. We shared a large blood sausage and pork rib with sauerkraut, mustard/mayo dressing and a good slice of fresh bread - all very tasty indeed. Their strudel and cooked chicken looked so good we bought some as takeaway for dinner. Back to the apartment for a quiet evening in to watch the Wimbledon tennis and the Wales V Portugal football - sadly Wales lost 2/0 - but they made an excellent effort throughout this tournament - much better than the English team!

Thursday 7th - A quiet and slow morning, before we set off for our day out on the Danube. We stopped off at the nearby Alexander Book Shop for a quick photo stop in their opulent Coffee Hall - every ornate indeed. After purchasing our tickets for the 2pm Danube Bend boat trip we had a quick 'pork pie' picnic lunch in Vigdo park opposite the very grand Pesti Vigado concent hall. The refurbishment/reconstruction of many of the cities Notable Buildings has been extensive indeed. We boarded from a central pier onto our boat - taking a shady upper deck viewing spot with only about 20 other passengers. Gliding past the magnificent Royal Palace on the Buda side and the Parliament building on the Pest side was just perfect. It was lovely to be on the water again! We headed upstream, against the fast flowing current. We pasted Margaret Island and then on into the rural countryside. Our journey to the town of Szentendre took about 1 hour - even though it is only 24km north from Budapest.

It was a lovely afternoon arrival into the river town - a vista of church spires and burghers houses. It was a joy to wander the narrow cobblestone streets full of the usual 'tourist tat', thankfully there were also some very interesting arts and crafts stores. I had an enjoyable afternoon with my camera getting various angles through the houses up to the church spires and the very interesting and ornate shop signs. We found a shady spot for an afternoon beer and shack and then up one of the narrow allys we found a wonderful little Langos kitchen. Langos is a traditional Hungarian snack which was on our must try list. We shared a medium pizza size cream cheese Langos, topped with grated parmesan, and brushed with chill oil - so tasty, fresh and filling.

Our boat left the pier at 7pm for our return journey, arriving back in Budapest at 8pm. I was hoping the various riverside notable buildings would be lit by the time we arrived - but instead with had the last of the bright evening sunlight shimmering off the buildings - still good for photos. What a lovely day out. A quite night in watching the football - Wales V Portugal - 2/0 to Portugal.

Friday 8th - James final dentist appointment was at 9am - a very good result indeed. His mouth was numb and would be sore later - he was told not to eat for a few hours, and then only soft food for 24 hours. We headed for Budapest largest food market - Nagyesarnok. Plenty of tourist stuff on the 1t floor, but the ground floor was busy with plenty of locals shopping for fresh food items. The variety and displays were excellent. We purchased our picnic food for Saturday - cold cuts, cheese, cherries and wine and a treat of some fine goose liver pate. We were also on a mission to purchase some paprika for Eva. At the cooked food sections we also purchased our 'special items' for our all Hungarian meal planned for Saturday evening.

After a quite few hours for James mouth to rest we set off on our evening our adventure - by bicycle! We studied the website for the city hire bikes - Bubi Bikes and worked out firstly to pay, and then to use them on and off for 30 mins of riding over the next 24 hours for only £5 each. We rode to our chosen restaurant for our evening meal - a very local fish restaurant - Halkakas, and were not disappointed. We drank refreshing homemade pear and cherry syrup with soda water, shared a tasty smoked fish pate and fried whitebait and then both enjoyed a large bowl of fish soup - all very tasty indeed (and OK for James still fragile new teeth). The little restaurant was busy indeed - a good sign. To walk off our dinner we strolled the riverside streets of the Danube. Lots of people were out and the river was busy with dinner and nightclub cruise traffic. I got some great evening shots of the various notable buildings. A night ride home on the hire bikes - great!

Saturday 9th - After a slow morning start we packed our picnic goodies, hopped on our hire bikes and headed to Margaret Island. The city is fairly flat so the bike riding was OK - a good cardio workout for 2 very unfit people! Margaret Island is neither Pest or Buda- very strange indeed. This 2.5km island is in the middle of the Danube. The island was obviously the haven for the many local families, joggers on the special running track circuit and cyclists like us.

We parked our bikes in the docking stand and found a shady park bench to set-up our picnic table. We had a great shady spot for people watching and boat traffic watching. Our Hungarian salami, cold smoked meat, fresh bread, & Merlot wine was all tasty and enjoyable. We took another ride around the island bike path before settling down by the nearby music water fountain for more people watching and to enjoy our tasty cherries. Margaret Island has a few exceptional Spas and Baths that Budapest are famous for - but unfortunately we are not able to enjoy any of these as I still have my post op chest wound. By early evening it was time for another ride back to the closest docking station to our apartment - all very convenient, and great to get some bike riding in. Pre-dinner dinks on our small terrace were very enjoyable on this still, hot evening, before feasting on our traditional meal of Rakott Krumpli ( potato and sausage gratin and cooked red cabbage) and Dobos Torte with vanilla ice-cream. Another great day in Budapest. We have not missed eating out in the restaurants - rather cooking or sourcing the special items on our 'must try' list provided by our Hungarian foodie family member Christie and eating in - more our style and budget.

Sunday 10th Sunday sports day - British Grand Prix, Wimbledon Mens final and Euro football final. After breakfast we took a morning walk through the nearby historical Jewish Quarter, heading for Szimpla Kert Sunday farmers market. The ghetto area bounded by the Little Ring Road is where the local Jews were forced to live when the Nazis occupied Hungary in 1944. The huge Great Synagogue dominates the area - and is a stunning building indeed. It is the largest Jewish house of worship in Europe, seating 3000. Several blocks around the area have small kosher restaurants, the Hungarian Jewish Museum and the Holocaust Memorials. We found the specialist food market, we were seeking out in an arty ruined building, which was once a church and religious living quarters. In the market we found some very tasty cheese and Pogasca ( cheese scones)- another 'must try' on our foodie list - just perfect for our snack lunch today. Back in the apartment we firstly watched the F1 - Hamilton won, and then the tennis - Murrary won. For a break from the sport we took an afternoon tram ride to the huge WestEnd shopping centre - mainly to find the roof garden that was supposed to have good photo views, but didn't! We came home from an evening in watching the France V Portugal Football final - and a takeaway Turkish kebab for dinner.
Monday 11th - Our final day in Budapest - our last chance for some tourist sights. The temperature was much hotter today - we have been very lucky with the temperature whilst we have been here - not the 32+deg that is normal for this time of year. We headed towards the river to the Parliament area. Our 1st stop was the Basilica of St Stephen - the most important Catholic Church in Hungary for the really erry reason that it contains the nations most revered relic - the mummified right hand of the churchs patron.
This section of the city has some interesting notable buildings, a very gentrified area - boutique hotels and upmarket bistros. Wandering was very enjoyable indeed - thanks to the large shady tree lined streets. We headed to take a look at the fascinating façade of the Royal Postal Saving Bank Building - the extravagant colourful roof edging of yellow tiles and art deco design is a real one-off. The nearly National Bank of Hungary has also been refurbished and cleaned recently and the external reliefs told the story of trade and commerce through history. Finally we reached the Danube and on to the Parliament - a magnificent building to counterweight the Royal Palace on the Buda side of the river. The parliament is Hungarys largest building, and again in recently refurbished condition. The stark limestone building is very similar to the Palace of Westminster with grand proportions and many external sculptures of the great and the good. We did not take a tour of the inside of the building, instead doing the self-guided interactive tour through the demographic history of the country.
Touristing over we headed back to the apartment for a light lunch and to pack up and head off to our airport hotel for the night. Our flight for tomorrow departs at 6.30am and we need to be at the airport before the public transport starts - so rather than arranging an expensive taxi we are staying at the spa hotel for the night - closeby the airport. The Sunshine Hotel proved to be very relaxing - the staff arranged for us to use their indoor Jacuzzi and for James to also enjoy the Sauna. The Jacuzzi experience was not too great for my chest wound as the waterproof dressing was not waterproof! We had an early and quiet night in the BBC World TV for our entertainment- the UK politics after Brexit are in total disarray.

Tuesday 12th - The alarm had us up at 4am. It was just a short walk from the Hotel to the bus terminal and then a short journey the airport terminal. It was obvious that many people hang-out at the airport overnight with bags and bodies all over the place! There were many early morning budget airline flights, at 5.30am the airport departures was very busy indeed. Thankfully our Ryanair flight departed on time and we were on the ground back in the UK at Stansted by 8.30am UK time. We had a very successful 'Health Holiday'. James dental work was professionally carried out- with great results. We really enjoyed our touristing around Budapest and surrounds - we paced ourselves, and I felt well, happy and healthy during the visit - success all-round.

Vessel Name: La Aventura
Crew: James & Patti

Who: James & Patti