Budapest!

Today, oh my droogies, The Lovely One and I return from our 2011 vacation. And (as todayʼs title has already revealed prematurely) we have been in Budapest.

from Wikipedia (click the image for the link), my only source of photos in advance. By the timethis posts, I hope we haveseen all these sights and I have my own photographs to post in the future.

I am not sure what it is between us and the defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire (viz. our trip to Prague two years ago), but we surrendered to that impulse/connection again. Although I am (perhaps not obviously, but I am) writing this post ahead of time (indeed, on the day of our departure, to use a little time while Janet works until noon when weʼll leave for Chicago to fly out the next day/tomorrow-for-me), I hope and intend that weʼll have (will have had, for all of you) a very good experience.

Most of the summer and over the duration of the rehearsals for One Flew over the Cuckooʼs Nest, we had desultorily and sometimes deliberatively discussed a driving vacation (saving money and all that, you know), considering a trip eastward to maybe the Finger Lakes region and Niagara Falls (where I have never been). However, actual investigation revealed that prices werenʼt inexpensive out that way. Both lodging and food were going to run us more than several thousand dollars, we calculated/guessed.

Janet vaguely checked prices to more exotic locales (flying to Albuquerque, Paris…), and just three weeks ago happened on what felt like a good deal for us to visit Budapest. This was the Wednesday right after the show closed, just before her Festivus with her sister in/near Milwaukee (in fact, she was leaving for the annual sistersʼ weekend the very next day). But when she e-mailed me about it, I just jumped on the idea, and by 9:00 PM that very day we were booked. That is the ultimate in quick decisions on vacations for us (usually, we like to book months and months in advance and spend lazy weekends dreaming and learning about our proposed destination — as we did for nearly a year on our November 1999 Ireland trip, which was merely four or five days over my birthday, time I had taken from school, using all my accumulated personal days and a weekend).

Once were committed (again to the tune of several thousand dollars-plus), I drove right down to Barnes & Noble (not a short trip as we have no bookstores in our little anti-intellectual community) for travel guides, acquiring DK and Fodorʼs (and phoning The Lovely One to shop in the big city for Rick Steves). I also picked up a Lonely Planet language book on Hungarian, but precious little has entered my brain at the time of this typing (perhaps deep study on the plane will/in-your-case-has improved that state). My previous knowledge was so vague and uncertain that (although I did know that the city resulted from combing two — actually three — earlier cities, Buda and Pest on separate sides of the Danube) I was unaware that right above Budapest the Danube takes a nearly 90° turn to flow just about directly south…

And I have become aware that Hungarian is not an easy language (not being Indo-European, its closest cousins, distantly, are Finnish and Estonian). But we survived (even almost thrived) during our stay in Prague with a just about equal unfamiliarity with Czech (and I didnʼt have a book on that language two years ago). So…

Once we have returned (within a very brief time from the hour scheduled for this post to appear) and recovered, I must let you all know how the journey turned out.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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