Our European Odyssey

This blog covered our month-long trip to Eastern Europe -- specifically the countries of Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Greetings from Budapest

We made it! Although we crossed six time zones and got about two hours of sleep on our New York-to-Budapest flight, we're here and in one piece. And our luggage made it, too. :)

During Andrea's long travel day yesterday, she got a big glob of makeup on her shirt, sprayed carbonated water (that apparently had been shaken) on her pants and finally spilled pasta sauce on herself on the plane. As you can tell, she was being extra careful not to be piggy...

Malev Airlines, Hungary's national airline, is great. They served two meals on an eight-hour flight! We got yummy dinner and then breakfast before we landed. We also had our seats switched so we could sit together, and we were assigned to the first row behind first class, which has much more legroom than the rest of the economy class. (In case you hadn't heard, our original seating arrangement had Jake sitting directly in front of Andrea.)

After landing and making our way into the city, we visited the huge Parliament building and took a short tour. We then went to the also-huge St. Stephen's Basilica, which is ornate and lovely. Those Catholics really know how to build a church. The basilica's guidebook was apparently sponsored by the local Burger King. The back page was a big BK ad, which seemed really out of place in a basilica. The basilica is known for having the intact right hand of St. Stephen. (He died in 1035.)

Maybe our favorite part of the day was our visit to the top of the basilica. The view of Budapest, including the Parliament building, Castle Hill and the Danube, was breathtaking. So was the climb to the top. Unlike most people, we took the stairs up and the elevator down. We're not sure, but we think it was probably about 20 stories up.

We're being hosted by a family in a nice neighborhood in the northern part of the city. We somehow lucked out because they have a guesthouse, so we have our own little private place. And Grandma (who doesn't speak English) wants to cook us some Hungarian food.

We're going to try to upload pictures tonight, but if we have problems, we'll try again soon.


At 4:31 PM, May 17, 2006, Anonymous Mom and Dad said...

Hi Andrea and Jake-
Thanks for letting us know you arrived. I have been thinking of you often. I slept last night, but woke up every hour or so and wondered where you were. Dad says to tell you to get recipes for the tasty Hungarian food, have a good time and always look over your shoulder.
It sounds like Andrea needs to do laundry already.
Millie and Craig

At 8:25 PM, May 17, 2006, Anonymous Lora said...

You made it!! Sounds like you're having a great time already. I'm glad you didn't have to cross the ocean sitting in separate rows.


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