Budapest, Day 1

It was an uneventful drive down, we got up and out at 7 a.m. with total precision, like the well-oiled unit we usually are not, traffic was light most of the way, there were no roadworks on the D1 anywhere and I believe that’s the first time in the 23 years I’ve lived in the Czech Republic that that’s been true.
We got to our hotel at about 1:30, technically before check-in time, but they had a room so they allowed it.
We’re satisfied with the accommodation. Not so luxurious, the shower/bathroom actually looks very much like what we’ve got at home, but it’s big enough, nobody needs to sleep together who doesn’t ordinarily sleep together, it’s within walking distance of the center, and the metro, and a street market, and lots of souvenir stands, and it seems a couple of strip clubs, but I’ve been trying to ignore that, being with family and all, and nobody else has mentioned it.

After a quick look at the rooms, we went out sight-seeing. It was kind of miserable and drizzly, but if that sort of thing brings you down, it’s hard to have fun as a tourist anywhere in Europe north of the alps, so we plowed on. Lots of really big, impressive buildings. The Parliament building we found particularly impressive. We were on our way to a restaurant which had been recommended to us when I asked my son “Sam, what’s that building there, is it a train station” and a sweet young girl in a blue coat who seemed to be waiting for a tram said “It’s the Market Hall.” She may have been a tourist with just slightly more knowledge than us, maybe an expat living in Budapest, teaching English by day and singing in a jazz club by night, or maybe just a Hungarian girl who spoke good English.
The restaurant was a place called For Sale and, outside of it costing a bit more than I’d thought, was excellent and I definitely recommend it. Order the goulash, the portion is huge.
After that, we walked through aforesaid Market Hall. It’s in kind of a spectacular building, but inside, it’s just a market and a butcher’s stall is a butcher’s stall, anywhere you go.
Tomorrow, I want to see some Roman ruins, everybody else wants to see the castle, there are a couple of other things on the list, we’re starting to realize two days isn’t going to be enough, but that’s what we’ve got.

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