Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sunday 8/6/06 – Intro, & Budapest Day 1

It’s been my parents’ dream – for probably 20 years at least – to take our family to Europe, without small children and without breaking the bank. At long last, this Christmas the dream was realized. They decided to take all 3 of us and our spouses on a river cruise up the Danube, beginning in Budapest, Hungary, through Vienna, Austria, to Nuremberg, Germany over the course of a week.

Today the adventure began – we arrived in Budapest after spending the entirety of Saturday traveling (Seattle -> Chicago -> Frankfurt -> Budapest, plus 9 hours lost due to time zones). After taking a bus through the city, we arrived at our boat and had several hours of free time to walk around the city.

One note: Budapest is the result of the merging of the cities Buda and Pest, on either side of the Danube, connected by bridge in the 19th century. I will be referring to them separately from time to time.

While my folks went touring, Robin and I met up with one of her cousins who lives and works in Budapest as a missionary – in fact, teaching at a school for missionary kids. She and her husband both grew up as MKs and are striving to help these “3rd culture” kids to survive the lifestyle that results from their parents’ work.

After lunch in a wonderful Greek restaurant, Robin and I went down to the Vaci Ucta (pedestrian street), which is a walking-only street surrounded by shops & cafes. We saw some wonderful local craftwork and got some neat souvenirs for the folks back home. At the south end of the street is the vast Central Market.

We had a relaxing evening and captured a few nice photos of Budapest by night. The evening’s entertainment was a group of Hungarian folk musicians and dancers. Due to jet lag we didn’t last through very many songs…

Photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bassclef1 !!!


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