Date: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 (for Tuesday, July 1, 2014)
Time: 10:15 am local time (4:15 am EST)
Place: Same train (Vienna to Prague), about three hours out now…
Yesterday was quite the adventure, though misadventure probably is the better word. It was a day full of hurry up and wait. We left the hotel somewhere between 8 and 9 to take the train to Budapest, Hungary, for the day. We got to Budapest about 1 pm.
We were instructed to go find food (if we hadn’t already eaten on the train), change money, and go to the bathroom. I needed to do none of the above, so I just stood around for a while. Eventually we moved outside the train station (which from the inside made me feel like I was behind the Iron Curtain, but from the outside looks quite nice). We wandered around the courtyard for a while, taking pictures, admiring the restaurants (a KFC, a McDonalds, and a HUGE Burger King), and listening while Kathy Goddard or Lisa Diller held court (telling stories or teaching). We were waiting for Dr. Wohlers to get us tickets to ride a get-on-and-off tourist bus.
He finally came out of the station with tickets in hand. We had been told to follow Hammy and that he was a “good guy” that we could trust. I immediately didn’t trust him. The whole city felt like it was waiting to pick my pocket. We walked a couple of blocks to the bus stop, and then waited for about 30 minutes there, trying to get on the bus. We finally got an empty bus, and settled in for a tour of the city.
It was a lot of fun to ride around the historic parts of the city. We began our day in Pest (on one side of the Danube), then we crossed the river to Buda. The joke told by residents of Buda is that the only good thing about being in Pest is that you can see the rolling hills of Buda. The information given us was very interesting, and all the sights were fascinating, but I still managed to doze off several times. One time I nodded so hard in my sleep that on the rebound I bonked my head quite hard into a metal box between my seat and Dr. Laughlin’s.
We arrived back at the train station without problem or delay, and I felt slightly more rested after the trip. We had to wait for a while now for Dr. Wohlers to buy us metro tickets so we could go down a few stops to a square with some restaurants. We waited for quite a while, during which time I found out that Chris Dant had lost his Eurail pass, though as best as we can tell it wasn’t his fault. It had ripped from the rest of the folder and we think that the conductor didn’t return it to him.
We finally got our tickets and went down to brave the subway system. The escalators moved very fast, but the tickets were not easy to validate. We went down three stops and got off at the stop for the square, where we should have had about 40 minutes to get supper. Unfortunately, however, a few of the girls didn’t get their tickets validated properly and were stopped and hollered at (in Hungarian) by the guards. That ate up time and shaved several months off Wohler’s life as he went down to get them released.
We were out of time by that point, so we walked back down into the subway system and rode back to the train station. We waited for about 40 minutes, got on our train, and went home. Kaiti and I watched most of the new Star Trek movie, and I enjoyed an episode or two of Hogan’s Heroes, as well.
That’s about all for now! Love to all!
I'm a Classical musician, a growing Christian, and a world traveler. I'm learning, exploring, and trying to understand this wonderful world I live in.
Robby Raney IV