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Re: Independent Traveler

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  • Ron
    To round out the first comments: The Golden Park Hotel is on Baross square as is the Baross Hotel where I stayed last time. Both are clean, fine hotels, but
    Message 1 of 8 , May 10, 2012
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      To round out the first comments: The Golden Park Hotel is on Baross square as is the Baross Hotel where I stayed last time. Both are clean, fine hotels, but they are not the American generously cut hotels and perhaps are not appropriate for big people. Traveling alone, I often enough am given a small room, which is fine for me.

      While Keleti pu is the main train station to eastern Slovakia, the schedule only shows two trains a day to Kosice, leaving at 6:30 AM and at 6:30PM, arriving a bit after 9, so not quite 3 hours train ride. Obviously to catch the morning train you have to buy the ticket the day before. The international sales window does not open until after the train leaves. I was very fortunate the first time I did this and went to buy the ticket right after I settled in the hotel, catching them shortly before they closed the night before!

      Both Budapest and Vienna are magnificent cities, and while I speak German fluently, my heart lies in Budapest where I have trouble pronouncing Autobuzs correctly and keep getting "two" wrong. It was great just being here yesterday walking about from place to place. I was obviously a tourist smiling so much! I finally took the leisure to explore Margaret Island and part of Buda that I had not seen before. Today … but this is not a travelogue. I did go to the West Train station, Nyugati pu. It is worth breaking my rule of avoiding American restaurants in Europe to stop in the McDonalds for a cup of coffee in the building next door to the train station. It is supposed to be the most expensive to renovate and most beautiful McDonalds in the world. The historic building they fully restored is a famous one in Budapest and it is well worth a walk through. If you wish to use their toilets, carry your purchase receipt with for free admission. The coffee stop also revisited my introduction through my Slovak language professor when she brought the class here. She appreciates good language, good coffee, and as a European woman, beauty as well.

      I do remember the subway cars as being a gleaming stainless steel. I haven't seen any of these yet.

      > > --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Ron" <amiak27@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Independent Traveler
      > > > Sitting contentedly in Budapest on my first morning as I wait or Business Budapest to wake up, I figured I would write a note to encourage anyone looking for independent travel out there in Slovak World. Budapest is a city our ancestors built as laborers and as renowned owners of construction companies, thinking specifically of a fellow named Bobula or something similar, who has a plaque on a wall near the Terror Museum in Budapest. Budapest is also a great entry to Eastern Slovakia, with great train connections from Keleti pu train station to Kosice, and to all of Slovakia. So my last two trips arriving here I have chosen hotels on ter Baross (Baross Square) in front of Keleti pu.
      > > > I flew in last yesterday with a 9 hour flight over the pole, 4 hour layover in Frankfurt, and a bit over an hour flight to arrive in Budapest. I was a bit more tired upon arrival than I anticipated. Still, the public transportation connections worked out quite well. I cleared EU customs in Frankfurt, not even having to recover my baggage and take it through customs as we do in the USA. It was checked through from Anchorage to Budapest. In Budapest I picked up my bag and a current free city map at the Info display and headed to the right end of the terminal (it seems busses around the world are to the right of the terminals as your look out). There was a ticket machine on the sidewalk as well as a kiosk inside to buy the two HUF 3.20 tickets to get downtown. A van costs HUF 15,000, with exchange currently about $1 = HUF (Hungarian Forint) 320. Or is it HUF 230? On boarding the bus, cancel one of the two tickets you bought. These tickets are good for one-way travel with transfers and no delay.
      > > > I jumped on the bus and took it with everyone else to the end station where there was "Metro 3" stenciled on a fence. A short walk down the sidewalk lead to stairs and a walk up overpass to the Metro. At the top were Kontrolle people checking tickets and hassling a few young folk. At the top of the stair is where the ticket punch machines were, and I punched my second ticket under the careful eye of Kontrolle. The Metro train was an unimpressive old Soviet machine on the Blue line which I took me to Deak ter where I changed from the Blue to Red line to head up to Baross ter and my hotel. After carefully checking directions of the Metro I got on in the wrong direction. After a few stations I changed to the correct direction and arrived at Baross ter and my hotel – after showing my two tickets to Kontrolle at the top of the escalator and saying "airport- busz-blue-red" to let her know I am a rank tourist.
      > > > After checking into Golden Park Hotel on the square, a shower and collapsing were next on the agenda. I had no trouble sleeping through the evening and then the night! I booked the hotel on line from the USA, having two choices; one priced about Euro 55 a night and one at about $55 a night. I chose the $ price to save about 30%. At the hotel I paid the additional HUF 1100 city tax and headed to my room. At breakfast this morning I was quite nicely surprised at the generous and tasty breakfast included with the room price, a common inclusion in Europe, and a great way to start the day. I believe I will slip my netbook in the in-room safe and reduce my day pack by 3 lbs. The netbook fits nicely in the slot intended for a water bladder, making it a great way to carry it with me.
      > > > The city is very much awake and alive, the tourist trinkets are out for sale in the lobby and it is time for me to discover Budapest! The tourist trinkets are out for sale in the lobby and it is time for me to discover Budapest!
      > > >
      > >
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