With an extra day in Budapest, we were on our own. Monika, our cruise director on the AMA:Prima, had taken care of our departure transportation. She had cabs in place for those who needed them at times requested. It was very easy to depart our home for the past week – no need to put our luggage out the night before as you do with the ocean liners. Completely different experience and a positive one at that!
We had reservations at the Radisson Blu because of the promotion that they had. A short taxi ride from the dock and we were there. I’m always looking at way to get more points and value for my points and by booking here and paying cash we earned quite a few number of points. Since we arrived around 9:30 in the morning, our room was not ready. We left our luggage and set out exploring on another hot and humid day.
One of the things that I really wanted to do was to go to the Central Market in Budapest. I had read quite a bit about it and was excited to go. Through sign language and the map we had showing a picture of the Central Market, we were able to ride the subway to the correct station. This was the first time on our trip where language was a problem yet we were able to make our request known and they were able to gesture and point to where we needed to go. People generally want to be helpful and that’s what we found. Of course we needed to purchase tickets for the subway and we used our normal routine of watching those in front of us. Most ticket machines have a language button and by pushing the British Union Jack flag, we were able to understand what we were being asked to do. My tip in riding the subway when I am unfamiliar to the area is to take a picture of we you enter the subway so you know what your return stop is.
We emerged from the subway tunnel to a large tiled building. I’ve found out through this trip that I’m a sucker for a really interesting tile roof and this was no exception.
Excitement was mounting and Blogger Hubby could hardly hold me back. I walked in to cacophony of sounds, all sorts of scents, goods all over, stalls of fresh produce, butcher shops with all different cuts of meat and stalls selling ready to eat food. I enjoyed looking at the native embroidered blouses they were selling but I didn’t purchase one. We wandered up and down the market even going upstairs and walking around and then downstairs in the basement. I’m not sure how much of this is a tourist destination or if it is a place where the people of Budapest shop. I really think it was the former. We did go upstairs to have some lunch. So many delicious and delectable looking choices we had. Blogger Hubby had goulash and I had a repeat of what I had in Prague – fried dough slathered with garlic butter then topped with shredded cheese. Yum! All I purchased was some paprika to bring home – Blogger Hubby was beginning to be concerned about how heavy my suitcase was beginning to be and we had all of our train rides ahead of us. If you are going to stay in Budapest after your cruise do not buy the ship’s paprika in their little store – it is much less expensive at the market.
While we were walking around, we found the train station was right by the subway line. We had made our online reservations for the next day to go from Budapest to Vienna where we would change trains and board an overnight train to Venice. We knew we had to bring our confirmation number to the train station to collect our ticket. We walked into the train station to an information counter and showed them our confirmation letter with the details and the confirmation number. They directed us to a machine where we could get our ticket. It was quite easy to do.
Back to our hotel we went to finally we able to check in. Once in the room, I was really not impressed. We had a funky window in our room – a circular window that we had to step up to. Wouldn’t recommend staying here.
Since it was so hot and humid, we stayed in our room for the afternoon. Once it cooled down and got to be around dinnertime, we left and walked to Andrassy Street where there were many outdoor restaurants and cafes. After looking at several different menus, we found the one to our liking and had an enjoyable dinner. Walking back to our hotel, we stopped for a delicious, refreshing lemon gelato