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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Grand Adventure Begun - Budapest!

I left the USA from Charlotte, NC on Friday evening but not until USAir managed to sell my seat...twice it would appear! I'd love to be able to say "thank you, USAir" but I can't...just really don't have it in me to say thanks for adding so much grief to my life that if, in the future, other choices are available, USAir has seen the last of my money. Enuf said although I'm twitching like a cat because I want to say more (grin!) and, ending on an upbeat note, will say, "thanks for a safe flight;"at least that can be said truthfully!

After an arduous flight and airport navigation in Frankfurt, I am in Budapest! It's a lovely city, full of Old Worlde Charm (yeah, I really struggled, and lost, the battle to put that 'e' on the end of 'world') and I feel deju vu all over again. It's weird, like I've been here before and almost everything looks familiar. I believe a lot of that feeling may be credited to the overwhelming presence of the Communist era buildings. There's a certain soulessness, if you'll allow the use of the word, to those buildings built during Communist times. I've been told there was a dearth of talented workers and contractors would hire day labor on construction sites. There was no rhyme nor reason in how the concrete mixture was day with too much water, the next day with too little water and the result is, a lot of buildings are, literally, falling apart. So sad. 
~ Moorish influence ~
However, those lovely pre-Communism buildings are still fabulously lovely, sturdy and a feast for the eyes. You can tell, beyond a shadow of doubt, someone who knew construction, was comfortable with building materials, plans, etc. built, with a fierce love, these old buildings. I am not sure what the above building is but know it is lovely; a real thing of beauty with loads of Moorish influence.
~ All-4U Apartments courtyard ~
My Budapest home is located about two blocks from the Dohany Street Synagogue, the second largest in the world. A busy thoroughfare, Karoly Street, is just steps away, and where I found a grocery store that accepts credit cards and an ATM machine. I had American dollars and Euro's but no Hungarian forint's; my apartment takes only m.o.n.e.y.; no credit cards, checks, etc. However, they allowed me to pay them a deposit in US until I can get to an ATM and finish paying them in forint's. 

If you're ever in Budapest, you should consider renting from these folks; thus far they have been more than kind and have advised on where to grocery shop, find ATM machines and even told me the courtyard will be full, tomorrow, of crafters...JOY! Another reason to hurry along to that ATM machine but my guess is Euro's and American dollars will be welcome as well although the US dollar is weak right now. ouch.

I think I am near to Vaci Street, although not sure, exactly, how near. It's a lovely pedestrian walk, the main thoroughfare of Pest, full of upscale shops, restaurants, cafes and beautiful houses. Ah, the houses...I expect to take loads of photos of the houses but, probably, won't do a lot of shopping as "upscale shops" really doesn't turn my crank.
~ nearby walk-up restaurant ~
There are many delights in Europe, especially eastern Europe, and the above is one. It's what I call a 'walk-up restaurant' and those "things" hanging are meat. It appeared one could order a sandwich and the meat would be trimmed and placed into a bread slice. It looked delicious and I'll try before I leave but I'm not too adventuresome with food and water while traveling alone because it's horrid to become ill and have no one to care (smile).  Hungary hasn't been ruined by the European Union, yet, and these open air restaurants still exist. A few years ago, when Dave and I were in Romania, we visited an old feller who made hooch also known as white lightening. He had a grand still going and he was about snookered as well but it was a great visit. We've since heard he had to tear down his still because of EU rules...boooooo! hisssssss! Let the man earn his living, I say. Moderation in all things is what the Good Book says and I believe Paul, when he says in Timothy,  "a little wine is good for the stomach's sake" but let me hasten to repeat...moderation in all things. There are those for whom drink is the devil's tool and it's best to stay away.

Today was spent, mainly getting over jet lag and it's now almost 3 a.m. I've had two splendid naps and am headed for bed yet again where I'll sleep a lot longer. Timi, her husband, daughter and I, are going to church in the morning and then they will be my tour guides. Bless her, Timi, is bi-lingual and speaks/writes English so tomorrow will be fabulous! Er, I mean to say, later today. 

Blessings ~ travel ~ safe flight ~ Valencia, a Lufthansa employee ~ my apartment ~ adventure ~


  1. Thanks for sharing your visit!!! I can't wait to see/hear more! Stay safe.

  2. OHHHH! Can I travel along vicariously?!! I can't wait for the next post.
    I know you're putting that travel journal to good use!

  3. Thank you for sharing your travel adventure. My great grandma was from Budapest. Blessings!

  4. I am so jealous! During my 14 years in the USAF I begged, pleaded and even volunteered for less desirable duty assignments just to get to Europe and where did I end up? Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East! I did manage one short layover for repairs and refueling at Weisbaden night! please take loads of photos. I'm touring Europe through your viewfinder!

  5. What a journey you are on...looking forward to the next post!

  6. Oooooo how exciting for you!! Oh those buildings are gorgeous! I just love old places that were built by those who actually cared. They have such sole and beauty that is not seen in the buildings that are slapped together today. I'm so excited for you that you get to do this! I can't wait for another update! :D

  7. Sandra, I'm so excited to see Budapest through your eyes. Safe travels.

  8. Well, you're not really alone with your friends there...thank goodness! I really admire you for doing this, Sandra. There are so many women who wouldn't leave the front porch alone. US Air, America West, those horrid little puddle jumpers can add misery X10, believe me, I know. And, Charlotte, NC is not especially my favorite airport either. Have a lovely holiday, take lots of pics for everyone at home, and eat the Hungarian food, it's soooo good.
    Sending love, bunnie-girl....

  9. What an adventure and you are so brave! Timi sounds so happy to be seeing you. PICTURES please? I love the info and pictures you post about your travels Sandra. Looking forward to many more wonderful posts allowing me to travel vicariously through you.

    BTW, Timi has some very interesting sheep...check out their fiber.

  10. Hello Sandra:
    How amazed we are that you are HERE!! And we are so pleased to learn that you are finding your way around and enjoying yourself despite the minor problem of Forint versus Dollar versus Euro!!

    If you do have time on your busy schedule, then we should be delighted to meet you perhaps for a coffee or something. We could easily meet outside the New York Hotel, not far from your apartment, and then take you to our favourite, traditional coffee house. But we quite understand if you are already fully booked. You can, of course, contact us via email:

    Whatever, have a very happy time.

  11. How fantastic that you get to travel to new lands. I hope your travels are safe and fun. And I hope you feel more rested by the time you read this!

  12. Fantastic! Looking forward to reading more of your adventure. God bless. :)

  13. ahhhh - so lovely :)


  14. Oh Sandra~
    How wonderful! I think you are going to need more than one travel journal!
    Praying travel mercies and joy!

  15. I truly enjoyed reading your Hungarian adventure!

  16. Lovely to see the buildings and hear about your recent travels. I can tell you're enjoying yourself and look forward to the next installment.
    By the way, I think that conical meat hanging in the window is a Kebab. We have lots of those here in England these days.

  17. its a wonderful city isn't it???
    I hope we can meet... the knitting meetings these days are at the california cafe by the basilika,really only a short walk from where you are staying...
    anett (peony)

  18. Hi Sandra - I am so thankful for your safe flight and for the start of your wonderful journey. Your photos and narrative are amazing. I am with you all the way my friend - I will be checking in often to see what you are doing! Enjoy!!



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