Tales from the River – Budapest, Hungary, Oct 13, 2011

Barging down the Danube toward Budapest! By the way, it is pronounced Boo-da-pesht here in Europe. I am really going to have to think about how I pronounce words when I get home! We’ve been listening to Europeans speak English for 2 weeks, with their intonations, and I have started answering them in the same way.

We did barge all this morning and took lots of great pictures of Budapest from the river. We are having a new roof put on our house when we get back and we even got a picture of roofers fixing a roof in Budapest. Ed is planning
on sending this to our roofer when we get home, just for fun.

We took a bus tour of Budapest. Buda was on one side of the river and Pest was on the other. Buda is on the hilly side and Pest is totally flat! Once the Chain Bridge was built, it brought the two sides of the river together and Buda, Pest, and Obuda finally became one city at the end of the 19th century.

We toured the gorgeous St. Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion, sitting on top of one of the hills in Buda. It really brings WWII home when you can still see the bullet holes in the buildings! The Russians freed the city from Nazi occupation and there are still many remnants of the Russians, including some of their cars and monuments honoring them. We even saw a man sitting beside St. Matthias, playing country-western songs on a guitar, in leather boots, leather pants, leather jacket, and cowboy hat. When we got close, we heard him talking to passersby in Hungarian, so we figured he wasn’t a Texas transplant!

Ed needed some hearing aid batteries so we stopped by their “supermarket” to check it out. He had already tried an apothecary shop in Vienna with no luck so we had hopes that they sold them in a supermarket. No luck there either but another passenger offered Ed 2 of his, so Ed could make it back home without me yelling at him! Yes, Ed thought he had packed a second package of batteries but couldn’t find them anywhere. I figure he’ll find them when we unpack at home. But it was interesting to go into this store. There were exactly 2 aisles of groceries and they weren’t long aisles either! There were two aisles of home goods, such as paper towels and cleaning stuff. There was a very small area of candy and snacks and 1 checkout counter. My appreciation of Target and “our” supermarkets suddenly deepened, believe me!

Tonight, we had our final dinner with two friends we made on the boat, Pat and Sandy. They are from the state of Washington and live on one of the islands off the coast from Seattle. I really look forward to keeping in touch with them! Sandy’s mother had just passed away right before the trip and I could really relate to what she was going through. And we will be planning a trip to Seattle in the future to visit them.

Ok, I didn’t think I would be singing much on this trip but I had a blast after dinner tonight. I had only brought my practice disk so I had limited songs but Robbie, our ship musician, was kind enough to play them through his electric keyboard setup for me.

  • The Look of Love
  • Willow Weep For Me
  • Birth of the Blues
  • Cry Me a River

The bar wasn’t crowded but there were quite a few people still enjoying our last night on the ship. One woman asked me if I sang in a bar at home so I guess I did okay. I did get quite a lot of applause, which I really appreciated. Robbie even said he would love to sing with me sometime and that he loved my voice. Ok, that did make my day and I went to bed a very happy camper. Hmmm, since Robbie added some embellishments on the piano while I was singing to my CD, can I now say I have sung with a professional musician on the Danube in Budapest? Oh, hell, why not???


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