Sunday was a travel day but a pretty easy one! We bade farewell to Vienna with and easy morning in Gillian's airy flat (Gillian had gone to Scotland for the weekend but her daughter Abla was home from Japan). We walked to the tram (for a change and a different perspective) and rumbled around some more "ordinary" areas of Vienna for about an hour on our way to the larger train station.
Apart from a dash along the long, long platform in and icy rain shower, we caught the train easily and, despite a slightly cramped, crowded, backwards facing seat the trip here was fine and, as intended gave us the chance to see something of the countryside. It was quite flat (a very old river valley tends to be!), green with lots of wind farms and remote tiny villages. The woman adjacent to us was travelling with a little white dog on her seat and a cat in a travel box on the rack!!!
Budapest Keleti station was a blast from the Eastern European past! Very crowded, ancient with money changing spivs clutching wads of notes touting for business. Once you managed to get outside onto the more modern square with its accesses to the Metro and the street things looked up and it was easy enough to find a Bancomat, a very welcoming tourist office and get onto the Metro for the short trip to our flat. It was Sunday afternoon, bright, sunny and warm when we emerged from the Metro at Deac Ferenk ter and rumbled our bags across a lovely park with skateboarders, families and people enjoying the sun towards the neo-classical district we are to call home for a short few days!
The flat is wonderful!!! It is in and Art Deco building with 15ft ceilings (yes 15ft!) and is literally right on the main tourist mall (no traffic!) leading from the river to the Cathedral. It is humongous and sparsely furnished but has everything we need and is very clean. Good shower, bed and "to die for" stone balcony overlooking the mall and the views - we'll be having a champagne or two out there and thinking of the peasants! There was a slight hiccup getting in as Kevin, our host, was late and took a littlele getting here but it was sorted pretty quickly!!
We headed out around 6 and caught our first glimpse of the beauty of this very compact and quite entrancing city. A stroll along the Danube (not too blue at this time of the year) and up into the Jewish Quarter to a bustling restaurant filled with (mainly young) tourists and locals where our basic needs (beer and food) were more than adequately met! It being quite easy to find your way around, we wandered home via a circuitous route through quite, well-lit streets. A red wine on the balcony and a comfortable bed .... life is sweet!