Day 1 - San Francisco to Prague
Day 2 - Kyiv from the air
Day 2 - Boryspil International Airport
Day 2 - First Views Of Kyiv
Day 3 - Guided Tour of Kyiv
Day 3 - Kyiv - On our own
Day 3 - Night train from Kyiv to L'viv
Day 4 - L'viv with Father Ken
Day 5 - Radekhiv
Day 5 - Vytkiv
Day 6 - Trip to Kolomyia
Day 6 - Halych
Day 6 - Ivano-Frankivs'k
Day 7 - Bazaar at Kosiv
Day 7 - Between Kosiv and Kolomyia
Day 7 - Kolomyia
Day 8 - Zvenyhorod
Day 8 - Back in L'viv
Day 9 - L'viv with Orest and Vitali
Day 10 - L'viv - Morning walk with Dad
Day 10 - L'viv on my own
Day 11 - L'viv with Dad
Day 11 - Night train to Budapest
Day 12 - Budapest
Day 13 - Budapest
Day 13 - Szentendre
Day 14 - Homeward bound

September 19 - October 2, 1999

Arrival in Budapest, Metro ride, Night tour by boat

Budapest center - Keleti station at top right

Thursday, September 30, 1999

Our trip within Hungary went smoothly, until we reached the outskirts of Budapest, where we stopped for half an hour, then proceded very slowly, with more stops and various maneuvers. I thought at first that they were breaking the train up, routing parts to different places, but finally our car attendant explained that they were doing track work, and we were being re-routed to a different station.

Oops! Our Budapest tour guide was supposed to meet us at the station and transfer us to our hotel. How would he know where to find us? Disaster loomed.


Eventually we reached a train station somewhere in Budapest. Our guide was waiting, and reassured us we wouldn't miss any of the planned activities. I was too exhausted to care. Train travel was losing its allure.


At the time I was too tired to look at signs, but this enlargement from the second photo above shows that we were at Keleti station, which is where we were supposed to be (we came via Debrecen, I saw the sign when we stopped there.) So I don't know what all the detouring we did was about.


We reached our accomodations, the Astoria, an elegant old-style hotel in central Budapest ( circle at middle left on map) around 2 PM, had lunch and orientation at 2:30, then free time until 6 PM. My neighbor at lunch proceeded to bore me for ten minutes with his opinions on what was wrong in Ukraine. I finally had to tell him to shut up, as our guide was trying to end the meal and give us instructions for the rest of the day -and frankly, I was tired of Ukraine and eager to see Budapest! The man was offended, of course, and in spite of my apology later, he didn't speak to me for the remaining day and a half of our stay - a blessing.

I persuaded Dad to try another Metro ride. Like the one in Kyiv, the Budapest Metro has the incredibly long, steep, fast escalators, Soviet-style - two like this to reach the platform level! Someone told me they built them that way as bomb shelters - could be.

I got some very strange - and hostile - looks for taking pictures in the subway, which surprised me. Hungary looked and felt like Western Europe, prosperous and modern. But it too was part of the Soviet bloc, and apparently some of the people there have not adjusted to the change.


As best I can tell, we entered the Metro at the Ferenciek tere station, and rode one or two stops south on the blue line, to either Kálvin tér or Ferenc körút.

My intention had been to simply walk straight back to our hotel, a matter of several blocks, but emerging from the subway, I was lost, and we wandered around for a while until I managed to find us on the map. Dad was patient. We wound up at the intersection of Jozsef and Baross (lowest circle on map), and from there I was able to plot a course home.

All I can say about these two photos is that they are from that area, and their subjects impressed me enough that I took the pictures. The inscription on the memorial is just 1914-1918, so it is some sort of commemoration of WWI. Hey, I'd had no sleep.

At 6 PM our guide collected us again, and we walked to the Danube to take a night-time boat tour of the sights. It was pleasant. Budapest is a gorgeous city, by night or day. That's the Chain Bridge.

Buda Palace by night

Hotel Gellert, deluxe old spa hotel on the Buda side (Buda and Pest were separate cities until 1872. Buda is hilly, green, residential, the part of the city with the oldest, most historical sites. Pest is the modern business area).


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Created -- 03/22/2007 Revised -- 03/22/2007