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

Visit to a tourist trap

Budapest area - Szentendre

Friday, October 1, 1999

Leaving Buda, we took to the highway north. Where were we going? Had we seen all of Budapest so quickly?

About 40 miles north of Budapest along the Danube River is the "tourist-trap" village of Szentendre - that's what our guide called it(!), so I wondered why he took us there, especially with less than two days in the area. (I think he owns a share in the restaurant where we ate dinner.) It was actually quite charming. Our guide told us we were on our own until 5:30, and where to meet him then.


Szentendre was quite picturesque, and I enjoyed wandering. When we arrived, around 4 PM, the streets were jammed with souvenir stalls and tourists. By the time we started dinner, around 5:30, the place was almost empty, and much more pleasant. The river is the Danube.

This was the only place during our trip that I actually shopped a little - I found an "Antiquities Shop" that had some old European poster stamps, and bought a few for my collection. With more time I'm sure I could have spent a lot in Hungary, as they definitely know how to woo the tourist dollar.

View from a hilltop overlooking the town.

Just a nice view down a small lane.

These ladies wouldn't pose for me, else this would have made a great photo. The woman inside the window has pulled her head back in. A moment before they were deep in conversation.

The streets started to empty as the clock struck 5.

We assembled at 5:30 at an establishment on the main square, a peasant-style restaurant with good food, good service, and live traditional music. It was all part of our tour, so I've no idea what it would have cost, but it was quite good. We were at the end of our journey, and everyone was in a good mood.

Dinner started with Original Goulash, a soup of beef, potatoes, etc., heavily spiced with paprika. Not bad, and a welcome change.

Dad serving his goulash. We each got one of these pots with a flame under it. There was enough for a meal of just the soup, but then we had several more courses.

Dessert was this chocolate crepe flambé, not only the best dessert of the trip, but one of the best ever!


On our way back to the bus, Dad and I trailed the group. They couldn't leave without us, could they? I saw a Marzipan store, and had to look in. They were about to close (I'm surprised they were open so late at all), but stayed open a few minutes more while Dad and I looked around.

"Marzipan," said Dad. "I heard of it when I was a child. It was rare and expensive, something for very special occasions."

"So you've never had any?" I replied.


Dad is not a candy eater, but I bought him some anyway, a gift box of marzipan shaped into animals and flowers and god knows what all. For myself I bought two bars of Niederegger dark chocolate-covered marzipan. Heaven.


Later I found out there was a wonderful streetcar museum in Szentendre. If only I had known. They close at 5, but an hour would have been better than nothing.


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