Friday, June 1, 2012

The fence isn't sausage even in Budapest

Raining in Budapest

Rain in Budapest.  Me and our tour guide Katalin protected by umbrellas.
Woman washing window in Budapest
Sunrise was at 4:50am today, but it was the rain that awoke me this morning in Budapest.   My hotel room windows were open to the courtyard and the rain was steady on the roof tiles outside my window.

Pink polka dotted suitcase arrives in Budapes
After a late arrival from Frankfurt last night, I got up this morning at 7:00 local time but it was midnight on my internal clock as it was back home in Louisiana.  As you can see below my pink polka dotted bag arrived safely and was easily "spotted" on the luggage carousel.  Never underestimate the power of a little duct tape and spray paint!

The fence isn't always sausage

Our tour guide, Katalin gave us historical insights as well as art, culture, architecture and the "state of Hungary" lessons this morning.

While she told us that native Hungarians often pay mortgages on their apartments in Budapest of only $3.00 or $4.00 per month, they do pay what amounts to maintenance fees of approximately $130.00 per month that then get pooled and saved for renovation on the aging historic buildings.  While these flats are often only 800 square feet, they seem more spacious with their high ceilings and large windows opening onto fabulous boulevards and vistas along cobblestone streets.

She says that foreigners can move here and rent "a little something" for about $200 or $250 a month and that for $500 a month one can get something quite nice and large.  But for $1000 per month, she reports that you can get a place with an 18 karat gold bathtub!  Now I don't need the gold tub, but I sure wouldn't mind a flat in Budapest.

Our guide, Kathy (Katalin), says that some young couples move outside the city so that they can build a new home but then they are committed to a one and a half hour commute into the city of Budapest each day for work as they have no large highways or freeways here and the narrow winding streets make for lengthy traffic jams.  Then she quickly added, "so you see the fence is not sausage."  The fence may not be sausage, but the gulyas and csirpetke noodles were excellent at lunch.

General who fought off the Turks 

Budapest farmer's market

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