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Just back!! Our VIKING LOFN-omenal "Passage to Eastern Europe" Cruise. 10/23 to11/2/2023 - Full trip report with tons of pix!


Sleep7
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Showered the overnight plane grime off of us and headed out for an early dinner at "Carmel."  A kosher restaurant in the Jewish section right near the Dohany Synagogue. 
We don't keep Kosher at home but we always like to try a local Kosher restaurant when we are away.
The meal was fantastic.. I highly recommend! 
The food, the service, the wine and the warm hospitality was one of the best we have ever had on vacation.  Started with a cup of goulash and we then shared a HUGE mixed plate for 2 and had tons of leftovers. 
We were going to bring it back  for lunch the next day but saw a homeless person on our way back to the hotel and gave it to them instead. 
It's always nice to do a mitzvah. which means a good deed in Hebrew.
 
 
 
 
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🇭🇺 October 23 is "Hungarian Republic Day" and the Chain Bridge was festively lit up to celebrate the holiday. 🇭🇺

 

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And so day one of our "Passage to Eastern Europe" has just passed us by... it was perfect.❤️

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We met in the lobby at 8:45 for the included "Panoramic Budapest" tour. 

The tour was conducted almost entirely on the Pest side of the city. 
As explained by our guide.. it seems the mayor is very "green" and has severely limited the number of tour buses on the Buda side. 
It actually worked out quite well for us since we had been in Budapest 2 years ago and had been on a tour that concentrated mostly on the Buda side of the city. 
For us it was "best to see Pest" and that's just what we did.👍
We drove past the Semmelweis Medical History Museum.  Sam recognized the name as the father of "wash your hands before you treat patients" medicine.
From Wikipedia:
Ignaz Semmelweis, a 19th-century Hungarian Jewish doctor who was known as the pioneer of hand-washing. He discovered the wonders of the now-basic hygienic practice as a way to stop the spread of infection in 1847, during an experiment in a Vienna hospital's maternity ward.
 
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The Great Market Hall built in 1897 is an impressive mix of souvenirs, groceries and prepared food. There is lots to see and do and eat.. bought some paprika as gifts.🎁

 

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For lunch we shared a Hungarian tasting menu entree at the cafeteria upstairs in the front of the Market Hall.  I'm not a fan of standing and eating and it was one of the few food outlets there with plenty of seating.

 

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Hey Sleep7,

I was by Trader's Joes in Plainview today and I thought I might spot you, but alas you are a home writing another great travel blog.  Thanks.

In May I did the Capitals of Eastern Europe with Viking.  I enjoy reading your observations of some of the things we saw.

Now....please continue!

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1 minute ago, MikeyB said:

Hey Sleep7,

I was by Trader's Joes in Plainview today and I thought I might spot you, but alas you are a home writing another great travel blog.  Thanks.

In May I did the Capitals of Eastern Europe with Viking.  I enjoy reading your observations of some of the things we saw.

Now....please continue!

😊Hi MikeyB!

I thought of you when we were there!

I know you had said you were going on a similar cruise this year.. I thought it was the fall though.. didn't realize it was May. What did you think?

I loved it. I loved Belgrade and Bucharest the most.. so interesting.

We just landed at around 5pm yesterday and I'm soooooo pooped.

The connecting flights home from Bucharest felt like FOREVER.

I wasn't at TJ's in Plainview but did drag myself out to Shoprite in Commack this afternoon.😁

Thanks for your sweet words.. I will continue writing tomorrow.

Hope it brings back fun memories.  Have a great night!

 

 

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  • CC Help Michell changed the title to Just back!! Our VIKING LOFN-omenal "Passage to Eastern Europe" Cruise. 10/23 to11/2/2023 - Full trip report with tons of pix!
Our afternoon's activity was the highlight of Budapest for me.. the outdoor Szechenyi Baths.
It was about an hour's walk straight down the main boulevard Andrássy út to the city park where the baths are located.
We brought towels from the hotel (shhh.. returned them of course) and wore our bathing suits under our clothes.  We rented a "cabin" where we could change and lock our stuff up with a waterproof electronic key that you wore on your wrist like a watch. Everyone who worked there was super helpful as we were a bit like lost little sheep.
 
 
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On our way back to the hotel we passed the zoo and the famous Gundels.. both in the city park near the baths.

I love zoos but we just didn't have time and it was raining.

I used the one dry towel as a shawl.. made quite a fashion statement.😁

If you don't want to walk you can of course take a taxi or download the Bolt app which is like Uber.

 

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By the time we got back to the hotel we were pooped and hungry (and in the mood for pizza after 2 days of meat goulash) so we asked the Viking reps for a suggestion. They gave us a winner!

Right across the street from the hotel was "Ristorante Gelateria Mercato Balaton" an upscale Italian restaurant that had GREAT pizza, eggplant parm and a deconstructed Caesar salad that was outstanding.

 

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WEDNESDAY - OCTOBER 23. Last day in Budapest.
Luggage out by 8am and 8000 other guests at breakfast and our day had begun!
We chose the optional Jewish Tour and it was wonderful.
I do think we were one of the few (maybe the only?) Jewish people on it which rather surprised me but was so glad to see the interest of others in the history.  Very heartwarming. 
 
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First stop was Dohany Synagogue, which is the second largest Synagogue in the world and the largest in Europe with over 3000 seats.
 
From Wikipedia:
The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style.
The Dohány Street Synagogue complex consists of the Great Synagogue, the Heroes' Temple, the graveyard, the Memorial, and the Jewish Museum, which was built on the site on which Theodor Herzl's house of birth stood. Dohány Street itself, a leafy street in the city center, carries strong Holocaust connotations as it constituted the border of the Budapest Ghetto.
 
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The museum was a treasure trove of both sacred and every day objects of what was once a thriving Jewish community in Budapest.

 

 

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Our guide was teriffic.. meaningful explanations for everything.

 

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