I thank those of you who have written to me and hope the others will do so shortly.
The word for the day is HOT. It has been near 100 degrees here; just awful for sightseeing; the soles of my feet are so sore and blistery.
We started our hot day by touring Parliament. (Jeanie: thanks for letting me know I could book this tour through the hotel; much better than waiting on line in the sun. Also I was originally going to do this yesterday but it was the last day Parliament was in session for this season and they didn’t have any tours. Had we schlepped there, I would have been annoyed. It’s so good to have friends who have traveled where one is before.) The Budapest Parliament building was modeled after the one in London and surely resembles it outside; see photo. However, I don’t recall the interior in London being as ornate as the one in Budapest. We were taken to the House of Lords chamber which is no longer used in Budapest. It is shaped in a horse shoe shape to aid in acoustics since it was built before microphones were in use. We saw the original crown of St. Stephen in the cuppola. Upon seeing it, I realized that it appears on many Hungarian stamps (from early in the last century; boy, did that sound strange to write!) and only now do I understand the significance. Funny story: outside of the House of Lords chamber was a long row of numbered indentations which corresponded to the seats in the chamber. The Lords would leave their cigars there when they went inside. The length of ash that accumulated indicated how long the speech had been; apparently longer was better for the speaker. Nowadays no smoking is allowed in the building. Photo is attached.
After our cruise (did I mention it was hot?) we took a tram to the Great Market. It is huge, possibly the biggest one I’ve ever been to. One row has nothing but paprika. By then, I was not only hot but hungry so we went looking for an air conditioned restaurant; we didn’t care what they served as long as it was cold inside. From there we walked down Vaci Utca which is a pedestrian street filled with stores and restaurants; very touristy. We walked it to the end where I wanted to see Parisi Udvar Gallery; most of the stores are gone but there is a beautiful stained glass dome. Marty didn’t get why I wanted to see this but he gamely came along.
At this point we had basically had it (did I mention it was hot?), but I don’t know how to stop, so we made one more stop: the Museum of Applied Art. The building itself is like an art nouveau exhibit; really beautiful. Their temporary exhibit was on art nouveau furniture and it was great. Then I gave up and we took the metro back to the hotel. You know, it was awfully hot today!
For dinner, I made a major exception. Marty didn’t want to eat Middle European food every night. I had seen an ad for Rickshaw-an Asian restaurant (yeah, I know, I know) which had won several dining awards and was in a hotel (I know, I know). With great trepidation on my part, we went. Well, you never know. It was great. We started with an appetizer of 4 different items: vegetable spring roll, shrimp, sliced pork and chicken satay; each came with its own sauce: mustard, peanut, plum and chili. All were delicious. Main courses were 5 spice tiger prawn (delicious) and wok fried duck (good) and saffron rice. Dessert was a scoop of sorbet that combined coconut and pineapple; delicious and refreshing especially after such a hot day. Did I tell you it was hot today?
All in all, a lovely day, even though it was a bit hot.
Marty and I have our own traditions when we travel. Invariably, I will buy theatre tickets on line for some time in the future and invariably he will be appointed to a new case. I am delighted to report that already each of us has fulfilled our duties!
So that’s it for today. I hear there’s a cold spell coming; it’s only supposed to hit 79 tomorrow.
Keep those e.mails coming.
The Hot Reporter (not to be confused with the Hot Teen Tart…)