In October of 2019, while we were in Salzburg, Austria, Dan turned 60. Although we celebrated at the time, we didn’t give him his official gift at the time. Michael has made him a book of photos from the many years of their friendship. In no special order, these are just a few of those images.
We rose and packed up in Budapest – pretty much our final pack for travel home. We had one last coffee and danish at the Paris coffee shop then headed back to collect our bags and head out for the train. We took the bus to the train station no problem at all. We arrived quite early, so I ventured to the Spar to spend our last few Forints on water, yogurt, beer, goulash spice paste and some treats for Picasso.
The train ride was about 3 hours, then after some fumbling we managed to find the train to our pension. It was quite accurately a 3* as rated – but it was clean and very conveniently located close to the CAT to catch in the morning for our flight home.
Despite our snacks on the train, we were hungry so we wandered out and found a wonderful little cafe and had some ice cream cups . The Chicago ice cream was a great find with dark chocolate, nuts and whiskey. Then to another coffee shop for a coffee and a shared strudel. The area had some lovely shops – a very nice Henkel knife shop and some unique Swiss Army knives.
Back at the room we watched Raonic lose in straight sets – the match was being held broadcast live from right here in Vienna! Then back out for dinner where Michael found a good cheap spot just down the road – thank you to google once again. Back in the room we checked in online and had to force ourselves to stay awake till 9 pm – how can doing nothing get you so tired!
The next morning we rose early. The pension staff were very helpful and even served breakfast 1/2 early in the morning for us as we needed to leave by 7 am. We caught the CAT to the airport no problem, although unfortunately we could not check in at the CAT station and needed to do so at the airport.
And then the flight home, where we again had pre-ordered gluten free meals (highly recommended!) All went smooth until landing when I proceeded to leave my phone on the plane. Luckily I caught myself right at the baggage carousel and the staff were very helpful at returning it – they already had found it by the time I reported it.
The last disappointing note on our trip – all of our Hungarian sausage was confiscated at the border. Until one week prior it would have been fine – but new restrictions went in place banning importing of all meat, even cured meats. In hindsight, we should have eaten it right then!
And that’s it for Europe this year, another trip in the books.
Day 20 was Monday October 21 and it was voting day back in Canada! We had precast our vote before we left; so early was our voting that we had to hand write the name of our candidate on the voting card! Given that the polls didn’t close until about 2 am local time, we didn’t get find out the results till Tuesday (no, we didn’t stay up with bated breath!)
We decided to try a new coffee spot which was a bit of a walk, out past the ferris wheel. We had a very good coffee and amazing treats; a unique pecan pie which was dark with ground nuts, a spinach feta croissant with creamy feta, a salted croissant, and best of all a poppy seed/nuts/apple pastry topped with plum jam. Breakfasts here have been a tad decadent! Then off for an end of trip shopping escapade. We found an amazing insect themed shop where I picked up a ‘dung beetle’ bottle opener for Andrea (she does love beetles). The walk back to the market took us past an intriguing tribute to Michael Jackson – no idea why it was there, but clearly there was a fan or two nearby! Back at the market I picked up a Christmas table runner for myself, a doll for Jade and some food for dinner.
After dropping our collection off at the apartment, we were off to the Gellert Spa – one final day of respite before heading home. Here again there were many pools, saunas and steam baths. The indoor pools were beautifully tiled in mosaic domes. Unfortunately as it was so late in the season the wave pool and outdoor fountains were shut down. But that didn’t stop our enjoyment as we did several ‘cycles’ of hot / cold dunks and also enjoyed the non -seasonal weather with some sun bathing. It was 21 C in the shade, 31 C in the sun – amazing.
After another day of decadent indulgence, we used the remaining spa deposit money to pick up some wine and headed back for a home cooked dinner of sausages, sauerkraut, and roasted veggies. We were sure we had over bought, but alas we polished it all off no problem at all. We did manage to resist dessert and after a test run of the a new sitcom “Forever” (from Amazon Prime), we called it a day. And so our last full day in Budapest came to an end.