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Short Skirts and Tight Jeans . . .

Not That I Have A Problem With That.

Breakfast this morning was splitting a Chocolate Croissant that we had bought previously at a bakery, and coffee and orange juice from the Aquavit Terrace Breakfast Bar.

Then at 8:30 we were out and about on a tour of Panoramic Budapest.

Panoramic Budapest

Some of this we’d already seen since it was near our hotel, but that just gave us more free time for exploring on our own.

We did learn a lot about the history of Budapest and Hungary from our guide. Later we stopped off at a pharmacy for a few things before heading back to our rendezvous spot, and then back to the ship.

When we were ready to board we found we had to pass through another Viking ship that was moored between us and the dock. Apparently this is not unusual, due to so many different cruise ship lines and a limited amount of dock space along the river. Sometimes as many as four ships are dock side by side.

Then after another great lunch, we were off on our afternoon adventure, a trip to the famous Grand, or Central Market. Rather than a bus, this time we all took the electric tram 4 stops down the line to the Market.

Tram To Grand Market

The Market turned out be an enormous glass-roofed building, with three floors of shops selling mostly food items.

Grand Market 1

There were a couple of places selling souvenirs for the tourists, but most of the people seemed to be locals doing their food shopping.

Maybe the most interesting was the way meat was displayed and sold. Nothing was neatly packaged and wrapped in plastic like the States, but laid out in neat, raw rows, with pretty much any type of fresh sausage or meat that you could want.

Grand Market 2

Grand Market 3

Grand Market 4

Even the fish were fresh. They were kept in large tanks, with many different species all lumped in together, packed in so tightly that they could hardly move. You just pointed out what you wanted, and they would ‘fish’ it out and then kill and clean it on the spot. Now that’s fresh.

Viking had a number of ‘tastings’ set up for us around the area, letting us try different types of honey, sausage, pastries, wine cheese, and pickled veggies and fruits. It seems like the Hungarians will pickle just about anything. And it’s all good.

Getting back to the ship about 5pm, we met up for dinner about 7 with the group of friends we accumulated. And a diverse group it is.

We’ve got a couple from Memphis that I mentioned yesterday, a couple from San Francisco, another from Illinois, two couples from Australia, Perth and Melbourne, and another couple from Houston. She’s Filipino and he’s Thai.

For dinner they have two different menu sections. The one on the left never changes, with Angus Ribeye, Roasted Chicken, Poached Salmon, and Vegetarian Lasagna.

But on the right side are regional specialties that change every day. Each side also has its own Starters, I.e. Appetizers and desserts as well. And you can mix and match as much as you want, jumping from one side to the other. You can even get one entrée from both sides if you want.

Tonight Jan and I both ordered from the Regional menu, she getting the Seared Divers Scallops,

Seared Diver's Scollaps

while I got the Hungarian Goulash.

Skirnir Goulash

For dessert Jan got the fresh-made Peach Sorbet from the Regional offerings, while I got the Bourbon Crème Brule from the Standard side.

Bourbon Creme Brule

Every evening before dinner they have the Port Talk, a synopsis of life on the ship and what’s happening the next day. One thing discussed was getting back the ship too late.

They will wait for you a maximum of 5 minutes, and then they’re pulling away from the dock. The reason for this are the 67 locks they have to work through on the Danube (which is not Blue by the way, but a dirty greyish brown), the Main, and the Rhine on the way to Amsterdam.

The waterways are so busy that you have to have an appointment for your lock transition time. And if you miss your window you will have to wait, throwing you minutes, or even hours behind schedule, each delay cascading into the next one.

So they will leave you.

I don’t know who makes the fashion rules in Hungarian, but I’d like to shake their hand. Because the clothing de rigueur for young, beautiful women here seems to be skin-tight sprayed-on jeans, or short skirts with or without leggings, but both in high heels.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Not a thing.

That’s about it for Monday, so keep checking back for our latest adventures.

jkhkjhk


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