Eastern European River Cruise

The initial travel day is usually one of the hardest. Yesterday was no exception. In my vast experience I have come to the conclusion not to rely on flights from Syracuse to my international connection. We have missed too many. We have found that renting a car one way is the best and least stressful of options. That being said, driving over the George Washington bridge, through the Bronx and into Jamaica Queens is not for the faint of heart either. This trip we are flying British Air.   The lounge at JFK was lovely and provided just the right amount of red wine pre flight.   While we were waiting to board our flight to Heathrow, we witnessed quite a brew ha ha with a flight heading to Tokyo. The gate agents were all on their walkie talkies and running around like squirrels dodging cars in the road. Come to find out, a passenger that they had been paging had been found but was WAAAY too inebriated to walk. It took 6 people and one of those special wheel chairs they use to get down the narrow aisle of the plane, in order to get him onboard. Imagine being one of his seatmates. 

The flight was uneventful, and was not quite long enough to get good sleep. The flight attendants were fantastic and who doesn't love a British accent.? "May I get you some more coffee, love?" 

We had allowed close to 2 hours to make our connection in Heathrow but who knew terminal 5 was miles away from terminal 3. We took a bus and then were given the privilege to go through their “fast track” or TSA pre security.   If you are given the opportunity, run to the other line! They took Tim’s backpack apart and were doodling around with it for over 30 minutes. We made it to our Budapest flight and arrived to our hotel by early afternoon. The view from our room is spectacular.

Tonight, dinner is with our friend Gabriela Dolinska, a crew member from our Azamara Panama Canal cruise in 2008. I will be able to impress her with my new grasp of the Hungarian language- more on that later.

We stopped for a uszonna (snack) right along the river. Andrea would be so proud of me, as I ordered my wine in Hungarian and had my first Hortobágyi palacsinta. Tim had traditional Gulyás soup.

We attended our pre cruise information session to realize we are at least 25 years younger than everyone else traveling. This should make for interested blog entries. 

We met up with Gabriela’s friend Zoltan (love the name) and walked to dinner at the Imperator Restaurant, which featured live music and Hungarian dancers. It was wonderful to catch up with her and meet a new friend. I ordered Halászlé. It’s a fish stew, so the Otter was happy. 

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