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Day 4  - Budapest to Vienna

Day 4 in Budapest started off with once again the identical breakfast - kinda weird. The scrambled eggs, fruit and toast I can understand, but the same second set of scrambled eggs with bacon bits,  same miniature sausages, same baked beans, same salami, same flavor cheese, same juice choice, same potato croquettes, same type bread, same exact pastries. NO variation, interesting!

Now get the picture on the right - this is our shower, what is missing? Correct! NO sill or shower pan just a hole in the ground. The rational is that the water will run the slope into the drain and no need for sill because the rest of the bathroom will remain dry.

WRONG! No matter how much or how little water you use when you shower it still runs over the bathroom floor because the drain can't keep up and the floor is not sloped very much.

That's why they invented shower bases. But no one told the Hungarians about them apparently. Just get me more towels please.

Public restrooms are relatively easily available throughout the downtown area near the attractions, unlike other European cities I have been to. These restrooms are immaculately clean unlike several other European cities I have been to. There is one catch though, they are manned by an attendant and have a set fee of HUF200 ($1.00) per person to use the facilities. Could get expensive if you have diarrhea.

Pictured on the left is the typical Soviet Era public transport system that is still running, but slowly being replaced by more modern trains.

The other strange thing is if you eat at a restaurant and pay the bill in cash, your change is less than it should be because the waiter automatically deducts a tip. Not much, less than 5% because they already add 12% to most bills as a service fee. Just strange. Pay by credit card no deduction but many restaurants of the smaller variety don't take plastic.

We are traveling to Vienna by train so we took a cab to the train station ($10). We could have taken the Metro but we would need one train change and having to man-handle our luggage down escalators and through 3 stations to save less than $7 didn't seem worth while.

The train is very comfortable (our package included 1st Class tickets) they have a dining car with good looking meals and a selection of beers. As you can see we passed on the food as we'd had breakfast, but did not pass on the beers! The train is Austrian, so beers are good and even though we're paying in Euros, the price was a little less than $4 for a tall beer (500ml). Exchange rate from $ to Euros is $1.25 = EU1.00

The train ride is about 3 hours as the train runs at 100MPH. They have power points at every seat and free Wifi although today it was down.

After arriving at the train station we knew our hotel was not too far away so we took a cab rather than trying to figure out a bus or metro. EU20 later ($25 - I thought that was pricy for the less than 15 minute ride) we arrived at our hotel.  While a lot more modern than Budapest the rooms are a extremely small and NO FREE Wifi like we had in Budapest! It is $12 a day and only one user at a time (we have a laptop and a tablet, bummer!)

We lost no time in hitting the streets and right next to our hotel is a shopping area known funnily enough as "The Shopping Street". Pictured on the right.

We discovered that the hop-on hop-off bus has a stop at the bottom of the street so only a 15 minute walk from our hotel.

It's well after lunch time so we found a open air cafe where I had absolutely no choice but to order a Vienna Schnitzel! I mean really, there was no choice, some things you just have to do!

Being in Western Europe I was fully expecting sticker shock but was presently surprised to find our bill for the schnitzel, 2 tall beers and a pizza large enough to feed us for dinner as well as Wendy's lunch came to about $30.

Tall tankards of beer (600ML) at the hotel are $4.00 each - not too bad for a major city!

I am more comfortable reading signs and menus in German than I was in Hungarian.  I understand Dutch and lived in Namibia for 3 years where they speak German. I can figure some of it out.  Wendy, on the other hand, not so much.  She does come in very handy in French and Spanish speaking countries where she can read & speak without major difficulty. 

Pizza for lunch AND DINNER!

The restaurant on the left open air sidewalk cafes are everywhere.

So we are all set for a new adventure tomorrow, the hop on hop off bus tickets are $35 each for 2 days - more than what we paid in Budapest, but they have 4 routes as Vienna is a lot bigger than Budapest and we also added a river boat tour for an additional $12.50 each. The boat tour was included in Budapest but really was only 30 minutes, this is much longer. That should keep us pretty busy for 2 days.

Ein Prosit