Subject: Budapest
Hi! Enjoy Budapest, it is one of our favorite cities. My wife and I seem to favor Central and Eastern European cities, though we have traveled throughout. Sorry to digress, last time we were there in 1997 we stayed at the Astoria Hotel. An excellent downtown location, convenient to the transportation to the airport also. Very Old World hotel though modern. Rates were very reasonable and the room that we had was very large, had a sofa and a chair in it also. The Cafe downstairs was very Pre World War II, very nice and the food was good also. I believe that it was about $70 USD. We've stayed in other hotels in Budapest but this was probably the nicest. Years ago we stayed at the Nemzeti Hotel, also very early 20th cent. but we understand that the area around there has become rather a red light district, maybe that has changed though. The good thing about the Nemzeti [has a good location] is the fact that it has a garage and the first time there we drove to Budapest. Having grown up in NYC and learning to drive there, my wife and I have no problem driving anywhere, we've even driven in Paris.

We enjoyed walking around Budapest, especially along the river. We've taken the funicular up the hill across the river and then walked down. It's good to get away from the tourist areas once in a while. I have yet to visit any of the museums in the Castle. Everytime we want to go to a specific museum it has been closed. The fates are just not there. Not just on a Monday either. We enjoy walking there and trying to discover local places to eat. We found a restaurant with gypsy music once that we were not able to find again. Drink the Beer. It is good, as is the Tokay wine and Egri-Bulls Blood wine. If you have a chance visit Eger in eastern Hungary, you will not be disappointed. I could go on but I am already making our arrangements for this year, Arrive in Vienna, pick up a car and off to Czech Rep. ENJOY you trip, Alan