Subject: Just returned
We just returned from our trip to Budapest and Prague, however, due to the unrest caused by the IMC meeting, we cancelled the Prague part of the trip. Don't know it that was the right thing to do but it seemed right to us. The timing just wasn't right. I guess it turned out for the best because when we called the hotel to let them know we would not be coming, they didn't have our reservation. We had just paid our visa bill before we left so of course that will make getting the refund harder. Our hotel reservations were lost twice in Prague - not a good omen. We loved Budapest. Our hotel was on the Pest side and we walked everywhere we could. We took the metro for longer journeys but did most of our moving around by foot. Crossed the bridge to Buda on foot and loved being able to look over the Danube. We are big museum goers so did just about all we could take in. Loved our hotel (how to I submit to the hotel database) and ate at some great restaurents. We usually follow the tips in the Eyewittness Guides for restaurants and were not disappointed. Since we cancelled the Prague leg we chose to go to Amsterdam which is where we were leaving from to head back to the States. It was very tight getting a hotel in Amsterdam, which brought up the question, is there an off season and can one travel without reservations and just move around at will in Europe or do you really have to have reservations ahead? We had hoped when I retired to take an extended trip and move around at will. We did this in our youth in some major cities and didn't have any problem, can you still do it. Our hotel in Amsterdam was about 500 yds from the Rijksmuseum and was adequate (around $80.00 U. S. including breakfast) it was clean and it was in a part of A'dam we had not really explored so that was good. Revisited the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museums and walked forever. Had wonderful food. Our last night we ate at Luden's which is an upscale restaurant. All their meals are 55,000 and include a starter, entree and dessert. The suggested for that night was Greek salad, veal medallions in mustard and basil sauce and strawberries with yogurt ice cream, however, you can mix and match from the menu. Some speciality items add an additional sum to your bill. Ludens and several other restaurants we tried came from the Eyewittness book and were excellent. We took a day trip to Rotterdam and one to Harlaam and enjoyed those very much. Already planning next year's trip.