Subject: Budapest
I have not read or written to this list since leaving the States on August 26th. Since then we have traveled to London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Holyhead-Wales, Dublin, Galway, Amsterdam, and now we are renting an apartment in Budapest.

Budapest is much cheaper than Prague for both lodging and expenses.

If anyone needs help getting oriented once you are here, we may be able to assist you. If you get stuck for a night's lodging and can come and go when we do, you are welcome to use our spare room.

The beers are about 70 cents and wine is cheap if you drink the Hungarian wine which is very good. Some clubs require a minimum and since we are not real drinkers, we usually pay the minimum long before we use it up.

A good Hungarian meal can be had for $3.00, but if you want something really special, I recommend the Marquis de Salade along with a reservation. It has become very popular since being included in the Let's Go travel guide.

Transportation includes trams, subways, buses, and trains. You can purchase a one time ticket for 70 cents or you have get a three or seven day pass for unlimited rides on all of the above within the city, for the most $4.00. We bought a month pass, which requires our photo, for $12.00. Transportation is excellent.

The Thermal Baths are heavenly and offer a range of services. An hour and a half in the thermal runs about $2.00 at the two listed below. Some Baths are men only/women only alternating days. The Kiroly, is men on M, W, F and the Rac is T, Th, Sa. The Gellert is every day for both and is pricier, but still cheap by our standards. There are others that you can have every service under the sun including medical care.

Currency converter is an excellent way to keep track of your money while traveling. I print out the sheet from $ to Whatever and then Whatever to $, cut them out and glue them back to back and keep with me all of the time. I never travel with travelers checks anymore. There are too many ATM machines here and everywhere to pay a commission fee each time you need money. Also, check with your local Auto Club (AAA) and ask if they have a Global Currency card. It is a pre-loaded ATM card that you can re-charge while traveling. For every $300. you get free withdrawals and don't need to worry about bank fees. All bank machines here use a 4 digit code, so if you use more, you will need to get it converted before leaving.

If you carry a laptop with a modem, the phone plug is identical to the States. Electricity converter is the same as any European country. I have used the same one in England, Ireland, Holland, Germany, and now here.

I would be happy to help as much as I can if you cannot find your answers here or elsewhere

Ryan James, Ed.D.