January 3, 2000:  We boarded the train in Vienna at 6:30 AM and left for Budapest at 6:45 in order to celebrate the first Monday of the New Millennium in a new country!   We sat in the dining room and I had breakfast while Viviane  just had coffee, then we took a private room and took a nap.  We arrived in the train station designed by the Eiffel company of France around nine AM with a little help from Viviane and we decided to take a three hour tour of the city to get our bearings.   Please see the map for Hungary and the map for downtown Budapest and the geographical statistics for Hungary.

Well everyone I talk to says how wonderful and beautiful Budapest is.   They must have seen something Viviane and I didn't see or they were there in the spring when the trees are green and they cover the poor state of the buildings.   There are beautiful buildings but  almost all are in a terrible state.   Most have huge patches of plaster falling off the walls and the grime is horrendous.  I guess no one has heard of water and soap.   So sad, graffiti on some buildings was ten feet high on the walls.  The big National Museum, a fantastic Roman Temple, has graffiti on the columns and on the front of the building is a wooden fence and right in front is a big Marlboro sign,  cigarette companies are as bad as the Columbian cartels.    Cigarette signs all over just like in Moscow.  

The weather was very foggy and cool so it was hard  to take any pictures in the morning.   After the tour the sun partially came out of the clouds for a few hours and we ran around taking pictures, saw the Parliament Building, the famous bridge over the Danube, and the Budai Palota or Castle on the hill over looking the river.  Then had tea at the Marriott Hotel.  Then we took a cab to the Gellert Hotel and a long needed soak in thermal baths.  A taxi to West Bahnhof (oops) - had to double back to the  East Bahnhof as we got our train stations mixed up!

We were three hours early and there sitting on the tracks was the Orient Express to Vienna leaving for Wein and Paris so we jumped on and then asked the conductor if we were all right on this train.  He looked at our tickets and said he guessed so, especially if we wanted to to Moscow!   Mon Duie again!   

So of course we had to have champagne, cappuccino, and dinner on the train before arriving in a different station in Vienna.   Back to the Shermin to finish packing and was in bed before 11 PM so we had a good nights sleep before leaving for the airport early the next morning.  

The same driver picked us up that picked me up the week before but this time he was in a much better mood - must have been because Viviane was with me.  He told us the last flight she was on was called a special name in German which I can't remember but it contained the word 'dump' such as dump all the left overs together on the only flight to Vienna.   

We laughed and said that word was also used in English, to dump things together and he thought that was very interesting. So a nice flight home and back in my own bed, so good to be home again!

The Transylvania's Coat of Arms: Sun & Moon representing the Székely Hungarians, the Eagle representing the Magyars, and the Bastions, the Saxons - the major historical peoples of Transylvania prior to Rumanian immigration & annexation.



Return to the World Travels of Charles Walter Buntjer


  Charles Walter Buntjer


San Francisco California
Created on: 2000.01.03   


Updated on: 2015.03.25