(This is the 19th post of our Croatia-Budapest trip, June-July 2014)
Monday, June 30
Revived by a break in the action, we head back out, up the graffiti-ed escalator, getting out at the Opera Stop, for I’d heard you could just walk into that building and look around.
I think we need this for our front porch.
What’s this? There are a couple people in line at this freestanding kiosk, and we’re always up for something new.
The woman inside (there is a man helping her in that tiny space) keeps moving the dough rolled on the handled sticks up on the rack. I’m assuming that is the rising rack. When they are ready, she moves all the sticks up a slot in the baker/oven which is really like a radiating grill of heat, blasting the rotating sticks.
When it’s done, she slides off the cooked treat into a pan of toppings: we chose cinnamon-sugar.
What a find! We remarked on how the only treat we knew like this was when the Scouts wrap poppin’ fresh dough around a stick and half-cook/half-burn it over a campfire. We much prefer this one.
We arrive at the Opera House five minutes before they are shutting the whole thing up for a performance, and did we want to attend? Since we were about to begin the Hunt For Dinner, we passed. And after five minutes, they ushered us outside, but we did get a couple of shots.
Portico. There were two vans parked under this elaborate ceiling, and we could see they were broadcasting trucks as the opera was being televised.
This dining establishment was shut down. I”ll bet I know why: some of those 30,000 students who graduated from law school grew up and work now for corporate America, shutting down knock-offs. But it is clever.
Dave had the pepper stew (above) and I had the “Home pasta.” I was the winner, but Dave’s was pretty good, too. Not too many restaurants were open; the waiter explained they’ll all be open later, after dark. I’m thinking “after the soccer match.”
We cap it off with this lovely cake. I often feel like I’m off-sync with the nightlife in the cities we go to. After walking for 8+ hours some days, we are tired and ready to call it quits, so are usually at those eating establishments way before they are ready for us. We probably wear overly-padded athletic shoes, too, and have grey hair. Well, a few strands.
We wanted to eat early tonight for one reason: to get pictures of the Parliament Building. We take the Metro under the Danube, getting off at the first stop, and find a place along the promenade. We are slightly off-center, so Dave walks down to see if he can get a better shot. As I wrote in my journal:
“We stood on the walkway on the Danube River, across from the unlit Budapest Parliament Building. We were nearing the end of our Croatia-Budapest trip and the long day of sightseeing was coming to close. We watched the boats move up and down the river, turning and retracing their steps to pass by again past the stately building, waiting as we were. And then we saw it—the faint glow of lights on the building, the sky deepening into blue, the rain clouds of that day a backdrop to the lit edifice. Dave went a bit further down the promenade to see if he could get past those “irritating cruise boats” that were blocking his perfect photograph.
“The next thing I know he is standing on the waist-high wall that prevents tourists like ourselves from falling thirty feet below to the concrete dockside, and I know what he is thinking—trying to get above the cruise boats and the docks. But when I saw him flailing his arms backward trying to regain his balance, my heart skips a beat and I’ve rushed forward to that place in time where I’m trying to figure out how to get a dead tourist home on the airplane, and I start muttering, “Get. Off. The. Wall” over and over, and thankfully he does. He comes walking back to me with a smile on his face, most likely very aware of the near heart attack I must have been suffering.
“We attempt a selfie photograph here, but we are too old for these things, so a young couple rescues us, laughing when I tell them I want them to shoot it in square format for my Instagram feed. We are certainly not what they expect Instagrammers to look like, but whatever, we are what we are: middle-aged tourists in sneakers with some wrinkles, both in clothing and faces.”
I loved the kissing couple behind us in this version.
And now our attention turns back to the deepening night, and the rising of the lights on the building: We stayed until it was dark, cold and a bit windy, and headed home. One more day.
Next post: Parliament, and Ronald Reagan holds hands with Elizabeth