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Published: August 9th 2019
This is the first post of my travel blog. Please don't expect anything more than a few simple jottings! The purpose is in part to share my journey with friends and family. I am also writing it as a log for myself to remind me of the various places I will be touring to next summer when once again I do my side hustle (tour manager for Trans World Travel, based in Chicago).
Day 1 sees me flying to Budapest. This is slightly at odds with the above title - Europe by Rail. However this is simply to maximise the time I have. I suspect that I have already tried to pack too much in which won't be a surprise to any of my friends, especially Sue!!
It was pouring down as I left home. I had a lovely taxi ride to Horwich Parkway (Mrs Pearl's taxis - very prompt, clean, efficient and cheap!!) and a direct train to the airport. I started the trip in style with a free visit to the 1903 lounge at T1 which also had provided me with fast track security. This was a huge bonus as Manchester airport was bouncing! I was very restrained with the free alcohol, enjoying one glass of red wine and some nice dishes. However I watched one young guy going for at least 8 glasses of champagne!
My first challenge was setting up my travel blog. Once it started to ask for domain names etc I was out of my depth.
So I turned to Russell - by day a headteacher and out of hours a fledgling Online Chat helper! Thank you Russell. No doubt you saved me loads of cash and lots of grey hairs!
Budapest airport on arrival was fairly busy with lots of young (er) people heading towards Sziget2019. I doubt Ed Sheehan and Tom Odell etc were on my Easyjet flight, although I did once sit behind John Parrot on an Easyjet flight from Belfast! I know all about Sziget as Jen and Rach went to this a few years ago and had an amazing time.
My hotel had emailed offering their pick up service from the airport for €44. I had done my research though and could see that taxis from the airport should be approx. €26. However I also read that the #100 bus goes directly into the city centre, effectively taking no longer than taxis. This was 900 HUF (Hungarian Forint), less than €3. So did this and was really pleased as the end stop (Deak Ferenc ter) was three minutes walk to my hotel. It was easy to use the self-serve machines and I would recommend this. I would recommend getting some HUF if you are planning trip to Budapest. Although it is possible to use Euros in many shops, they will probably give you change in HUF.
I booked into Hotel Barceló - my home for the next two nights. This is a fabulous, brand new hotel. It only opened three weeks ago. My room was large and VERY comfortable. The shower was just brilliant. I have chosen hotels that are central to reduce lots of faffing. I won't have much time anywhere, and the whole point is to research the cities for next year as well as walking lots and hopefully enjoying some good food and wine.
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