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Published: August 14th 2008
Our room was on the third floor, next to the lift-shaft
Now staying at a vast 1920s spa hotel at Lillafured, complete with turrets and landscaped grounds. In the dining room yesterday evening we were treated to a selection of light classical 'favourites' by an organist. And at breakfast this morning there is a very competent guitarist whose set includes two taken from the Jazz Traitors repertoire (Black Orpheus
and Mercy Mercy Mercy
). I squint carefully to see whether it is Zoltan, but it doesn't look like him (no grey fleece).
After our walk, during which we get hopelessly lost - again
- we arrive back at the hotel in time to see a big wedding party motorcade turn up, complete with three police motorcyle outriders and a police car, all with sirens whooping and the other cars all honking their horns. This is unusual behaviour hereabouts: most Hungarians are polite, careful and courteous drivers. But hey, it's a wedding. The bride, with a train about 17 miles long, and the groom, venture out on to the lake in a tiny rowing boat to have their picture taken by a gesticulating photographer who follows in another boat.
In the lobby we sit half-watching the interminable opening ceremony to the Beijing
Ornate or wot?
Ceiling of the dining room at the Palota
Olympics and chatting to some fellow Brits. One of them is drinking the local schapps: 'I'll try anything once', he comments. I can't resist quoting Sir Thomas Beecham: 'One should try everything once except incest and folk dancing.' Immediately the temperature in the room drops by a good 15 degrees. 'We rather enjoy morris-dancing actually', he huffs...
Later the wedding party gets going in earnest. The band for the night are dressed like Billingsgate fish porters and make a fearful row until 4.00am. Unfortunately our room is next to the lift-shaft, so we are kept awake for quite a while until I can stand no more and go down to reception to complain. They don't offer to cut the power, but do offer us an alternative room in a remote part of the hotel.
Once installed, I quaff a couple of martinis from the mini-bar and carefully refill the bottles with water. Vengeance is mine
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