On Thursday 26th November, seventeen members and three guests travelled to Budapest with the Travel Department for our first trip abroad. We were met at Budapest Airport by our excellent guide, Lazlo, who took the group on a brief tour before checking into the 4**** Museum Hotel Budapest, which is located in the centre of the city. Some of the group investigated the Christmas markets where there was a variety of food and the usual crafts and knick-knacks. In the evening a group dinner was organised by the committee at the Pipa restaurant which was recommended by one of the Travel Department’s agents. Mike Jones, TRA Chairman, led the group and confidently found the restaurant with no difficulty.
The following day, Friday 27 November, a half day city coach tour was on the programme and was led by Lazlo whose knowledge was remarkable and whose great sense of humour made the tour all the more entertaining. The afternoon and evening were free for everyone to investigate Budapest themselves. There is so much to do and see in this beautiful city that no one was at a loss for things to do such as a boat ride on the Danube, a visit to the Parliament Buildings, the New York café, the Opera, the National Museum, a visit to thermal baths and a host of other places. An optional event for the evening was organised by Lazlo to go to a Hungarian Folklore show, which included coach transfer, dinner at the Márványmenyasszony restaurant, along with gypsy music and the best gypsy fiddler of the country! From all accounts, a good time was had by all and Lazlo was the star of the evening and danced the night away. What energy!
On the last full day of the weekend, Saturday 28 November, another optional tour was available with a visit to the stunning Royal Palace of Gödöllö, one of the largest baroque palaces in Hungary. Empress Elisabeth, the beautiful Sissi, who was famous for her modern thinking, spent 2000 nights there, more than in the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. After this visit, the group was taken to the Lázár Equestrian Park and was greeted with Hungarian brandy, pogácsa or wine followed by a horse show and a ride on a horse coach, after visiting the peasant court with different Hungarian animals and the stables of world champion horses. This was followed by a very welcome warming substantial lunch as unfortunately the weather was most inclement – rain and very cold, followed by a smattering of snow. That evening a dinner was organised in a local restaurant where some members met – others made their own arrangements.
On Sunday 29 November everyone was transferred by coach to the airport at 8.30 am for our homeward flight to Dublin. Many thanks go to our excellent guide, Lazlo, for making our visit to Budapest such an enjoyable, entertaining and interesting one. Some photos can be viewed in the Gallery on the Trinity Retirement Association website.