River Cruise Day 2

River Cruise Day 2          Budapest               Sunny and warm

Last night, we went down to the bar to have a drink and to upload our blog and photos, because it was free from there.  It had a lovely atmosphere and we were enjoying ourselves there – they had a piano player, bass and drums – so we decided to just have our meal there instead of going and getting changed into nicer clothes to have dinner in the restaurant.  We both had Wiener Schnitzel, which was absolutely wonderful.

This morning, we had breakfast and then put our suitcases out to be collected and then went downstairs to be collected ourselves to go to our meeting place for the rest of the tour.  We were given the option of doing an extra excursion out into the country today, so we decided to take advantage of it.

The excursion took us by bus approximately an hour south of Budapest into the countryside that they call Puszta, which was very flat and quite sandy. 

We were taken to a horse farm called Tanyacsarda, where we were met by a horseman dressed in traditional Hungarian outfit and he led us into the farm, cracking his whip the whole way as a sign of welcome.

When we got off the bus and walked into the farm courtyard, we were met by a lady and a man, dressed traditionally, handing out a welcome alcoholic drink, made from apricots (we think) and a little cake, somewhat like a scone.

We were taken for a ride around the (large) property in a wagon drawn by two beautiful horses – there were about four wagons to accommodate the bus loads of people.

Then we were invited over to a fenced off area, where they had “the running of the horses”, where many beautiful horses (mainly a darkish grey or white) were paraded at full pelt around the paddock in front of us.

After a visit to the stables to see the horse studs and some of the foals, we were taken over to a grandstand where the horseman put on a spectacular show of their expertise and the horses’ amazing abilities.

Included in the show we saw a man standing on the back of two of a team of five horses, galloping around the arena at full gallop.  We also saw demonstrations of how the horseman could crack their whips while having their horses lie and sit in varies positions, apparently oblivious to the sounds of the whips being cracked right next to them.  While the horsemen spent a lot of time cracking their whips, at no time was a whip anywhere near touching the horse.  The horsemen and their horses appeared to have an amazing relationship.

We were then taken over to the dining area where we were treated to a beautiful three course traditional Hungarian meal.  We had goulash soup, crumbed chicken and pork with various vegetables including sauerkraut, and a traditional Hungarian dessert.  Richard enjoyed both the red and white wines offered with lunch.

All too soon, it was 3.00pm and time for us to board the bus for our journey back into Budapest, where we were taken directly to the harbour to board our boat, MS Artistry, for our long awaited River Cruise.

What can we say about the Artistry?  Sandy had expressed concerns last night that maybe her expectations were far in excess of what we were actually going to have.  This certainly is not the case!  The boat is absolutely beautiful and our cabin is better than we expected – it is very modern, spacious, has a sliding glass door with a French balcony and a lovely bathroom.

When we boarded, all we had to do was to hand in our passports (so that they can make all the arrangements with the countries we will be visiting) and they gave us key cards for the door and then a crew member escorted us to our cabin, where our luggage was already waiting for us.

We were able to unpack and hang things in our cupboard or put things on the shelves – fantastic!!  No living out of suitcases for us!

We very excitedly went exploring the boat and met some lovely people, some of whom had come on the excursion with us today.  The top deck is completely open with tables and chairs as well deckchairs; our deck, called the Royal Deck, is the next deck down on the same level as the lounge and dining room.

We had a welcome drink and the Captain introduced himself and his senior as well as the heads of department.  After the mandatory safety briefing we moved into the dining room for our first meal on board and it was a very delicious five course meal – they were only small course, but Sandy opted to just have the main and dessert, while Richard worked his way through all five and head several glasses of wine as well as a Hungarian liquor – don’t know the name of it.

So, we are now sitting in our cabin, after having showers, dressed in our complimentary white towelling robes, writing our blog – our curtains are open and we have a view of the beautiful night lights twinkling on the Danube River.

What a perfect start to our River Cruise!

One Response to “River Cruise Day 2”

  1. Janet says:

    Hey Mum and Dad
    Sounds like the perfect start to your cruise. It is definitely something I wish I could do, but I think I’ll have to wait until we’ve had kids and can afford to come back again ….. unless we can save up and do it before we come home …..
    It’s weird not having you at home now, but I’m so glad the cruise has started the way you wanted it to. I hope it’s as fantastic for the rest of the trip.
    Lots of love
    Janno xoxo

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