My dad and I are on a Rick Steves Tour in Prague and Budapest. Today we left Prague and took an 8 hour bus ride through the countryside of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary to Budapest.
You can find all my previous posts about this trip here.
We left our hotel in Prague at 7:30am and walked across the Vltava to where our bus was waiting. Most people slept as we were leaving Prague. We left, Martin, our Czech guide, behind in Prague and will only have Peter, our Hungarian guide, with us in Budapest.
We stopped at a McDonald’s somewhere in the Czech Republic. The cashier didn’t know the words hot chocolate or cocoa and I didn’t know how to say it in Czech, so dad didn’t get his hot chocolate. I got a latte and a hash brown. The hash brown was a little different than the ones at American McDonald’s. It wasn’t nearly as greasy, so I wonder if they cook it some way other than deep-frying.
We passed Bratislava in Slovakia and saw all the prefab apartment buildings from the communist era.
When we got to Hungary, we stopped at a weird buffet place that had all the foods. I got salad and pasta salad and bruschetta, since they didn’t have vegetables in the Czech Republic.
We got to our hotel in Budapest and had an hour and a half to get settled before heading out into the city.
Peter gave us all subway tickets and took us to get on the subway. He told us if we get on the yellow line, if the word for the direction has ‘smart’ in it, we are headed toward the city center. If it has ‘mexico’ in it, we are headed toward the baths.
Peter had us wait a few minutes for a less full subway car. He told us that subway cars are like lovers: when one leaves, a new one arrives in a few minutes.
We saw some of the statues overlooking the river. This one, the little princess, is across from the castle, but since it was evening, the lighting on her was terrible until the train went past.
Peter took us walking around the shopping area and showed us the first McDonald’s behind the iron curtain, which opened in the 80s. He told us getting McDonald’s was a status symbol and people would save the cups even after they had finished their drinks so people would know they had been to McDonald’s.
We had dinner at Gerlóczy Cafe and learned that Hungarians know what a salad is. This salad had goat cheese and some sort of raspberry dressing.
Instead of the dumplings that were everywhere in the Czech Republic, we had scalloped potatoes and the sauce was a paprika sauce to go with the pork.
In the Czech Republic, nearly every dessert was apple strudel. Our first dessert in Budapest was a chocolate mousse.
I think everyone in our group is relieved that there seems to be much more variety in Hungarian food than there was in Czech food.