Cruising in Europe: To Budapest

Uh For months it felt like our European river cruise was too far in the future to imagine. Friends had given us lots of useful tips. I had watched innumerable You Tubes. We had planned. And there were many items on my todo list that needed to be checked off. Finally, we had made it through check-in, security and were sitting in the boarding lounge at Kelowna International airport. It all was done. We were on our way.

Our flights on WestJet and KLM were uneventful. The good service, food and of course the wine didn’t diminish the fact that the flight from Kelowna to Budapest via Calgary and Amsterdam was long and for me it would be somewhat uncomfortable. But a good movie, a bit of writing and some fleeting moments of sleep did help my mind concentrate on something more positive.

Our driver was waiting for us at the Budapest airport. He navigated the traffic easily and dropped us at our hotel (or so we thought) with smooth efficiency. We dragged our bags the last few meters down the street to the hotel entrance. Except, there was no hotel entrance.

Address checks, questions to a few locals and attempts to call the hotel did not resolve our dilemma. Until, from over our shoulders came the words, “Can I help you?” We turned and looked up into the smiling face of a very tall young man who had emerged from the small bistro we were standing in front of.

We gave him the hotel phone number. He had what we didn’t, complete Hungarian fluency. In seconds he had resolved the problem. We had been dropped off on the opposite side of the block from the hotel. After guiding us to our hotel’s entrance. We thanked him and he was off with a smile and a wave.

The Hotel Victoria Budapest, was excellent. A boutique hotel, it was located on the banks of the Danube river. With only a roadway and transit line between we could see the beautiful Hungarian Parliament building from the hotel’s entrance. It was an easy walk to the ‘Hop on Hop off’ bus stop. The dock where the Scenic Opal would meet us was a just two blocks away.

As I complete this article I’m sitting in the main lounge of the Scenic Opal. It’s beautiful and busy. Guests who have just completed their cruise are finishing lunch and savoring a parting drink. Their busses wait to take them to the next leg of wherever they might be going. Others are boarding to spend the next 14 days with us enjoying the cruise to Amsterdam.

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Our three days in Budapest were amazing. We explored narrow streets, visited many historic sights and enjoyed great food in some small local restaurants. There is so much more to discover but that will have to wait. In the meantime, up the Danube we go!

This entry was posted in My Work, Travel.


  1. Alan Flynn November 23, 2019 at 5:27 am #

    Wonderful build up to the arrival at your hotel and frustrating that you were not dropped off at the correct destination. Years ago in Singapore airport the shuttle that I had booked didn’t arrive and this was early in the morning but they did speak English, not a good way to start a break.

    Love seeing your shots in FB and enjoy the remainder of your stay. Did you see that clock in Schiphol airport?


    • Stu Dale November 26, 2019 at 12:41 am #

      I’m hoping we don’t have any more ‘nerve testers’ on our trip. So far the trip has been wonderful. No, we didn’t see the clock in the Schiphol airport but will look for it on our return.

  2. Sheryl Korsch November 23, 2019 at 5:32 am #

    THANK YOU, STU, for the Interesting Blog and for sharing the Great Photos of the Local Sights You and Ellen have seen in Budapest!! 🙂

    Wishing You A Safe Cruise and Many More Exciting Adventures!! 🙂

    • Stu Dale November 26, 2019 at 12:39 am #

      Thanks for commenting Sheryl! The cruise is wonderful.

  3. Judy Grimes November 23, 2019 at 8:17 am #

    Really enjoying following you on this trip. Brings back such good memories for us. Hope that the river cruise part of the trip is as good as the first part has been!

    • Stu Dale November 26, 2019 at 12:38 am #

      We are enjoying the river cruise part of the trip so far. The little towns and villages are fascinating.

  4. Ron Mullins November 23, 2019 at 1:05 pm #

    Stu…another great story accompanied by some wonderful pics. I know that you and Ellen have visited some wonderful places in the past, but I hope this trip will top them all. Looking forward to more stories and photos.

    • Stu Dale November 26, 2019 at 12:36 am #

      We’re having a great trip Ron. There are so many sites to see and photographs to make. It’s awesome.

  5. corolp November 23, 2019 at 9:03 pm #

    I’m so glad you had a couple of days in Budapest prior to cruise. It is a lovely, vibrant city. Great story about the kindness of a stranger. I love the perspective aspect of your photos, inviting the imagination to ponder what lies beyond. You will see many more fascinating doors, gateways, arches and lanes as you continue your journey.

    • Stu Dale November 26, 2019 at 12:35 am #

      We loved Budapest. So many sites to see both big and small. St. Stephen’s was the most impressive but I know there are others that we missed.

  6. Shirley Rochon November 28, 2019 at 11:07 am #

    Loving all your entries. Following you is so pleasurable, while we @ home are in a cool and winterish mode.

    • Stu Dale November 29, 2019 at 8:21 am #

      Thank you for commenting Shirley! I’m glad you enjoy my blog. I’m loving the photographic opportunities that arise, of which there are many and writing about them.

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