Tag Archive: Danube

Coming to the end of this brief junket to Malta and Gozo. Will travel back to Valletta tomorrow, spend the night and catch a 07:30 to Manchester.

It’s been fairly challenging the last few days as the weather had really turned quite cold and a Mediterranean storm blew in for around three days.

Marsalforn harbour Gozo, getting a battering. Notice the sky was still blue.

As one may imagine, the houses are not well insulated as it is only for about two months of an otherwise warm year with high temperatures that any kind of heating would be needed. Under those circumstances, people dispense with the expense of heating a property and merely just wrap up in warmer clothes!
Got back to Manchester 12.01.17 at 10am, picked up a hire car and drove to town in order to attend to problems with an iPad. Drove up to Rossendale to attend to some medical stuff and to present prescriptions at the Chemists. Over to visit Doreen (a friend) who had kindly invited us to dinner. Subsequently got to Petr (our AirBnB host) quite late.
13.01.17 Friday Snowed during the night, which will not really be conducive to driving over to the Wirral to see a couple of friends (Paul & Vicki).

16.01.17 Sunday 19:45 Saw us onto the Ryanair flight from Manchester to Budapest. Minus C7 here at the moment, however learning that we had become grandparents for the first time has warmed our hearts.

Ice flows on the Danube!

Ice flows on the Danube!

img_358220.01.17 Have bundled warm clothes up into a parcel and air freighted them back to Blighty as at “stupid o’clock” tomorrow will being on a flight to Berlin and then on to Abu Dhabi and eventually Australia, where one hopes that the weather will be a tad warmer. Not looking forward to, yet another night sleeping at an airport, but Hey Ho this is the life one has picked for the near term.

Time in Budapest has been characterised by soaking up the Austro-Hungarian C19 architecture, enjoying the majesty of the Danube and its bridges, restaurants, theatres and quirky entrepreneurial businesses like a cocktail bar where one can imbibe alcohol in a beach setting, with sand parasols and heat lamps whilst looking through the “shop front’ window at people passing along the thoroughfare in sub zero temperatures! Naturally enough the establishment is called the Beach and appears to have year around adherents.

The transport infrastructure is second to none. Totally integrated trams, underground and bus network. Best of all, if one shows id to confirm one is over 65….it’s totally free!

Budapest definitely has a lot to offer. However, I would recommend that one comes here in the summertime, as it’s definitely a little too cold (temperatures at night are C-7 & barely above freezing during the day) in the winter months.


Following a night spent at Antalya International Airport, caught the early morning service to Budapest. An abiding memory from my youth was the Hungarian uprising of 1956 when the country decided to leave the Warsaw Pact and become neutral. Budapest saw the arrival of Russian T54 tanks and troops to quell a popular uprising. Over 3000 died, however, in 1989/90 following the fall of the “Iron Curtain” Hungary became truly independent.https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cd/Parliament_Building%2C_Budapest%2C_outside.jpg/303px-Parliament_Building%2C_Budapest%2C_outside.jpg

Szecheniy Bridge

Szecheniy Bridge

History oozes from the fabric of the city. From early settlement by the Celts in the 1st century AD to Roman occupation until C106 AD. The Ottomans pillaged Buda in 1526 and Turkish occupation lasted until the Habsburg empire reconquered in 1718.

The city has beautiful architecture with imposing buildings evocative of its turbulent history.First impressions of the people are that they are welcoming and affable. However, I haven’t heard much laughter or “merrymaking” in the streets or on the trams and tube. Having said that, the weather is pretty cold and miserable. A lot more overcast and grey than Antalya. People are quite serious and tend to keep themselves to themselves. Perhaps this is a vestige a long time under soviet control, who can say.

A theatre on Andrassyut

The Budapest Opera House on Andrassyut

Booked a tour around the Opera House, which I’m looking forward to. It’s a neo-renaissance building opened in in 1884. Emporer Franz Joseph commissioned the structure. At the time Budapest shared the administration of the Austro Hungarian empire with Vienna.

Budapest Opera House

Budapest Opera House

Treating us to a mini "taster" of what opera can sound like in a brilliantly acoustic environment.

Treating us to a mini “taster” of what opera can sound like in a brilliantly acoustic environment.

Will be heading back to “Blighty” on the 16.10.16 for a few days before getting down to Valencia in Spain by the 26.10.16


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