|The Hungarian House of Parliament|
|One of the amazingly (really) steep and (really) fast escalators in Budapest's underground system|
|A man after my own mustache: Tas, one of the legendary Magyars|
Today we paid a four-and-a-half hour visit to the Szechenyi baths close to Heroes Square and City Park, on the Pest side of Budapest. (Buda is the old-town area with the castle and also the stunning Hilton, where we are staying.) It was Saturday and New Year's Eve all in one, so people were out in droves to either ice-skate or take the waters. We took the waters.
|Winter Wonderland in City Park|
|Old and young, lovers and singles, skinny and fat—they all participate|
|Ringing in the New Year in a Speedo|
|Using the noggin while getting pruny|
|Taking the waters in Budapest|
And now it is almost time to get gussied up for tonight's New Year's Eve celebrations. I've made reservations for the Budapest Jazz Club's NYE bufe and jam session, and it's about 7:30 p.m., and we better find something to wear. Well, not what you think: Last night we had tried to have a late-night beer in the trendy district where the cool pubs are, and every time we opened a door we simply couldn't make ourselves cut through the unbelievable curtain of smoke! While most of Europe has gone smoke-free in most commercial establishments, Hungary has no such restrictions, and it seemed as if every smoker in the rest of Europe has now been banished to one fo these pubs to create the second coming of Mount Vesuvius. So, when I bought tonight's tickets online a few days ago I did not take the smoking factor into consideration, and thus we may get pipped hard. So, whatever we wear tonight, it will probably already be stained, spilled with beer, and rolled over by a truck because we know that when we get home tonight, we will stink to High Heaven.
With that happy thought, here's a very Happy New Year from Budapest, wherever you may be!
|Happy New Year 2012!!!!|