Active CLP Member Peter Harris recounts his recent trip to Budapest
Well here we are in Budapest.
What could be better after a right kicking by the Tories, than sitting in the sunshine with good company Watching Musical Fountains. If you look on youtube you can find more examples; some illuminated at night. I think it should be labour party policy to build such fountains in every town in the country after building some houses of course.
The people here are generous and hospitable. Arriving at Budapest airport on Tuesday night, a lady who had been on our flight, but we hadn’t spoken to, stopped us getting money from the exchange, for a bus or taxi, saying that the rate was an absolute rip-off and as her husband was waiting to pick her up they would give us a lift into Budapest to our hotel. We are most grateful to Krisztina andJanesh for that kindness though this was not the only example of warmth and kindness we received during our stay
At the time we left for Hungry there was a lot of talk about our defeat being the responsibility of the ‘Shy Tories’. I don’t mind the ‘Shy Tories’, at least they appreciate they have something to be ashamed of. It is the proud, arrogant Tories who have no sense of shame and vote the way they do out of pure selfishness and self interest that I am most concerned about.
Budapest has many attractions. Restaurants, bars, and spas, one of which has a giant whirlpool where you can just lie back and gently spin round and round. It also has a hop on hop off bus service for tourists where you can buy a ticket for a very reasonable fee which enables you to hop on one of these buses, plug-in a headset, listen to the commentary of what you should be seeing from the bus, hop off where ever you like, have a look around, and hop back on where you like, and you can use this service for 48 hours.
What they don’t tell you is that there are in fact four companies running this service. They all have their own routes, albeit all the routes overlap at various points, and they all provide maps of their own routes (for artistic interpretation rather than navigation). These buses uses the same stops as the municipal buses, but number their stops according to their own whim.
Consequently, you walk along the road and find hop on hop off bus stop 13, which according to your map is stop 17. There is nothing to show that is the stop for another bus company and your bus stop is actually about 10 yards round the corner or just down some stairs and under the bridge. On your map stop 13 is 2 miles away on the other side of the river. Sometimes bus stops have been removed from the route altogether so you go to say the Market Hall beside the Danube and you search and search the bus stop number 6 only to told eventually, that stop 6 no longer exists. Getting on the wrong bus will only result in advice from the driver that you are on the wrong bus but if you want to ride you are welcome to, albeit you have no idea where it is going.
It may be of course that the hop on hop off bus service is something that the Hungarian government has created in order to show what a laissez faire system has to offer, however the bus ride you can get in Budapest is nothing to mystery tour we are going on over the next five years and magical certainly will not describe it.
Janet and I had a lovely five days in Budapest and certainly recommend it. Here is a photograph of two buckets of goulash we had just before we came home.
Peter Harris 17/05/2015