Dec 24,20ll Budapest Mercure Hotel, 5.51 am Singapore time 12.51 pm
Just heard from BBC News in hotel that a British man who toured Costa Rica had been missing for months and his family could not find him. Crime against tourists seem to be common as a Singaporean also disappeared in Greece recently.
Overnight at Budapest
Chilly. Snow flakes at 7 pm but no snow.
Morning - Erica, tour guide showed us a castle, church and briefed us on one-hour Danube River cruise and another church, souvenir stall. Too many Church visits for me but inevitable when doing a packaged tour to Europe.
Lunch at a busy Taiwan-operated restaurant in a good district. Some Hungarian name and Western old British Jane Austen-type paintings on curved ceilings. Quite good food although I did not eat the 3-layered fatty pork belly meat whole at my age. Young man Dan ate two pieces. I ate the meat part and left the skin and belly fat. Different dishes from previous Chinese restaurant but Chinese cabbage (easy to store long) and oranges are common with the two restaurants. Very salty braised fish - I did not like it. More salty than salted fish but excessively salty food is a common thing in Budapest.
Cycling lane again and we were advised not to stand on the lane.
Afternoon 2.30 to 5 pm. Shopping district and Christmas market. The salt-mine was closed and therefore cancelled. I have enough of mines but Dan was looking forward to it. This showed he has interest in nature. I prefer salt mines to another round of shopping as I don't shop for designer clothes. In any case, Singapore has most of the brands. So, I walked around and see the locals. They seem to like the sausages, pork chops. I noted a senior man standing at a shop like Zara and H&M entrance looking at a monitor. He was viewing the CCTV for shop lifters. This is good practice not found in Singapore as security is hidden somewhere.
Christmas market. A few hundred stalls. Food seem to have most customers. Sales seem difficult for those selling porcelain mugs and ornamental things and some other goods.
Two "statutes" of two men. One in dark brown and one in snow white would stand like statutes and move when money is dropped onto the box. With my runny nose in this cold weather, around zero degrees C, I can't last 5 minutes but these two men can stand for at least one hour. Shoppers do drop coins. One group of youths sang choirs outside Zara for more than one hour. They get some coins from the public.
Dinner. Walk to a restaurant. Pork chops. Some of us cannot eat beef stew. Dance