A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

Trip Start Sep 14, 2012
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17
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Trip End Oct 15, 2012


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Where I stayed
Star Inn
What I did
St Matthias Church and an opera

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Up at 0600 for a shower. Worked on yesterday's diary before/after brekkie. Down with Arjan to a pretty empty restaurant shortly after 0700, having the usual staples of coffee, juice, 'eclair bread', smoked salmon, tomato, meat, cheese, pate and yogurt.

Jan and Ria raced in for final words. Would have been nice to have them along for another two weeks but I will readily see them [and Don] in Toronto down the road.

Up to complete the diary and upload it to the blog, all done and caught up a bit after 0900. That is a relief.

Had a bit of look re some time in the 'Buda' part of Budapest. It's Sunday morning so St Matthias Church is closed until 1300 but the Fishermen's Bastion is open earlier plus one can grab a quick bite over there to fill in the time. Thereafter Arjan and I will take the metro to the baths for a couple of hours of chill time.

Found Nathalie and Rachel down at brekkie, finishing up. Gave the suggested Buda drill and they'll join at 1000 for a leisurely walk over the Chain Bridge. Rachel seemed her usual aloof self but a reference to 'stupid Don' lightened her up. Who knows? She can't be any worse on the second half of the trip. Nathalie is looking forward to a picture of her opera companions in gear.

Off at 1000 with the other three hangovers from the trip. Passed on a few Rosie jokes in Rachel's presence. There was some classical music at 2000 gratis at the basilica but we're doing 1900 $50 bucks at the opera.

It was a slow meander toward 'Buda'. For the first time on the trip my camera battery died and I did not have a spare with me so no pix of the St Matthias Church and that sector.

Went for a walk to find the Fishermen's Bastion but it was the viewing platform behind the church, whatever Nathalie's map said to the contrary.

Went to the Koller Gallery, including the atelier of Amerigo Tot [whoever that was]. Most of the stuff was pretty artsy though there is always a piece or two you like, whatever the medium.

Lunch was next up consisting of a goulash soup [bloody appetizer-sized] and a Dreher .5l draft. I paid for Arjan's repast and he'll pay for stuff for me later in the Balkans 4,400 HF.

Into St Matthias Church. Jan had neglected to advise a fair chunk of it was under renovation, taking away an equivalent chunk of the experience. What was on display was good, the muted reds and gold mixing well 2,000 HF. I got both ducats.

Features of special note were the oratory where the king would sit to attend mass [left of the altar looking at it] and the museum of ecclesiasctic renovation, describing some of the efforts as well as showing many before/after shots. Since the camera was dead, I got a little book with some glossly pix in it as a keepsake 750HF.

Arjan and I left the girls as we had our 'weekend' pass [more soon]. It took some 30M plus to get back to the hotel. It was just 5M to use the loo and grab the swimming items.

Met Gavin and John in the lobby and they were heading there too, already having ordered a cab so we went with them to the Syzchenyl Baths. They headed off first for a quick bite.

The Dutchman had misread yesterday what a weekend ticket was. It was not for use on the weekend but was the rate for use on a Saturday or Sunday. We were there already so I got another set of 'weekend' ducats. Did see Catherine wandering around there, looking like a space cadet.

We spent more time in the outside 37C pool. Saw the Aussies and oriented them to the place. The Dutchman and I spent some time in a 70C sauna, a 38C pool inside and most of the balance in the same outdoor 37C pool.

There was no better appreciation of talent on display but equally fewer tubs of lard of both sexes.With the prospect of an opera a bit over 2H away, we went back a tad earlier than planned.

Couldn't get the metro to take our money but fortunately a ticket person on hand 500 HF. The 260 HF tickets [Arjan tossing in the coin] was probably just a 3 stop ride but the Octagon was 5 stops away; what rebels!

Off and went for a Subway sub as a dine and dash dinner. My club was fine. Got a laugh out of my fellow opera goer by suggesting other patrons were probably having goose liver and champagne crackers.

Short walk back and opera prep time plus computer time. Ultimately it was just the normal long pants and a short sleeve shirt with a collar. Nathalie was running late but we were off by 1835 for the 10M walk to Cultureville.

No issues finding our seats in the second balcony. It was in a little room holding perhaps 8 seats so that was a positive. Front row was also very good. The view was great and a few pix taken.

The best of all was English subtitles. One could get some appreciable sense of the plot, if perhaps not all the intricacies thereof.

Attire had been the worry. Most guys in long sleeves and/or tie and/or jacket though there were some in blue jeans. One Aussie, in a swanky loge/balcony, was in shorts. Some women were dressed akin to the faded glory of the city.

The three acts were about 50M long each; the breaks, 20M. Each was just about right re the tempo of the opera.

The largest negative was I was tired so it was at times a struggle to concentrate. Did not fall asleep though may have drifted off a bit during one solo in the second act.

Over at 2200 which was a plus, the usual umpteen standing ovations. Europeans like the 'rhythmic clap' to show real appreciation, starting slowly and then increasing in intensity.

I think Nathalie was happy with the opera. Arjan paid close attention to the orchestra. I survived. Thus concludes my night[mare?] at the opera!

Back for a bit of diary stuff on returning, sorting out roughly what the Dutchman owes Terry the Banker for the time in Hungary. Bed before 2300.

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