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Budapest Travel / Nitty Gritty City Guides / Winter Travel / Wizzair / Thermal Baths / Hungary Travel / Europe Travel / BUD / → All Tags
Sometimes you've only got a few days in a city, and you want to make it worth the while. Our new series of Nitty Gritty City Guides gives you the basics, and what we most loved, fast and quick and so you're ready to get a move on.
It may be better known today as Budapest (with a "sh" sound instead of a regular "s"), but the Romans originally called it Aquincum. And to be honest, the name fits. Aqua means water in Latin. And no other city in Europe is as rich in thermal waters as Budapest.
Though Budapest's attractions are numerous (sipping espresso on Franz Liszt Square, riding the funicular to the top of Castle Hill, frolicking around on Margit Island), the baths were undoubtedly a big part of why we showed up last month en route to visit a friend in Poland. We weren't looking for drunken nights out (though Budapest specializes in those as well) or lavish boat dinners on the Danube (certainly not on our budget!); we were looking for a quiet, relaxing few days exploring the Hungarian capital during one of the coldest months of the year.
And lucky us, because that's exactly what we found.
Airline Bankruptcies / Malev / Airline News / Airport News / Airlines / Airports / Hungary Travel / Europe Travel / Travel News / Air Berlin / Ryanair / BUD / → All Tags
Hey, remember when journalists started weirdly declaring that everything was fine with the airline industry? And then travelers took that to mean that good times were here again while the government swooped in with expensive new regulations? And then remember how American Airlines went bankrupt and then Spanair shut down and then Hungary's Malev shut down? Good times.
There's not much to say about this latest casualty of the global economic crunch. Hungary really, really wanted to keep Malev operating, with the government declaring the airline to be a "priority objective." But they just couldn't make the carrier viablespecifically, they couldn't convince suppliers that the government would be able to pay them for servicesand thus ended the Malev's 66 years of almost continuous service. Sad.
Flight Attendants / British Airways / Airlines / Flight Reviews / LHR / BUD / LAS / → All Tags
How to identify BA's mixed fleet cabin crew: they smile
You may remember the saga. First we were die hard British Airways haters. Then a flight to Vegas changed all that. It was our first experience of BA’s new mixed fleet (in operation for a year now) and boy, did it make a difference. We were entranced. Was it a one off? We prayed not.
Our return flight from Vegas had just as nice a crew (a full review on that another time). But we wanted to wait until we’d taken a couple more flights until we declared an official crush on the new mixed fleet. Now, though, since our trip to Budapest last weekend, we've seen enough to declare ourselves: British Airways appears to have transformed under the mixed fleet crews.
Staff are friendly, smiley. They give the impression of wanting to help you. They give the impression that they are happy to be on board, and that they actually like each other. They are as far away from the dour crew of old as Rick Perry was from knowing his government agencies. They are great. So because they’re great, we’ve got the lowdown on them. Here’s your mixed fleet 101.
Airport WiFi / BUD / Budapest Travel / Hungary Travel / Airports / WiFi / → All Tags
There are three things we care about in airports, alcohol obviously excepted. They are, in genuinely no particular order: a working electrical outlet, free airport wifi, and a comfortable chair. At any given time in Budapest's terminal 2B¡the half of the international terminal that serves EU countriesyou can get two out of the three. Never all three. Sometimes only one. Usually two out of three. But never all three.
We were actually pretty psyched to roll into the airport recently, where Jaunted's Airport WiFi Map correctly promised we would get free wireless. It turns out that using the wireless can be a challenge because the signal is sometimes uneven inside the terminal and, of course, because computer batteries only last so long. The root of the problem lies in BUD's decor, which is this kind of haphazard and postmodern "maybe we'll put cushions on our uncomfortable metal benches and maybe we won't" arrangement.
Benches are molded four seats at a time, with accompanying green cushions glued in - or not - in seemingly random order. Where there are no cushions the seats are painfully uncomfortable. When there are cushions there are almost never four in a row, which makes using the benches as makeshift overnight beds impossible. Take a look:
Airport WiFi / Airport-WiFi-Map / Airport WiFi Guide / BUD / RNO / PHX / RST / FSD / RAP / TLV / → All Tags
Your notes have given us even more places to add to our mashup, which is already stocked with dozens of airports worldwide that have free wireless. (We don't roll with airports that charge!)
To check out all of our previous airport WiFi coverage, click here.
· Airport WiFi Map [Jaunted]