We made it to Budapest - I'll have more details on our guide and driver on my more comprehensive "after" blog, but we had arranged with our Budapest Guide Magdi Pelech to have her driver pick us up at the airport at 7:15 PM (that's 19:15 for the military types and folks in Europe!) At 35 euros for the transfer, it's more costly than a group transfer or the local bus, but possibly less than a taxi, because you could get one that doesn't treat you right. And after a long day in the unfriendly skies, there is nothing like seeing someone waiting for you at the airport with your name on a placard! Arranging a transfer for our first night in a place is one of those splurges well worth it.
Our trip from the airport, along the Pest side of the Danube at night was a beautiful introduction to Budapest, and we could see the river cruise ships heading out of port and doing their "drive-bys" of the monuments at night. We saw ARosa, Viking, Grand Circle River Ships, and we weren't even looking that hard! We also saw the party cruises and night site seeing cruises traveling up and down the river. One can see why the river ship lines start or end many of their cruises here, it is really lovely and scenic!
Our room is on the top floor concierge level (making all those stays in anonymous Residence Inns in college towns all over the New England and NY worth the effort for the free upgrade and access to the concierge lounge with included breakfast and snacks! We stopped in tonight for a late snack and a quick look at the panoramic view from the lounge.
Tomorrow we meet Jeff's sister and BIL, K&N for a full day of touring with Magdi Pelech and the driver we met this evening!