Renmore History Society

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The 6th Annual Trip – Some highlights by John Flannery

IL Duce ----- Our Tour Leader .....Eugene

Day 1. All we had to do was arrive at Dublin Airport on time for a 6 pm flight???? but it wasn’t going to be that sort of a trip for poor Megs Shields ...... “the old petrol in the diesel tank stunt”(we have all done it) was bad timing, but being the true hero she is , and determined as well, she made it just in time . So the team of 26 arrived in safety at departure lounge. Most of the crew had travelled before with the Society and knew what to expect , but we welcomed a few Newbies, ( Pat Holland and Annette Curran, for them it was the maiden voyage) . It was 11.30 pm when we arrived at Hotel in Budapest , but tired as we were the reconnaissance party did find a Pub( after some a few false starts) and it turned out a very late night indeed.


Budapest from Buda Castle

 

Day 2 . The morning was your own , so the gang dispersed to see the Blue Danube etc ,which is in fact green and also to get some views of spectacular BUDAPEST . Our hotel was very central.


Some even made it to the its famous Market which was near by




Afternoon started with a trip/ Tour of the Parliament

“The parliament is symmetrical and thus has two absolutely identical parliament halls out of which one is used for the politics, the other one is used for guided tours. It is 268 m (879 ft) long and 123 m (404 ft) wide. Its interior includes 10 courtyards, 13 passenger and freight elevators, 27 gates, 29 staircases and 691 rooms (including more than 200 offices). With its height of 96 m (315 ft), it is one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest, along with Saint Stephen's Basilica. The number 96 refers to the nation's millennium, 1896, and the conquest of the later Kingdom of Hungary in 896.”


Meg gave us this History of the Parliament building, her she is in Full flight ( no that was later on the Metro escalator with her partner in flight, Doreen ) to an almost captive audience , Jarlath well he was thinking “where is Nora”


Next to St Stephen Basilica , Catholic church
It is named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary (c 975–1038), whose supposed right hand is housed in the reliquary.


Michael Carrigan , alias Fred Astaire , brought the Basilica to life for the group with an amazing unscripted chat about its history , and many of its hidden charms. There was a 300 ft stair case to the top, not for the faint hearted but what a view from the top was outstanding , Noel our young Ontarian ran the whole way to the up.


Annette, Noel, John, Michael and Pat


Dan, however met an old friend and didn’t get to see the views

You have heard of Donegal Tuesday , but we had Budapest Thursday for those that braved the Metro with its obstacle course and made it to Trófea Grill Étterem - Király


Bridie wisphers “you can eat and drink for how much again, € 20 ?, we certainly will get our monies worth here” Others( Delo and Una ) had a more cultured evening at a Concert. But true to form , the Paddy’s all met up t back another late session in theLocal and we sat outside, just as well ????


We will never stick this pace or place

 

Day 3 The now famous Renmore History Conference on tour begins
Held in the hotel conference room with all sorts of lap tops and videos as props. Brian set the scene with a wonderful talk about the History of Budapest (we are so lucky to have someone of Brian’s capability lead our society). But as is now customary the budding “talkers” gave their best shot and the topics ranged from riveting to ridiculous, but all or most had a connection to Budapest.
• Art Nouveau – some great examples as illustrations Michael O’Brien
• The Hungarian Uprising - a tough old time in Budapest Tom O’ Donnell
• Houdini - John Flannery ( I did mention ridiculous.)
• Two Mighty warships ( But Hungary is landlocked ? ) Jarlath Conneely
• Hungarian a dialect and my grand uncle the Count - Dan Hasset
• Robert Capa ( photographer) a fascinating perspective - Terry Muldoon
• The Gabor Sister , Zsa Zsa , Magna and the gorgeous Eva --- a history. Dorinda Flannery who sang for us too , a first .


• Sporting achievements of Hungary – and what a story that was + 400 Olympic medals Pat Holland ( Newbie)
• The British caused the First World War! That’s the claim of British historian Niall Ferguson was explored in his usual elegant style by Eugene Jordan
And last but not least .Its there intelligent Life out there? I hope so there is none here . Frank Hennigan gave us all an uplift.
 Heroes One and All .......... and that some lunch and off to Heroes Square and Palace


Tom Keegan tells us about the Square and its famous status ( lots of naked men with their jewels dangling ,cover those eyes ladies )


Delo Collier tells us about Budapest Castle which unfortunately was closed , due to getting reading for the festival of the Buffalo ( Hungarian style )


I “KIDD” you not , what bullshit to have miss the tour inside , what can you do, so it was back the new local which closed at a more reasonable hour 2 am



Day 4 The major day of the tour and the one with the BIG Surprise as IL Duce called it


First stop for some a Coffee at Budapest’s (if not Europe’s) most Famous Coffee House


A walk across its 1St ,Oldest and Most Famous, The Change Bridge ( those bloody cows again)


Then up the Hill of Buda to the Palace , some walked , others took the FANICULAR


Eventually we all got to the top and to the Palace ( well we lost the Carrs and O’Donnells for a while ) Then Brian spoke about the History of Buda and Pest, how they joined and then Therese Kennedy rose to tells all we ever wanted to know about the Palace, Dan listened as only he can.

“The first royal residence on the Castle Hill was built by King Béla IV of Hungary between 1247 and 1265. The oldest part of the present-day palace was built in the 14th century by Stephen, Duke of Slavonia, who was the younger brother of King Louis I of Hungary. Only the foundations remain of the castle keep, which was known as Stephen's Tower ....”.
In Fact the existing building was build in the late 19th century , one could take a week to have a decent look around as there are at least 5 Museums , including the History Museum and an underground hospital Museum, which is a must.


Sean McCallion gave the group a tall about the Holocust Museum ( part of the group went to see later ) and how the Funicular Operates.

 


Then it was off to Fishermans Bastion with its magnificent St Matthias Cathedral with just fabulous views of Pest from Buda


Nearly got invited to the 50 ?? weddings going there


AND the Views


Karina told us about Fishermen's Bastion “it is only 100 years old, and is a favourite lookout. In medieval times, the fish market was nearby and the bastion was built to commemorate the fishermen who protected this part of the city. The seven tent-like turrets symbolize the seven Hungarian tribes that arrived to the Carpathian Basin in 896.”

Oh awe found the Carrs relaxing with a coffee and the group had afternoon off to sight see or relax for the BIG surprise ahead , some headed for the Museums, others for Gellert Hill area , others went to Holocaust museum , others chilled and enjoyed views


View From Gellert Hill


Gellert Hill a Monument to Peace (once a Nazi fortress)

Budapest history is one of great leaders and grandeur, suffered greatly during the wars ,was laid siege to by the Soviets in WW11 and absolutely flattened. Then was run by communists , there was a revolted 1956 brutally crushed , its remarkable to see its beauty now, how resilient Hungarians are.


The Last night(surprise) was truly brilliant , IL Duce organised a trip to the Concert Hall and afterwards a trip on the Danube with Dinner on board !!!!

The Society are all ears , one is under the seat, it’s not a ghost show

“Bravo how good was that”

Would that Lady Control Herself .. “Hey you there sit down


Getting a bit foggy on the Boat

Day 5 . Its time to get packed , check out and off for a Bath


Gellert Baths , one of the most famous was visited by many on the tour

When in Budapest one has to go to the baths. Even if you are not a big fan of public bathing, it is well worth putting aside your reservations about baths. Many of the tour party went for an Spa on the final day , the nearest one to the hotel was just across the bridge called the Rudas Baths. How can these baths be both relaxing and exciting? Well, most of the baths in Budapest, have several pools with various sizes, facilities, activities, temperature etc. so there is bound to be a pool, which you will like. During day time, the baths are mostly visited by those who want to feel the healing power of the water. It was a great way to finish off a truly super trip and needed

Huge thanks to Eugene , Brian and Karina for organizing such a memorable trip

 


“Terry Do we really have to go home”.. “Yes Frank but book for next year NOW”

 

Written by John Flannery