Our Trip to Budapest

Budapest April 2018

My grandfather, John (Jack) Sheeran, always used to say to my mother:

“Start from the beginning and tell the whole story…..”

It was a trip of 4 days altogether.

Friday we flew out from Dublin Airport at 5am

And on Monday we flew back at 11am. All thanks to Aer Lingus

Our Hotel was nice. The Ibis in splendid Heroes Square. A very historic spot.

I had to get a room in a nearby hostel as Pauric could not tolerate 3 of us in a hotel room. The Baroque Hostel, also on scenic Heroes Square. We all need our own space at times.

Our Bus driver was Hungarian. Anne Caulfield was the excellent group leader.

We had 3 people in wheelchairs also.

The Sports Arena, an ideal size, was out of town a bit. In the countryside.

We went out there on Saturday night for a lovely celebratory meal and to meet the international competitors socially. A great atmosphere of joy.

Eric was the overall coordinator of the event. From Belgium. A visionary man.

And Atilla was the main Hungarian organiser. It was very well organised.

The Hungarian helpers were very nice and friendly.

Friday, after we arrived, we had a bus tour of the whole city with a brilliant guide called Susanna. The Buda part was especially beautiful. Very touristy.

The buildings and spaciousness of Budapest are magnificent.

What a history. A city which survived a lot.

Then, in the afternoon, we had a lovely hour long cruise on the Danube which gave great views.

We had a ramble in City Park on Saturday morning and visited the big colourful market and Dracula’s castle and then went back to the hotel as it was 27 degrees C. Very hot. Pauric chillaxed, as the kids say, in the hotel room with his IPad, while Maura and I went for a long ramble and got very disorientated but luckily found a Costa with lovely cheesecake just when all seemed lost.

The poverty in Hungary is immense. We saw a lot of very run down areas.

Unemployed people receive no free health care.

This was a holiday weekend for the locals as May 1st is a big day, harking back to the Communist era. Labour day when no one works except taxis.

Sunday, the big day of the competition, was even hotter up to 32 degrees C.

We had meals together at the hotel on Friday night and Sunday night which were lovely.

Brian Carroll and his team brilliantly organised and motivated the athletes who all did very well, thank God. My step son, Pauric, age 14, got a silver medal in Kumite. He was over the moon at this. A great achievement in self mastery.

Dillon, one of Pauric’s friend, age 15, got two golds, in another more competitive group. We were all delighted as Dillon lost his Mam to cancer last year.

Monday was difficult until we actually got on the plane. We were delayed leaving the hotel and there was what seemed like a long delay checking in and then a long wait to board but the lovely Barry’s Tea on the plane soon made up for all that. You would not get it with Ryanair!

We arrived home exhausted but very satisfied.

Overall, a great success, thank God.

Everyone seemed to enjoy it.