What a great day to head out to the airport! Budapest doesn’t have direct public access to the airport – like a tram, metro train or streetcar. Either taxi or a few transfers via the metro line and a bus.
First, I walked to the nearby Metro station (10 minutes) and caught the #2 train, then got off at Deak Ferenc ter Station and caught the #3 train. Took this train to the end of the line and boarded the 200E bus that took me on the final leg to the airport. Think the ride altogether took about one hour. A cab is around 30 minutes.
On my way down to the Metro station, I took a picture of a notice painted on the sidewalk. Cracks me up when I see it. Guess it works because I don’t see dog poo on the sidewalks.
The purpose of my visit to the airport was to find someone (preferably an official) who could review my passport and tell me how much longer I could stay in Budapest, or for that matter, in the Schengen zone. The Schengen zone is an affiliation of countries (mainly EU countries) who allow people to pass through their boarders without a country-specific visa. There is a 90 day limitation that a U.S. citizen can stay in a Schengen country within a 6-month period. Somewhat easy to understand, difficult to follow if you’re someone like me who travels in and out of the zone.
My first stop was an on-duty Board Control person. She said I should start with the airline who will transport me out of Hungary and into a non-Schengen zone country. I checked with the airlines and they directed me to a travel agency. The travel agency, once we talked for a while, was able to get in contract with a Boarder Control officer who came to the travel agency office to meet with me. Long story short, I can stay in Budapest until 1 May as planned. There was some concern, on my part, of how to count the days I had been in a Schengen zone country over the past six months.
That being out of the way, I bought a bottle of water and a Snickers bar to celebrate. Woohoo! I headed back to the flat, ate a quick lunch of bread and cheese, then took a nap.
I still needed a few more items to stock my shelves so headed up to my new favorite grocery on the hill. Not quite Zupan’s, but it is very nice and has everything I need.
Came back to the flat and did another load of wash, some bookkeeping, answered email, and then heated up dinner from the evening before. Tonight I added some broccoli to the meal (Chicken Paprika).
Tomorrow I check out health clubs and hook up the Apple TV.