Friday was lots of walking looking for an ATM

Budapest Travel Blog

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Arnold, the tech guy who set up the wi-fi for us

Today we finally realized that we cause most of our own problems with little help from anybody else.  But before I write about that, let me tell you about Arnold.


In the apartment we could see a wi-fi transmitter but didn’t have the network key and we couldn’t figure out our satellite TV.  It had 3 different controllers and extensive documentation in Hungarian.  Nothing we tried worked so we called Tibor for help and he sent over Arnold.  Arnold might have been a saint or at least a monk in a prior life - he looks the part - but is pure techie in this life.  He fixed everything, made the TV work and set up a new wi-fi connection for me.  He mentioned that he has about 100 PCs in various states of assembly and I almost adopted him on the spot - he’d fit right into our family.

example of the amount of soot on buildings (this was originally white stone)


Reassured by contact with the world (CNN for my husband and wi-fi to TravBuddy for me) we started out for the day.  We had gotten cash at the station ATM yesterday but had paid most of that for the apartment.  (That is the one downside to renting apartments, you have to pay in cash on arrival.)  Now we needed more cash to get city tour tickets.  The first ATM we tried took our credit card, accepted the transaction, and gave us the card back with no money.  Whoops, that can’t be good!!!  We tried again and had the same result.  We went into the bank for help and they said they were a Hungarian Bank and didn’t have ties to our bank.  And they didn’t know who did. 


We began a little bank odessy at this point, hunting down ATMs and trying to withdraw cash.

a movie being filmed in Budapest streets
  Nothing worked so we called the card company who assured us there was no Hold on the card.  By now it was too late for the tour bus and we weren’t sure how to handle the problem.  Going back to the train station where the card had worked yesterday?  We settled for a cash withdrawal from one of those places with the horrible rates.


When we finally contacted the card company again later that night, they said “Oh, there’s always a hold put on foreign ATM transactions if you have 2 unsuccessful attempts in one day”.  Who knew?  They’d said there was no Hold and we’d used the card for shopping so we’d been clueless.  We’d caused the problem ourselves with a lot of help from MasterCard.


We had spent the day sightseeing around the Embankment and Parliament.

street art along Embankment
  There was renovation and scaffolding everywhere.  Lots of activity and even a movie being filmed. 


The major highlight of the day was finding Karpathia restaurant for dinner.  Ewo years ago we’d had a great Hungarian meal at this restaurant operating in Budapest since 1877.  The décor is almost as good as the food and the music.  We ate in the garden (I had mushroom soup and chicken paprika) while a musical group was playing 3 violins, a bass and something that looked like a piano hit with soft hammers.  The lead violinist in particular was outstanding.  I bought a CD so now I have classical music from Prague and Hungarian music from Budapest.

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Arnold, the tech guy who set up th…
Arnold, the tech guy who set up t…
example of the amount of soot on b…
example of the amount of soot on …
a movie being filmed in Budapest s…
a movie being filmed in Budapest …
street art along Embankment
street art along Embankment
the view from the Embankment
the view from the Embankment
street along the river embankment
street along the river embankment
Parliament and statue of a leader …
Parliament and statue of a leader…
monument to Imre Nagy, 1956 hero w…
monument to Imre Nagy, 1956 hero …
approach to St Stephans Basilica
approach to St Stephan's Basilica
historic restaurant near Vaci Stre…
historic restaurant near Vaci Str…
photo by: Chokk