Goldsmith Goes Girly!

All of the “Man Points” I might have earned over my trip, the points that go toward proving that without a doubt I am one tough hombre who makes Clint Eastwood look like a girls blouse, are now officially null and void.
The fact that I spent half a day looking at and buying knives in Geneva? Forget it!
But I’ve been working slavishly at my “Beers from many nations” study, that has to count doesn’t it? Doesn’t mean a thing!
Why have all my efforts come to naught? Because as of 3 1/2 hours ago, my favourite thing out of this whole European tour is going to watch some Ballet!
Let me start the story roughly 24 hours earlier.
As I read while perched on my high-altitude bunk (you know a country must have lax personal injury laws when hostel top bunks are SEVEN feet up & without a guard rail) when two American guys in my dorm started chatting. I stuck my head over the partition & joined in as we shared our initial thoughts about Budapest. One of the guys let slip that he had been to the Opera house that night. He had thought he was going to see “Tosca” and ended up watching the Nutcracker Suite.
The trouble started when he mentioned that the beautiful Opera house alone was worth the price of the ticket. Photographic alarm bells went off in my head and the seed was sown.
Cut to about 2PM today.
I’m walking to the “Topography of Terror” Museum, so I can learn a little more about the sufferings of Hungarians under Nazism and Communism, when I happen to walk past the Opera House. I decide to go in & see if they have tickets. They do. They’re reasonably priced.
4 hours and only 25 Australian dollars later I am in one of the balcony rooms of one of the more impressive theatre halls I have ever been in. Gigantic domes ceiling, paintings and gold are everywhere, even the carpet is a plush deep red. There is a buzz throughout the crowd as the orchestra starts warming up. What sold me on the crowd is seeing the faces of hundreds of little kids in the audience. Mainly girls & mostly about 5-10 years old, they were the most gorgeous crowd of kids. Some were done up in gowns and fir to match their mothers, others were wearing what was most likely the only clothes they owned that didn’t have holes in them.
Hungarian parents out for a night of culture, little kids getting an early Christmas present, international travellers who wanted to experience a different side of Hungary, we all had one major thing in common at 6:10!
When the curtains opened. Every one of our mouths closed.
The whole performance was almost flawless. The Orchestra was awesome, the sets were phenomenal and the ballet dances were just stunning. The whole audience sat in wrapped attention, some of us almost forgetting to breath, as if the visual spectacle going on would be enough to sustain us.
Trying to describe the performances themselves is always a bad move, so I will leave my thoughts about the show itself there. However I will make one vow. If it is in my power, when they are a little older, I will try & take my nieces Jocelyn, Beth and Charlotte along to a performance of the Nutcracker Suite, because I would have given anything to be able to watch Joss’ face if she could have watched this with me in Budapest.
Then again, maybe I should make a different vow. In keeping with the theme, this could be a chance to introduce me Nephew Toby to his feminin side…
In other news
Travel from Berlin went well. I got to the airport early and having already having finished Dave Eggers’ “A heartbreaking work of staggering genius”, I took Kristin’s advice and bought “The Davinci code”. I’m 200 pages into it & enjoying it quite a bit.
Budapest itself is really beautiful. I’ve walked through a fair bit of the town & made my way up some tracks to the Citadella area yesterday afternoon, despite the fact that it was total dark by 4:30pm! tomorrow I conqour the castle area before I catch a 7pm sleeper to Krakow tomorrow night. I am excited about my first sleeper train & the fascinating/horrifying experience that awaits in Krakow when I get to visit Auschwitz/Berkenau concentration camps.
The next post could have a very different feel to it after A & B.

7 thoughts on “Goldsmith Goes Girly!

  1. What a wonderful post Tim, I SO enjoyed reading it and and I know EXACTLY how you felt…. one of my most precious memories is about 50 years old…. my Gran taking me to see Nutcracker! I can still see it in my mind, and of course, I have the music here because I love it too. I took Amy when she was a child, but somehow it didn’t catch her imagination… of course, it wasn’t in such a magical setting as you have experienced… how I wish I was there! I would have loved to see those little girls dressed up like that. I think perhaps you have to make the WHOLE experience magical, ie dress up, great theatre, and go at night….

  2. Tim, Joss would LOVE to do that with her Uncle Tim, and you know Toby’s enjoyment of Jossie’s ballet concert was over the top, so he would love to go too.

  3. Clearly all “man points” are doubled because you are not only man enough to go to the ballet, but to admit that it was an amazing and beautiful experience!

  4. Tim,
    A quick tip – even thought there are busses and taxis between the two camps, you can quite easily walk it. There are signs and a whopping big map outside the station that directs you to Auschwitz. Then to get to Berkenau you go back down the road towards the station, but hang a left over the bridge and then vere left down off the bridge. 30 min walk. Do Auschwitz first, but leave good time for Berkenau too.
    Nice, cheap beer in the pub directly opposite the station. 70% burgers in the eatery across from Auschwitz.

  5. OK I’m gonna be REALLY girly here and say…
    What on EARTH did you WEAR to the ballet?! 🙂
    Glad you got to see the Citadella, even if it was dark….be sure and head over the Fishermans Bastille (maybe that’s what you’re talking about with the castle area?)….I TOLD you Budapest is fabulous!
    I’ll enjoy the San Diego sunshine while you enjoy…Krakow!

  6. Hey Tim,
    The Guiness was great, even if I did have it at the local and not the Fiddler. Glad to hear your having a great time, keep safe.
    Shannyn

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