On the third day we stayed in the centre of Budapest. The second concert took place in St Michael’s Church, situated in the middle of a street of restaurants, cafes and shops – tourist haven you could say.
After morning rehearsals we had several hours spare to explore the city. We began by lunching at a nearby restaurant where there was a really fierce waitress with blonde hair who refused to smile at any of us. When it came to monetary issues she was extremely unhelpful when I decided to pay in Euros instead of Hungarian Forints. She strode over with a heap of coppers in her hand and preceded to pour them into my own, as if to spite me. How was I meant to lug these heavy coins around? Luckily, another waitress was considerate enough to take back those coins and change them into Forints.
Then it was time for ice-cream!
Roozle and I outside the church, with the poster advertising our concert!
Some EUCO cellists busked outside the venue and played a selection of pop tunes transcribed by 2Cellos.
We interested ourselves in some souvenirs…
…and walked down to the River Danube.
…witnessing the damage caused by the floods.
(Enjoying the dangers it posed for us?)
Why do you always look at the camera? Why don’t you guys look somewhere else?
For several minutes the sun disappeared and we were attacked by a thunderstorm!
– St Peter’s Basilica
My cardigan was on my head to protect my hat. Learning from previous experiences in Cambridge, water and a paper hat don’t go well together.
And I probably should have removed it by this point:
There happened to be a wedding ceremony taking place inside the building. Even though I felt I was intruding, I was also very glad to ‘be part of’ the formalities for a brief moment, to hear organ music resound through the marble-work and stone hall.
When everyone exited the building a herd of tourists (me included) surrounded the steps to record the events. Note the subtle use of an iPad on the right of the picture. Those devices are impractical and silly to use as a camera – why, tourists?!
I managed to catch the bride and priest/vicar/minister (please excuse my lack of knowledge) in an ambiguous pose.
Then there was food: Chicken Paprika!
Since the location of our concert was so central, our presence in Budapest was publicised well and the church was fully packed. We received a very generous donation and played two encores of Brahms!
Here’s a video of the concert:
NYO asked me to write a piece on the tour for their blog, which I’m told will be published today.
Due to the much anticipated compression of time of the past weeks, these posts aren’t as substantial as I had hoped. To write about something that occurred three weeks ago, with the same enthusiasm, depth and care as for an event which happened last night, is proving more difficult than I had imagined – never mind writing for another blog as well! Soon I’ll have caught up with myself…
Meanwhile I’m catching up on sleep, undergoing regeneration in time for upcoming NYO events.
Inspire Day! and Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace, woohoo!