Budapest 

The Budapest international airport , alternative name  Franz Liszt Aiport,  is rather unique if not quaint.  A vast and desolate cracked concrete apron, tall barbwire fences with concrete posts painted in faded red and white stripes, a double storey terminal with a few air bridges,  the only indication of 20th century infrastructure not to mention the parked sparse modern jets in the tarmac. It has a colourless, cold-war look and feel. I would not have been surprised if a DC3 landed and Humphrey Bogart disembarked, undid his trenchcoat and lite up a Camel… Or vice-a-versa.

But the cavernous arrival hall had more Hungarian security police than arriving passengers. At the foot of the stairs, before we reached immigration even, a couple of well endowed police persons (male and female) seemed to randomly pull across alighting passengers for a passport check. In truth it was far from random as the only criteria was that you were dressed in a burkah or bore a striking resemblence to Osama Bin Laden. Why on earth would you do this immediatley after the plane has safely landed? Other than this, the journey through customs and immigration was a cunundrum of contradiction, as I sped passed a bored immigration official, after a cursory glance at my passport and a mechanical stamp of an entry visa.  My back pack was one of the first up the chute , yet another benefit of travelling Business.
The customs hall had the usual red and green path assuming that that you are truthful about your declaration, I took the green door, to see before me a desolate, endless and totally unmanned corridor. Eddys of wind swirled the detritious of a take away society into the corners of the concourse and a large black security X-ray machine, cracked, covered in dust and cobwebs, looked as though it had last been fired up during  the Hungarian Revolution in 1956.
Travelling Business Class with Emirates has the added bonus of a limousine pick up and drop off service. At Budapest I am greeted by a clean cut Hungarian man in a huge black BMW. He instantly reminds me of Osley Miraveti both in looks and his accent and spoken English. It is more than a little disconcerting.
Just outside the airport is a large open aviation museum with several static aeroplanes from vintage to modern large jet aircraft which my chauffeur explains are open to all for climbing both inside and out. I make a mental note to return.
The drive from airport to the centre of the city takes about 20 minutes and as it is Sunday the roads are relatively free of traffic. Huge concrete housing estates built in the 1950s line the streets and one has a sense of desolation, intensified by the  avenues of dormant deciduous trees that to this australian, appear dead. But my first impression is that the residential parts of the city are similar in look and feel to East Berlin that I visited 2 years ago, but without the cancerous spreading graffiti of their more westernised european counterparts.
 Residential appartments by night
The Zenit hotel Budapest is very central with a great restaurant specialising in ham. I had slept rather fitfully on the plane I perceived, yet despite a few brief disruptions I awoke around 8:30 am Adelaide time and just 3 hours from landing. Then after a shower at the hotel slept again for 3 hours then got up and did a brief introduction to Budapest by night…. During which I became hopelessly disorientated.

How I create my blogs

A picture is worth a thousand words   

Hence my basic necessities are quite simple  

 

I must have music at the same time – either headphones or a Bluetooth speaker 

  

My room in the Zenit Hotel Budapest home for the next week 

I slept a few hours on arriving then walked the Danube River at night it was quite crisp but clear weather  

 

How to Bowl a Maiden Over

  

Travelling  light! It has been suggested that I should unpack the pyjamas 

How to Bowl a Maiden  Over

I am not sure what is worse on a long haul flight: The distressed new born infant in the seat behind you or the hyperkinetic group of schoolboys who are representing their school, state or country in sport and who surround you on all sides in the plane. They suffer with terminal akathisia, 

A group of smartly dressed young men in dark blue tracksuits congregate in  the departure lounge. They are all dusky dark skinned with shocks of black hair and trimmed beards.  I assume, as this in an Emirates flight, that they are from the Gulf States. I pluck up the courage to chat to a very sweet sexy young man who is all of 56Kg and a few inches under 5 feet tall. I ask if they are all members of a soccer team? They look look like they should be football (soccer)  players as they are all so trim and thin in a youthful muscular sense. I knew intuitively that they were not members of a ballet corp – sadly. I wondered if they have a national ballet company  in the UAE? Perhaps this dusky fellow traveller is the Prince in Swan Lake?
No he explains in perfect Oxford english they are members of a cricket team and not just any cricket team, but the World Cup Bangladesh squad!  I am seated next to the wicket keeper ( I could  quite happily let my balls go through to him). My hopes are dashed when he asks if I would give up my seat for his wife, who is seated in the next compartment. Negotiations take place between the cabin crew and the rest of the team as we taxi for take off. “Arming the doors and cross checking ” moves down a few boxes on the pre take off check list, relative to ensuring that the wicket keepers wife is safely buckled up next to her beau. So I give up my seat and am placed next to one of the batsmen. It is all sorted out amicably  The team manager gives me a quaint giggle,  a nudge and wink and explains that “the men like to sit next to their wifes”. Well they might in Bangladesh. Many australian men prefer not to sit next to their wifes, or even leave them at the airport.
He (the batsman) has, he assures me in an endearingly adolescent way, made a few centuries. I think twice about asking him about “ducks” in case he misconstrues an innocent question above the roar of the Rolls Royce Trent engines. 
The team are all in Business Class and are weighed down with carry on luggage, trinkets and souvenirs, but no alcohol. Once the frenetic stuffing of carry on luggage is complete, they all settle down, take off shoes, rug up, power up the inflight entertinment, and to a man, tune into the latest Sylvester Stallone shoot up “Expendable 3”. Only the americans can churn out this genre of movie and only the americans can even seriously consider making a sequel. Not just one sequel but a third! It seems rather obvious, even I suspect to our Prime Minister not overly endowed with intellect, that if you make a movie in which the heros are all expendable, the very title has an extreme sense of finality, so there surely can only be one film on the subject?
The coach or manager, who had nudged and winked me into moving to a different seat, was not as trim or taunt as his national eleven. Indeed give him a few years and he will be well onto the way to the Metabolic X sydrome ( that’s the medical term for fat ). He had the seat on the aisle opposite me and did not make even as far as the opening title of “Expendable 3” as he promptly fell asleep in the sitting position and stirred an hour later for dinner, only to fall asleep as he spooned the lentil soup literally into his mouth! Saved by his seat belt from drowning. I suspect he had severe sleep apnoea, rather than Narcolepsy.
I remember vividly my first patient with Narcolepsy who had such a short sleep latency, (the hallmark of Narcolepsy) , that she did exactly  the same thing, most disconcerting at a dinner party.   
Finally one may ask why would the Bangladesh world cup cricket team travel all the way to Dubai then wait 8 hours to catch a flight to Dakah  thus backtracking a few thousand kilometres? An excellent question that crossed my mind too and the answer is that  Emirates sponsored them. So that they all fly with Emirates and Business Class to boot. 
  
Members of the Indonesian Boot Skooting team in transit at Dubai as they head to the annual Western Cavalcade in Wyoming, stopping off in New York on the way 
 
Golf is universal and it seems to be an attraction to wrap your equipment in something furry. The Japanese male is enticed by Australian golf ball carriers made from a kangaroo’s scrotum. Whilst in Dubai try a camel head for the number 1 wood 

The Joys of A Summer Ride

It has not been an unusually hot summer, whilst we have had the occasional daytime temperature exceeding 41°, certainly there have not been runs of several days as we did last year. My Saturday morning summer routine is to join the hundreds of cyclists as they pant and push their way up the old Norton Summit Road. This week on the way down we came across this remarkable sight. A young male koala sitting in the middle of the road

You don't by any chance have a water bottle?

You don’t by any chance have a water bottle?

2015-02-28 08.22.43

I reckon there is water in that blue plastic bottle

It did not even attempt to run away but was obviously severely dehydrated and indeed managed to consume several drinks bottles from the cyclists as they came down and stopped. I suspect the poor thing was sick in some way. I wondered whether koalas could suffer from diabetes? Anyway after consuming at least 10 or 12 L of water it waddled back into the hills and climbed the nearest gumtree! I have never seen this before and it almost appeared that the Koala knew exactly where the water was and would reach up for the drink containers on the bike.

Yes definitely water!  Is it an energy drink? Does it have a eucalyptus flavour?

Yes definitely water! Is it an energy drink? Does it have a eucalyptus flavour?

Come on don't tease me, GIVE me that water bottle!

Come on don’t tease me, GIVE me that water bottle!

One of the cyclists phoned the animal rescue unit as we were all of the opinion that it was not well! Eventually we all cycled back down and I headed off to the Norwood swimming pool to cool down before of course heading off to the mandatory coffee on the Parade.

This is the OLDEST community swimming pool in South Australia, It is 55 yards long, not 50 metres. It celebrated its 50th anniversary about 5 years ago. The water is pristine.

This is the OLDEST community swimming pool in South Australia, It is 55 yards long, not 50 metres. It celebrated its 50th anniversary about 5 years ago. The water is pristine.

Within the next three weeks I’m heading off to a couple of medical conferences the first in Budapest, “Controversies in Neurology”. Then I shall journey to the northern part of England and Scotland and the Lakes district’s where my cousin lives with his wife and spend a week with them. He has organised a bicycle for me! Then I will head down to London for another conference on epilepsy before returning home.

I have already planned a month off in September, I will head to Istanbul for a week then I am rather excited about the possibility of a swimming trek for eight days between the various Greek islands before heading down to the southern part of Italy and the town of LECCE about which I have become rather fascinated. and yes you have read correctly it will be a swimming trek and to confirm this a photo of the various swims around the Greek isles appears below. The yellow lines mark each individual swimming trek of about three or 4 km and we do TWO each day.

as Dorothy said in the wizard of Oz.. "Follow the yellow swim lines"...

as Dorothy said in the wizard of Oz.. “Follow the yellow swim lines”…

And as for Lecce, I was knew I had to visit when I watched a great Italian Movie as in  this link

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2691793920/tt1405810?ref_=ttmd_md_pv#

Otranto

This is a great fishing village on the southern coast of Italy and Near Lecce.

So.. any of my readers are keen to join me? Start your swim training and cycling today!