Way back in April, when we started booking stuff for Christmas, I thought it would be a lovely surprise to book three seats for The Nutcracker. Not for me but for mum. Mirinda knew of course, but I knew she’d enjoy it. Mum last saw The Nutcracker when she was ten so I thought she’d enjoy seeing it again.
So, I booked and paid for the tickets and then, since April have been writing to the ticket company asking them when the tickets would arrive. They kept saying things like they didn’t have the ticket allocation and how often hell freezes over but I never received the tickets.
I still didn’t have them last night and slept very badly wondering what to do. They knew my email but, of course, they were now closed for Christmas. I had given them our first and second Budapest addresses complete with email addresses but apart from a very cryptic message…
We will send you the confirmation With the e-tickets side by side.
…of actual tickets there was no sign.
I was wondering what we could do. Mirinda told me I had to get up at 9am and try and ring them then go to the hotel concierge and ask her to do something. To be honest, I’d tried the concierge yesterday but her only English appeared to be the word ‘No’ so you can imagine how well I went with any line of inquiry.
I tried phoning but they’d all gone on holiday. I dragged my feet across to the hotel lobby to see the concierge. I have to confess that I brightened a bit when I saw it was a different woman. I told her of my plight and she smiled beguilingly. She printed off my tickets and handed them to me with a smile as broad as the world. I could have kissed her but I think she may have misunderstood my intentions. Now we could tell mum of her surprise.
She was not only surprised but delighted as well.
We arrived at the Opera House having had our first Starbucks since arriving (my Christmas present) and joined the thronging hordes waiting to check their coats and cats…sorry, hats. Our seats were in a box that overlooked the orchestra so it was quite a climb to get to it. Mind you, we weren’t the highest in the theatre. The people in the gods were like ants from our box.
While the angle was rather odd and it was difficult to see anything upstage on the left, mum thoroughly enjoyed The Nutcracker. I almost managed to stay awake for the whole thing though the final act with all the dancing and absolutely no story did see me snoozing for a bit. Mirinda enjoyed it though she prefers modern dance to the more traditional ballet…though she did love it!
Afterwards, we spent some time (and florints) in the shop before heading across the square to the wonderful Callas Cafe. What a marvellous place. Great food, great service, great location. In fact, we decided that the Callas Cafe was our special Christmas meal and we forgot the appalling time we had last night on the cruise that should never have been.
Mum even liked her meal (chicken and sprouts with added potatoes) and the Kir Royal I ordered for her. My veal stew with paprika was lovely as was Mirinda’s spit roasted gypsy pig.
Fully stuffed and ready for a sleep, we headed once more, out into the Christmas world of markets where mum spent more money as we wandered slowly towards the Danube. And would you believe it? The night was clear and the lights looked wonderful. Easily the best evening for seeing the lights of Buda from the Pest side.
We gradually made our way by tram back to the hotel and a night in. Tomorrow is our last full day in Budapest.
Given yesterday’s long post, I thought I’d keep this one a tad shorter. So that’s it.