Thursday morning, we make a trip to the Delta Airlines office. Axel and I were checking our email and saw that he’d gotten an upgrade on the Cincinatti/Salt Lake City leg of the return trip.
“Cincinatti?” I said. “You’re flying through Cincinatti? My itinerary says I’m flying home through Atlanta.”
Multiple phone calls proved ineffective. We can’t call the toll-free number in the States from out of the country, and no one was answering the phone at the local number. We decided that the best thing to do was to walk the 25 minutes to the office and deal with it in person. When we got there, even the ticket agent was perplexed as to how one ticket of a two-ticket purchase had gotten changed, and he put us back together. Unfortunately, he had to put us back together on the longer connection through Cincinnati and Salt Lake, but hey, the amount of time Axel and I travel separately we wanted to travel home together on this trip! While we were in the area of the Delta office, we also visited the Opera House (fabulous port-cochere, cool statues of sphinxes outside) and St Stephen’s Basilica.
St Stephen’s is a relatively “new” church, only 150 years old. Its interior space is vast and uplifting. The walls are made of various hues of red and green and white marble. Its multiple rotundas contain exquisite frescos, and the arches contain carefully rendered mosaics – I wish I had brought field glasses in order to really study them. There is gilding everywhere, from the arches to the candelabra to the mosaics and frescos. The stained glass panels in the nave are some of the most brilliant and saturated of any I have ever seen. Many of the Gothic (and older) cathedrals that I’ve been in seem to have been built to make the congregant feel small, or to instill a fear of God into the flock. This one, built in a different age entirely, felt enlightening to be in. I am sure that to listen to a choir sing in that soaring space is to truly feel closer to God.
(Yes, I know I’m short on photos. See yesterday’s bit about this silly professional photographer forgetting things at home when she goes on vacation.)
From the city, we headed out to the countryside and the show grounds for the vet inspection. The show grounds is about a half hour outside Budapest in a town called Fot. To get there, you enter the grounds of a school for developmentally and physically challenged children. This school is a beneficiary of the show through the umbrella of the International Children’s Safety Organization. It is also the site of the Hungarian Riding for the Disabled Foundation (HRDF), and a competition just for their riders from throughout Hungary will be taking place concurrently with the dressage show.
It is a relaxed and informal show, full of friendly and hospitable people who seem always at the ready if something needs to be done. The jog on Thurday is uneventful, which is always a good thing for a jog, and all the horses pass inspection. Like most European jogs, the horses and buffed and the riders are not. And like most jogs everywhere, it is followed by wine and food, and oh by the way, the draw for the order of go in the CDI classes.