On the banks of the River Danube is a sign with the letter D in a wavy logo, signalling a boat stop. The Blue Danube is an unromantic greenish-brown much of the time, but just as pretty as when the composer Johann Strauss immortalised it. The Hungarian language seems unfathomable for anyone not born to it – it is one of the most difficult in the world to learn, a guide boasted – but figures are figures, and I figured out that a boat would chug along in 13 minutes. There was just enough time to photograph the spectacular Houses of Parliament (the world’s third-largest) and its guards, who would look more fierce if they ditched the sexy sunglasses. I enjoyed the famous Danube for free when the boat set off 13 minutes later, because of an all-encompassing ticket that let me hop between underground trains, trams, buses and boats for a week-long bargain of R242. For many years, Hungary was a place nobody wanted to visit. The Soviet Union, which "liberated it" after World War 2, imposed a...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.