- 2 May 2013 9:00 AM
But let me tell you the story from the beginning.
In July last year Budapest got something I felt was really amazing and also a little incredible. New boat service run by the public transport system that will get you from Kopaszi Gát (Rákoczi bridge) in the south for just 450 forint (<em>free</em> with your pass!) and no traffic jams. The boats run every half hour on weekdays and every hour on weekends. It proved to be loads of fun for my son and his babysitter last summer, when they got to go home from the nursery by BOAT. But we never tried it as a family outing before today.
When the other day our friend from the US announced she will be coming for the weekend with her little daughter, I knew it was time. Weather was beautiful and we wanted to spend the afternoon outside with the kiddos, so we decided to finally try that boat trip out. We got on on Batthyány tér and went all the way to the end, to Kopaszi gát.
This post was supposed to be about how great it is to take a boat trip and enjoy yourself on a beautifully maintained (even though a little overcrowded) Kopaszi gát. Perfect place to relax in the green area. The fact you can get there by boat that costs you the same as a tram ticket hence no need to sit in the car for once, made it all the more appealing. But no, this is not that kind of a story.
After we were on the boat for a while I noticed an empty space on the bench near the fence, so I went for it with my 16 months old son, but the moment we got there a woman shows up and says: Excuse me, I was sitting here..and sits there, with her dog in her lap. What??? Remember, this is not a tourist boat cruise, this is a public transport ride. Isn't it like a rule, to let pregnant women, people with small kids or the elderly SIT? Not a big deal though. I didn't care about that seat that much anyway.
The boat ride itself was actually quite pleasant. Towards the end there were hardly any people on it and we did feel like tourists a bit, with sun shining in our faces, passing all those Budapest sights along the river. At the Exit I inquired with the employee of the boat about when the last one was going back to town and he gave me what turned out to be completely incorrect info. Lucky for me I know how to read and I like to double check.
But now for the whole point of this somewhat boring post.
Last boat on Sundays leaves at 7 PM. We get there 10 minutes earlier because we don't want to miss it. Kids are tired and there is no other convenient way to get home from there so we are cautious. There are several more people on the stop with us, but not too many, so we even comment how great it is going to be to ride back because it won't be crowded. We are sitting on the stairs in front of this:
It says "don't step on the bridge" and no one does. This is the bridge:
Should the bridge not be closed with the chain when there is no boat at the dock?
The boat is on time and hoards of people are coming out, all on the left side of the bridge (your left). Four people get in on the right side, the rest of us wait for the passengers to get out. Why? Because that is what you do in public transportation, people get out/other people get in. Plus, we couldn't walk over those spacers on the right side of the bridge (I'm still tying to figure out what these are supposed to be). When all of the passengers are out we start walking. My husband is the first in line, our 4 year old on the bike right behind him, then there is two of us with babies in strollers, behind us a couple with a boy in the wheel chair, etc...
And the boat left us there! The boat left us there
My husband yells and waves, showing them how many people are still out there waiting to get on this last boat tonight. And you know what the guy did? He just shrugged and tapped his wrist watch.
A bunch of us stood there in disbelief, I was trembling with anger. We phoned the customer service number, explained what happened and requested the boat should come back for us, because we were there on time and were just left there like a bunch of idiots. We could still see the boat on the next stop, only 200-300 meters from us.
We got a call back in a couple of minutes: the crew said there was no one on the stop when they left. Sorry, deal with your kids in pushchairs, you wheel chairs and everything else some other way, we don't care, we're BKV.
Should the guy not come out, check if there is anyone waiting? Isn't there a possibility there is someone waiting there who can not get on the boat on their own? And SHOULD THEY NOT, I repeat, chain the entrance to the bridge when they leave the dock?