Greetings from Hungary! I cannot believe we have arrived! We had a lovely stay in a home masquerading as a hostel (run by two eccentric hippy women) called Skippy. It had an amazing patio on the river in the picturesque Cesky Krumlov; another medieval town of cobbled streets and delicious baked goods. On our last night we enjoyed a gypsy band and explored the town castle.
The day we set out to go to Budapest started with a bus to another bigger town, then to Brno where we had to wait for a midnight bus to Hungary. This is where things start to get weird. First of all we were awfully glad for the company of a security guard and his vicious looking german shephard who patrolled the station at night. Second of all, the bus schedule was entirely indecipherable. What we found on the internet did not coincide with what was posted. We knew which platform it was due to arrive (although Budapest was not included on the stops) so we waited after our fast-food meal we managed to scrounge up at the mall near by. Waiting, waiting, station closed at eleven, went outside to wait.
After awhile a group of extremely loud people arrived with about five bags and three extra-large suitcases in tow. They were snapping pictures, yelling, smoking... we were not sure what to make of them. There was the father, an older man in a matching blue tracksuit which read "The Best of Luck" on the back. The mother. The daughter (whose teeth were rotting out). The butch-femme in adidas with a mullet and a scowl. A variety of sons, or boyfriends or nephews, most of which were wearing tight pants and even tighter t-shirts and who looked like they spent a lot of time in front of the mirror in the morning.
The bus was late. Around 1:30 it pulled up and we approached only to be swarmed by the crazy-seeming family. The bus driver emerged. A large man who began a story, everyone was laughing, we were confused. One of the sons explained in broken english that the bus was full, no room. Some of the family member apparently had reserved seats. The people on the bus began to streamed off to the use the washroom and smoke as the bus drivers attempted to put some of the luggage under the bus. After most of it would not fit they attempted to hoist the large suitcases onto the bus. Just when we started to think that we were likely to have to spend the night in the station with our tarp against the coke machine another man who had been waiting all afternoon prompted the bus-drivers to consider letting the four of us on to sit in the isle. Luckily we got to pay half price. I could see the bus was packed with extra luggage and a large birdcage?... we climbed the step and as the bus shuddered to life and launched forward we tossed our bags in the isle and crouched down. We managed to sleep a bit, haphazardly strewn in the small isle. There was a movie playing which had Romanian or Hungarian subtitles. It featured Cuba Gooding Jr. in it and he was on a gay cruise? I am not sure what it was called but it was kind of entertaining. After a stop in Slovakia, after braving a disgusting public toilet and looking at the elaborate signs warning about bandits! We loaded back on the bus. The family was loaded off and went onto another bus. The three of us got the back seats with the man who had helped us get on the bus. We managed to sleep fitfully.
Anyways, we arrived in Budapest at five in the morning, and successfully navigated our hostel! It was ridiculously cheap and we slept in the common room watching 'Dr. Strangelove or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb' on a projector screen which was awesome. Tomorrow we are going on the free city tour and to Statue Park. More pictures....