We left Slovakia early this morning after a tasty and satisfying pancake breakfast and fresh squeezed O.J. A short 2 hour drive took us quickly across into Hungary, and into the Capitol Budapest (Booda pesht as we learned today). I think that we’re a bit paranoid now about the car because out of now where this guy in a mid nineties BMW pulls up close behind us weaving and flashing his lights like a mad man. Josh says,” let’s just see what he wants, he’s got kids in the car it can’t be bad”. So, we pull over, Josh gets out on the highways’ wee sized shoulder and the very well dressed guys heated plea I can just barely hear through the rear window. “Please I have no money” and while Josh says sorry we can’t help you we have no cash on us, he comes around to my side and I roll down the window a little bit and he flashes some gold around his neck begging that he can trade us for his gold. By this time Josh is back in the car and we apologise and make a mad dash to leave the scene. This is SO strange, and we were a bit stupid for pulling over on the side of pretty much B.F. middle of know where instead of just going to the next gas station to check it out. But, he wasn’t as crazy as he could have been, which I try not to think about. Ugh.
Then, as discouraged and overly trusting naive feeling travellers we pull into Budapest and navigate the strange winding roads that connect at odd angles and appear messed up on the GPS, and find that our hotel is on a street with no parking even though I am pretty positive I checked this beforehand. Josh pulls into a side street and I run around the corner to talk to the front desk who tells me about the parking garage around the corner for which you drive into a tray and it gets parked far away in a land you can’t again reach until you are ready to drive away. In my mind I wonder how on earth we can be quick enough to unpack our bags in time for the tray to be whisked away, though we find out its not that fast and the attendant manually closes the door and tells it when its ready to fire into space. Huh. Neat.
Feeling overwhelmed, hot and hungry, we park in the square near the St Stephen’s Bascilica (right opposite our hotel which wont’ let us check in for at least 3 more hours)and have a hot Panini and cold beverage accompanied once again by, you guessed it, upwind chain smokers. The hop on hop off bus tour sounds pretty much as good and lazy as it gets right now, so we march down the block for our tickets and decide to ride the red line until we get to the end. Though we end up at the Castle district and wander around there, take some photos and Josh’s thrilled as we find the labirynth caves underneath the castle city. They are neat, yes, though the claustrophobic afraid of the dark child in me was nearly scared out of the idea, but I hurried through, and thankfully Josh had his multipurpose iphone flashlight. It would be easy to get lost in there and I didn’t like it.
Another highlight of Josh’s successful hunt for neat things to do was at the St Stephen’s cathedral where some famous saint guy’s hand has been mummified and on display for all to see after finally settling to rest in Budapest after spending the last 3 centuries stolen by other countries. You can see photos of it in the little caged box up on the wall of the cathedral. Gross. Here is an image of the hand, its in there.
After riding around the red line on the bus I am trudging, hot, and tired with a massive headache and need for food (getting hangry) we get back to the hotel at 5 to check in when they stop us at the door to mention that the power is out in the whole building and we cannot go in. They didn’t know my mind was already as good as sleeping soundly and so close to a female grumpy & tired breakdown. They summoned us next door to the restaurant for a drink or two (on them) and so we had some tapas and drinks and finally after 2 hours (not 1 as promised) we were able to check in to the room to rest.
Later, we made it out for a sunset stroll along the Chain Bridge, with the Castle, and Parliament buildings lit up in the background. Great for photos, but the camera was resting, as was my neck.
The AC in the building is still out, but I can be thankful that the elevator did not go out with us on it, and that the window in the room opens, though to a VERY loud AC unit from next door. My headache is already returning. Sometimes you should listen to your fathers voice in your head, when you try to save a buck and stay at a better priced hotel than you maybe should have, but the location is SO good! You get what you pay for, right dad?!