Night train to Crakowa

Update: I didn’t find time (or inspiration?) to finish writing about our adventures in Budapest, but I did manage to upload some of the better photos to Flickr. In the meantime, we’re away again! One more day in Budapest, then it was time to board the Eurocity Night train to Krakow. The morning was spent organising and repacking — it is truly astounding how messy things can get if you don’t keep adjusting — and so the sun was well and truly above us when we finally checked out. I must say, the Maverick Hostel in Budapest was an awesome place to stay — cool, funky, cheap, clean … and the guy running the place was exceedingly nice! We handed […]

Budapest Day 3: Tourist time

Our last full day in Budapest was all about the tourist attractions. Neither Dee nor I are particularly drawn to large crowds of photo-snapping foreigners in plaid shorts and polo shirts, strangely enough, but there was much of Buda left to explore and so we once more boarded the Big Red Bus and headed over the bridge. As it was all planned on Thursday we knew exactly what we were doing: first, the Heroes Square, then onto stop 13 for the Fisherman’s Bastion, a wine-tasting at Faust’s Wine Bar, a walk to the Palace and the “Fenicular” down the hill towards the chain bridge. If there was time, we were going to take a cruise to Margaret Isle in the […]

Budapest Day 2: I love the nightlife!

A late post (on a train to Warsaw) about the rest of our time in Budapest — what, you were expecting something as mundane as linearity? Seriously, from me? Okay, I’ll back-date it so it appears in the right place in the timeline, eh, that should just about do it. On our second day in Budapest, and on Dayna’s sage advice, we bought tickets for the big red “hop on, hop off” tour bus. It was 12:30 and too hot to be walking about by the time we boarded, and so we did a full circuit — through Pest, along Andrassy Utca to the Heroes Square, then back and across the river to the “old town” of Buda and our […]

Budapest, Day 1: Meet the locals

A first-class train from Wien to Budapest. We each have window seats at the back of the cabin, which means there’s a large space between us and we have great leg room. Dee has a little nap while I finish Neal Stephenson’s Anathem — an excellent book, combining “fantasy” with science-fiction, philosophy and modern physics. If you like your books a little more cerebral, I can highly recommend it. (Thanks for the tip, Andrew R!) We arrived at a hot — and flooded! — Budapest on Tuesday afternoon. After a little to-and-fro’ing to get some Hungarian forints to spend, we boarded a local bus and headed for our hostel: Maverick, an old but beautiful building in Fereciek Tere, Pest. It’s […]

Strasbourg: is it France, or Germany?

We’re in Strasbourg, on the Franco-Deutsch border! We caught our morning train from Paris without issue, taking le Metro to Gare de l’Est on the free tickets Martin and Helen left us (thanks guys) with plenty of time. Dee even (somehow) found le livre etranger section of the train station bookshop and picked up some reading material — despite leaving the travel guides with Dayna I still somehow have four books with me! Initial impressions of Strasbourg, and our hotel, were … dim. I’d packed a picnic lunch, but ate too early and the train ran late, so we were both getting a little hungry when we pulled into the (admittedly impressive) Strasbourg central station. We hiked across town with […]