If you’re following along on our Vegan Eurotrip in order (which I suggest and sincerely hope you are), you’ll know that I left off saying we hopped on an overnight bus from our first stop of Prague, bound to arrive in Budapest at 6am the following morning where our hostel awaited us. We arrived safely however, were faced with a series of small things that went wrong on our Budapest quest before they began to go well…
First off – as you know from our history of sleeper busses, we got no sleep. Falsely advertised. At least the Asia busses had beds rather than completely upright seats. Little tip for future bus riders – save the sparkling water for an occasion that doesn’t include bumpy roads. It will explode on you and you will have to sit in your wet clothes through the duration of the heavily air-conditioned ride. Someday you’ll rid your skin of the shiver-induced goosebumps. Someday…
Next up, we trekked through the city on a sleepy Sunday morning to the wrong hostel. A lovely morning stroll might not have been so bad if it weren’t for
A. our exhaustion from not sleeping on the ‘sleeper bus,’
B. toting the entirety of our lofty gear and wardrobe, and
C. having to dodge the remnants of an apparent Saturday night city-wide rager.
I have never seen so many piss stains in the street. So we arrive at the wrong hostel, woke up the staff member who had been passed out on the couch (remember it’s only just after 6am), to be spun around and set free in the correct direction this time. It was a pretty shitty-looking hostel in a crumbling building with inoperative lights and a terrifying elevator, so we weren’t too upset at the prospect of moving on and moving up, aside from hitting the streets again to deal with A, B, and C listed above.
After what I’m sure was hours of waddling around the dried urine streams, we finally stepped over the broken glass and red vomit-adorned sidewalk entrance and into the bar beneath our correct hostel. Someday I hope to forget the smell that smacked us in the face as we hesitantly walked in – a gag-inducing cocktail of dried beer and bodily fluids. I’m writing this 8 months after the fact (I know…shameful) and the details remain vivid… Honestly guys, the hostel looked decent online, as did the price. However, a large handful of the rooms had windows facing the bar rather than outside. The vibe was great if you were looking for no sleep, quiet, or privacy. Those are all fine in small doses in the right situation and mindset. Personally, we had no time for that shit. We had a quick look at what would’ve been our room, dropped our bags while we regrouped and sought food, and were on the AirBnB app before we made it out the door to jump back over the sidewalk vomit.
We lucked OUT. Moments later we booked the CUTEST quiet little flat right on a happening high street. Our luck was turning. Until we tried to tame the beasts in our bellies. We were soooo hungry from that sleepless bus ride, the cross-city backpacking trek, and the stress/frustration of having to completely re-plan our accommodations. Turns out the area we landed does not cater to early Sunday breakfasts. We waited for a tiny Tesco to finally open so we could find a small appetizer in the form of a bread loaf to hold us over until more places came to life. And thank goodness they did! You can read all about our amazing vegan foodie adventures, including finding an incredible Vegan Market, by chance, in the post I wrote right after we left (when the memory was way fresher than it is now!).
Once that first morning of chaos was ironed out things got way better in Budapest for us, until I tipped over my moped in front of the cops…check out that bruise! Not to worry…I was fine. There was a guy nearby blowing giant bubbles, so my mind was temporarily taken off the pain complete pride plummet. Aside from the falling off, (as I parked) the moped tour around the city was a complete highlight! We each drove our own and had a great time seeing some of the highlights of this massive, amazing city. We also took time to enjoy one of the bathhouses – the one we visited was a bit difficult to navigate and it was completely FILLED with Hungarians! Aside from wandering, moped-ing, and bathing, we did a LOT of eating! I would HIGHLY recommend visiting this lovely city, of course with more time than we allowed ourselves, but Vienna called and so we went…