Evening before the trip.
What normal people would do? Go to sleep, so they would get enough rest and ready for looong travel.
What do we do?
- Have a fashion show.
Lenkaaaa, but tell me that I should take this scarf? It’s really useful, look, I can wear it on my head! And goes well with my blue lipstick…
Lisa, are you taking only short pants? You think we won’t freeze???
No no, don’t take two pairs of jeans, it’s not minimalist!
- Decide to record ukulele songs. One for Muška, because she’s lazy to go outside to pee (so the song features words ‘poop’ and ‘pee’…masterpiece), and other about…palinka.
- Go to sleep at 3am when the train is at 8am.
Let’s talks numbers:
- How many people: 2 (me and Lisa)
- How long: 13hrs (in a lovely train)
- How long it took for me to fall asleep: 3mins (Lisa’s statistics. I can’t confirm or deny, since, you know, I was sleeping…)
- How many movies did I watch: 3 (I hope no one saw that I got a bit teary while watching Lion. I strongly recommend it!)
- How many new people we met: 1 (a lovely girl who invited us to visit her!)
- How much food I consumed: 2 sandwitches (mmm, grilled eggplant) and 1 pack of waffers.
So, maybe the train trip wasn’t the most exciting part, but it wasn’t all boring as well!
So, we finally arrive to Budapest, happy and excited, first thing that we do – go to shop for food, to bring something to our host for breakfast. In the shop we meet a nice guy from Spain, who was traveling, came to Budapest and decided to stay, because he fell in love with the city. After a nice chat and short shopping we start looking for our host’s house. Two hours later (yes, we weren’t great with navigating the city…but who would be, after 13hrs in the train!) we finally met our lovely host (we found him though couchsurfing, if you don’t know what that is – stay tuned, there will definitely be a blog post about that). It was quite late and he had to work the next day, but stilll we managed to have a nice conversation about his travels before me and Lisa fell asleep.
We woke up early, said thanks to our Hungarian host and went to meet Lenka. We decided that we should do something ‘touristic’ and use the short time we have to see as much as possible, so we went to city tour.
It was great, honestly I am terrible in remembering historical facts (so maybe more about that in Lisa’s or Lenka’s blog post?), so I’ll mention only the things that were the most interesting for me and stuck in my head the most:
- Apparently, ball-point pen, Rubik’s cube and safety matches are all invetions of Hungarians!
- Statues of horses have interesting meaning – depending on the horse’s pose you can tell how his owner died. So if the horse is standing with all four legs firmly on the ground, his rider died a natural death. If one of his legs is in the air, it means his owner died from battle-related injuries, if both front legs of the horse are in the air, his rider died in the battle.
- In Budapest there is a tree with a lot of locks. It’s not an unusual thing, a lot of European countries have bridges full of locks that lovers put on there and threw away the key, hoping that their love will be ‘locked’ forever. However, this particular tree in Budapest, whose fence is full of locks is different – apparently only couples that met through certain dating site put a lock there. Funny thing! And, a good advertisement for the dating website, because there are a lot of locks, so, it’s probably possible to find love even on the internet…
So, after sightseeing – the mandatory selfie (see, Lenka, I am wearing the scarf!)
After the city tour, vegan lunch and unexpected meeting (in Budapest we ran into girls from Guyana that we first met in Romania…what a small world!) me and Lisa were prepared for our hitchike to Bratislava. We got to the perfect point for hitchiking, prepared our sign, smiled at the people and…nothing. Not even one car going to Slovakia! We decided to catch a car that would at least bring us further from the city. Guess who stopped – Romanian guy and Estonian girl! They said they are going to Zagreb and if we’re spontanious, we should join them, but this time we weren’t THAT spontanious…so we waited and waited, and it got dark, so we had to call Lenka and ask her to check if there is a bus to Bratislava.
‘Were you hitchiking on the right side? The one, that leads to Romania?’
Well duuuh, we were on the right side, but we got only offers to go to Balaton (tempting!), not to Bratislava. So, Lenka and her friend came to save us! We still had some time until the bus, so we had cucumber throwing competition (Lenka won!), night picnic in the park and I ate at least 6 different types of TuruRudi… So evening spent well. We got in our bus and I slept all the way, we got out at 2am, luckily my friend gave great directions to his place so this time we didn’t get lost and reached him succesfully. Me and Lisa had a tiny tiny matress and 3 hours to sleep, so we tried to rest as much as possible in such a short time…
We woke up and followed great directions of other friend, Gabriel, (maybe all Slovak people are good with directions?) on how to meet him and get in the part of the city from where we all can catch a ride to Vienna. It took us exactly 2mins (personal record!) to get a car, and after a short ride we arrived.
Again, we planned to start with touristic stuff, so we went for the city tour. Oh, I regreted it soooo much. There were maybe 50 people, tour guide was constantly advertising things (‘So, this museum is only 30 euros, with our card is only 29, and if you want to eat you should go to this restaurant…‘) I was looking for ways to escape and when I saw my friend is also not too interested in the tour, we left Lisa (sorry!) to enjoy the tour and skipped it… And went to the flea market. Too bad I didn’t take pictures, flea market was amazing, full of weirdest things you can possibly imagine: old letters, paintings, jewelry, creepy dolls and statues, there even was one huge box full of door knobs… Connected with flea market there also was a food market (hummus, grilled eggplants and falafels, you were beutiful, I won’t forget you).
But, talking about food I need to mention THE ice cream. Vegan ice cream which feels like pure happiness (or, as Gabriel said, boobs of an angel). I tried levander, lemon & melisa, poppy seeds, peanut butter, orange & safran and (my personal favorite) carrot cake… Yes, in this trip I ate a lot. But it was so worth it.
Of course, in Vienna there were more things to see, not only food. For example, this beautiful rose garden:
But in general, I had this strange feeling about Vienna, that it is like huge museum, it can be admired, but not ‘touched’ – it felt like very touristic city, but lacking of life. So I am glad I had a good company and some fun things to do, but I can’t imagine living in Vienna!
After the long day exploring the city we hitchhiked back to Bratislava (this time it wasn’t so easy and took some time to get a car back, but apparently we drove with some local celebrity – the guy who stopped for us was some radio person).
Ach, and again about food…but I have to mention it. Imagine: kürtöskalács, inside it is nutella and strawberries, on top – ice cream and more strawberries… Heaven.
So after this lovely meal we needed to move a bit, so we went to a hill from where we could see the lights of Bratislava at night… What a nice view. And we even did some yoga on the top of the mountain (this was always on my bucket list)!
After this longlongong day me and Lisa just wanted to sleep, but my friend with who we were staying had plans for partying… So Gabriel offered to host us instead, shower, bed and clean socks were pure heaven.
Another morning starts with hitchhiking, this time waiting was less boring, because we had ukulele! So some weird random hitchhiking songs and we stopped a car, again – Romanians! And one of the sweetest moments from hitchhiking – radio started playing Ed Sheeran’s “Galway girl” (my personal favorite from his new album!) and we all in the back of the car started humming quietly, tapping our fingers/hands/feet in the rhytm, and the girl who was sitting next to driver laughed at us and turned music louder 🙂
Driver let us out maybe 5km before Vienna’s city center, but it was good because we discovered the weirdest thing – pet cemetery. So a lot of tiny (and not so tiny) gravestones for all the Fluffies, Luckies, Sparkles and other beloved animals… It was both sweet and weird, what an interesting place to visit.
After one more car we finally ended up in Vienna and split again – Lisa went to see the castle, me and my friend went to museums. Vienna for sure is THE city for museums – everyone should find something that they like, I enjoyed interesting photos, some great contemporary art and some “must-see” paintings.
We headed back to Bratislava a bit earlier, since Lisa wanted to explore the city. And what a nice person stopped for us, he told us that he was also a hitchhiker when he was younger (and had dreadlocks…:)), so now he feels that he has to “give back the favour” and take other hitchikers.
Unfortunately, when we reached Bratislava, the weather was terrible, so instead of walking around the city we bought stuff for my favorite lazy cake and headed home. We were so tired and cold after the rain, that we fell asleep and the cake never happened…
The fun trip home. Me and Lisa said bye to my friend at around 8am and we headed for hitchhiking spot. The task was simple – to go through the fields to the petrol station.
And realised, we chose the wrong way, so instead of 15mins of walking it was more than hour. Finally we reached the petrol station and we started hitchhiking, people were super friendly, smiling and waving at us, a lot of truck drivers were saying that they’re leaving to Budapest in the afternoon, so if no one stops they can take us there. BUT – Lenka was waiting for us in Budapest. And our bus back to Romania… So we couldn’t wait for the afternoon, we needed to get to Hungary as fast as possible.
After a couple of hours of waiting, a Bulgarian man stopped, he was going to Sofia and he took us. It was so funny, his first sentence was:
‘I hope you are not going to kill me’
So, we were his first hitchhikers! And he said, he was in the petrol station, then remembered he left something at his friend’s place, then he went back to Bratislava, then to the petrol station again, and we were still standing there… So he felt sorry for us, lucky us! And he was so nice, he wasn’t planning to go into Budapest, but for us he adjusted his route and took us exactly where we needed, it was so nice of him 🙂
In Budapest we met Lenka and her friend, we went to the park and Hungarian beach, so it felt like the official beginning of the summer. And a bit later we even met Muška’s baby and her owner!
After I filled my bag with Slovak sweets and Hungarian alcohol-free beer, we went to the bus, where I slept all the way until Miercurea Ciuc… And there – not such good news, our bus was veeery late, and we still neded to hitchhike back to Baile Tusnad… But in the end everything worked out well!
After the trip we were talking with Lisa and Lenka, what were the high-points of the trip, so my top three:
- Doing yoga late in the evening, staring at beautiful view of Bratislava;
- Getting lost in crop fields while trying to find our way to Budapest;
- Ice cream.
Also, we had a little challenge, to learn 5 phrases – Lenka in Hungarian, Lisa in Slovak and me in German. I learned only 3, but here they are:
Ist deine Zeit heilig für dich? / Is your time sacred for you?
Besser essen, besser leben. / Better eating, better living.
Wie man zusammenlebt / How to live together
I hope you are not sleeping after my post, and hopefully it was fun to read about our (tiny bit crazy) journey!