Sunday, 21 August 2011

14, 15, 16/8 journey to Budapest

The 14th consisted of sleeping, eating and packing my bag ready for the next destination. At this point, I am sure my 2 bags weigh 25 kg. I was about to leave for the bus when another bloke said that him and 2 others were also about to leave for Paris and stay the night at someone's place; what good luck. I went with them as I hadn't organised any accommodation. We took the train to Paris. I got fast food on train with bread and red wine no, it wasn't McDonald's, it was food at about 400 km/h. Pressure variations in tunnels played havoc with my ears, but this trip only took 90 minutes, but cost about $36 euro.
The accommodation in Paris was with Esperanto musicians. They travelled back from Festo by hitch-hiking, and took 7 hours. Small but cosy one room apartment with 6 people sleeping there for a night. Walk to church on a hill, saw Paris and effel tower by night. In the morning, I walked back up the hill to see Paris and the tower by day. I can't believe I got such a good location by chance.

The train trip to the station went through Notre-dam (probably not how it is spelt) so I stopped to have a look at the cathedral. Shame I had my back pack; If I was in good clothes I could have got in for free as a pilgrim. I did get to look in at the sermon and hear the bells ring.
I got to the airport in plenty of time, and bordered easy jet. There are no allocated seats here, just sit wherever, confused me at first. I got to Budapest airport, found the train to the city, (was easy to find), and McDonald's was right next door to the station. Woohoo, WiFi, all that needs to be done now is find some accommodation. Turns out, most of the available rooms have multiple beds, which is not unusual by itself, but in Budapest I need to book ALL beds for the night. There was no single beds to be found on the internet, so I decided to just search with my feet. Turns out, there was one just 200 metres away. This place has 2 toilets, 2 showers, small kitchen for about 40 people. The bed springs could be felt, and the cupboard was way too small for a clothes bag, and all for about $30 aud, but at least the toilet roll was inside the cubicle this time! I don't think I will return.

In the morning I finally decided that my bag was too big and heavy, so I went straight to the post office, which was conveniently located between the hostel and the train station. Nothing was in English, and almost nobody spoke it, but I got a box easily enough. I filled the box mostly with stuff that I had purchased along the way, and some extra stuff from home to ensure it was full. The next question, where to post it? After about half an hour, the security guard, who probably felt sorry for the bloke carrying a large blue bag, small bag and a box, with a very confused look on his face, informed me through hand gestures, (he no English) that I needed to go around the corner to post the box.
I had to fill out what I think was a declaration form for the box, that was written in 3 languages, none of them English. I think one was Italian, some words almost looked familiar from esperanto. The box weighed 5.7 kg. After getting rid of it, my bag returned to the size and weight as before; what a relief.
I got to the train station and found the rest of the karavan (fellow travellers) with 5 minutes to spare.

For some strange reason, I forgot to take any photos with my phone, except for these somewhat strange items from a souvenir shop. Enjoy

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