We are nearing the end of Day 2 in Budapest. What an incredible city. We arrived yesterday morning at 9:00, with very little sleep from the plane ride. (Who are these people who can sleep on planes? I swear they are mutants.)
So we make our way by bus and them metro to our hostel – sort of. I knew my incredible knack for finding great accomodations at low prices in cities I have never been to had to be fluke. It had to run out. And it did. This place was bad. Fist, the street looked dodgy. That was fine. I can deal with dodgy. Then the door was half rotten. Not good. No one answered the bell, but a sullen young fellow came out, and confirmed that it was infact the right sopt, so we headed in.
We dodged the large hole in the floor, and headed around to the stairs, around a few piles of rubble. One of the piles began to move, and the mangiest cat I have ever seen (matted hair, one eye in his flat face) glowered at us as he walked by. Yet we continued. Up the stairs, to the hostel, where once again no one answered our ring. Or our second ring. Or our loud knocking. So finally, we look at each other, laugh, and leave. Bless D. and his photographic memory. He led us through the streets and metro to the hotel where he stayed last time he was here, some 4 years ago. Its a no-character, more expensive, Holiday Inn type place, but clean and safe. And completely lacking in scary cats!
Of course, at this point we are overtired and a bit cranky, but we were far to stubborn to waste any time napping, so we went off to explore the city.First stop was the thermal baths. No better way to beat jet lag, I tell you. 3 pools, 12 “baths” (smaller pools) with varying mineral contents and temperatures. Oh, and two saunas and a steam room. All housed in a large palace like building. (They are supposed to be very good for digestive disorders, among other things.)
After a few hours enjoying the baths and the sun, we went off to dinner, then took a tram, then a bus to the top of Gellert Hill. Saw the citadella and the wonderful view of the city. D. took atleast 30 photos. Funny man.
Then we wound our way back to our nice, clean, safe hotel room and collapsed in bed, after about 32 hours travelling, then sight-seeing. I have never been so tired in my life. But I would (and probably will) do it all again.On the plus side, I actually slept through the night for the first time since October 2000 – when I had my fist surgery and I am convinced that along with everything they were supposed to be doing, they also removed a piece of my bladder. Tomorrow morning we are off to Vienna. I think the hostel has free internet, so I will try to post photos.

PS – My aplogies for any spelling errors. hungarian keyboards are a little out of whack and I keep hitting the wrong keys. For every three mistakes I catch I am sure there’s one or more getting through.