Anne and I enjoying our wine
So I had every intention of finally leaving Budapest
last night, but after my failed attempt to get to Eger
on Saturday because we didn't get up early enough, I decided to hold over another day so I could get there. Plus, no one can leave this hostel. I think the record is 6 failed attemps to leave. I'm on about my third. Anyway, Eger is about a two hour bus ride away, and it's a tiny town with a lot of wine cellars. I mean, a lot, like 200!
My German friend Anne and I made plans to go. First I had to change my train ticket for another day, then get cash and meet her at the bus station to get our tickets to Eger.
Erwin, our Hungarian friend
After doing all that, we met at the bus station and set off, making it to Eger about 2:30 in the afternoon. The last bus back to Budapest was 6:45, so that gave us enough time to explore and drink wine. The tourist office was already closed, so we wasted precious time trying to figure out how to get to the Valley of the Beautiful Women (where the wine is). Anne had the bright idea of going to a hotel, where we did finally get a map and helpful info from the lad at the desk. It was about a 20 minute walk out of town to the wine cellar region. They are all built into the side of a hill in the rock, so the temperature is perfect for a wine cellar.
The first place we sampled the wines, but they were too sweet. The gal spoke no English, and we didn't know how to say we didn't like them or want a glass, so we just had one anyway.
The next place we had a good glass and chilled on the patio and then heard some music playing at another cellar so we went to check that out. There were these older Hungarians playing the violin, so we sat down with a glass to enjoy. After a while another Hungarian fella came up to us and was talking, trying to tell us something. I finally figured out that he wanted to buy us wine. So we said OK, and he sat down with us to chat. Well, we tried anyway. It was quite the conversation. He spoke no English, we had few words in Hungarian to say and so we attempted to communicate. One of the men in the band spoke German, so he spoke to our friend, and then spoke to Anne in really bad German, and then Anne would tell me what was said, but I can only imagine what the orginal message was.
Eger, wine cellars
We finally figured out his name was Erwin, and it was his 29th birthday. We felt bad he was alone, so kept having wine, having basically no conversation but lots of laughing. I pulled out one of my postcards from MN that I've been carrying and wrote on it Hello from Chris. He was so happy about that card. When we finally had to get out of there to catch the last bus, he followed us, looking at and smelling the card, and staring at us as we left. We tried to hitch a ride back to the bus station, but everyone just waved and kept going. Oh well, we made it in time and then called the hostel because we signed up for goulash night (homemade in the backyard) that was being served up just as we were finally leaving Eger, so we asked them to save us some.
Bob Marley room...my home for the last two weeks (I earned two t-shirts, one for each week!)
The bus ride back was perfect as the sun was setting. I just sat, looking at the sunset, thinking about how perfect life was and how I was actually living life the way I really wanted.
Back at the hostel, there was yet another toga party going on. We grabbed a toga and our goulash and sat down to eat before enjoying more wine we brought back. They fill up bottles for you, and it was only like 4 bucks for 1.5 liters! Anyway, as I was eating my goulash, this fella from Seattle was chatting me up, asking about my travels and what I do. I wasn't really paying attention, as the goulash was more important at the time, but the fella just said to me out of the blue, you have the power, you seem to have the power, I only just met you, but you seem to be so in control.
Backyard hammock, my favorite place at the hostel
It was an interesting comment. I think he was trying to say I was very confident, but I thought, hmm, maybe that 3 months on the road has really gotten me there, which is a good thing, because my trip is going to change for sure. I'm heading to Romania and then onto Turkey, which will prove to be much more challenging as a single, and blonde, woman. I've heard about alot of harassment there and it makes me nervous, but I feel like I can handle it, and in any event, apparently I've got the power, so I'm sure it will be alright!