Ev crouching in a cave hole. :)
Every day that I'm in Budapest
the more I'm doubting that I'll find a place/country that I'll love more than this. I think I love it even more than London. Today was quite bizarre though. When we left the hostel at 10:30 to walk to Deak Ter (main square in our part of Pest) to meet our tour guide for the Tipsy Lenin tour, we found cops all over the city in the weirdest parts (in obvious places as well as in dark alleys) with the scariest looking dogs...with wire muzzles on their faces. We'd been here on the weekend as well as weekdays at all times of day and night and never saw anything like that. Ev and I didn't know if we should avoid the cops and dogs or if we should pretend like it was normal so we wouldn't look suspicious.
This is a natural formation... creepy, eh?
Were they drug dogs? Were they just scary dogs? What were they looking for? And why were their groups of three cops with their dogs all over? There must have been about 40 of these cops within about a 15 block radius from our hostel to the internet cafe to the meeting spot in Deak Ter. So bizarre. I asked the tour guide later and he said it wasn't normal, but he didn't seem freaked out. I got the impression that he's irritated with the government. So maybe the cops and dogs isn't a regular thing, but that kind of act is becoming more and more common. It's unfortunate because Hungarians are so kind. We had a waitor in Eger
run up to our hotel room to let us know that we left 1000 forints at the table.
This is us after. I think part of me died.
People have chased us down because we left water bottles in the establishments. Amazing.
Yesterday, Ev and I went caving under Budapest. It was wild. I didn't really want to do it that much, but I know Ev did and I already said I wasn't going to do something he wanted so I caved (get it? CAVED! I kill myself...) and we signed up. I've been "caving" before. I've walked around in guided tours and they pointed at stalagmites and then it was over. This was WAAAY different. We bussed about 20 minutes out of the centre, put on coveralls and a hard hat with a light, and walked into a door in the side of a hill. Once inside it was all clay and we manoeuvred through the tiniest spaces. Once, I got stuck, had to wiggle back, and found a slightly bigger space.
This statute represented workers' freedom (like most statues) based on an earlier Russian poster from the 1910s.
I can't believe I did it. ALthough, I'm sure keeping the camera in the breast pocket of my coveralls wasn't the best. Way to make the biggest part of my body bigger. Geeze... But I made it! I'm still sore.. So sore... My legs, my arms, my back, my neck.... Well worth it.
Today, we got tipsy with Lenin. :) We had a guided tour to Statue Park where all the communist statues went to die. Pretty crazy. Then we went to a wine cellar and drank a lot. Most of the wine was gross. Too sweet. But we met three girls in their early twenties (a year or so younger than us) who were awesome and also crushing on the cute Hungarian wine maker named Volton than I had my eye on as well. VOLTON! What's not to love? We ended up meeting up later the evening with the intention to keep lighting up Budapest, but once 8 rolled around we realized we were actually fighting a hang over (the tour was at about 2PM.
Lenin. Ah, Lenin. Looking to the future!
.. never been so drunk in the daylight outside of North Country Fair) so we took a leisurely walk in search for postcards and ice cream. It was nice and wonderful and the first people we've met on the journey that we hung out with for an extended period. I really wish I could meet them in Munich, but we'll be on the Dalmation Coast at that point. Ali will have to turn 24 without us. :(
Tomorrow, at the ungodly hour of 8AM, we are catching a train out of this lovely city and onto Zagreb, Croatia. I have no idea what to expect. I'm expecting a bit of a language barrier, but I've expected that all along and hardly seen it at all.
Jon, if you're reading this, can you e-mail Ev your address? We have a postcard for you. His address is erjensen(at)ualberta.ca. Sorry, I write it like that so bots don't spam us.