Victoria had her interview today, so she got up quite early. I wanted to wish her luck, so I got up with her, then headed back to bed for a few more hours. After a nap, I got myself together and went to meet Outi for a coffee and a chat. I tried to couch surf with her, but she was hosing 3 others I her room at the time, so had didn't have the space.
I picked up some pate filled pasties for lunch (much better than Greggs!) and headed for the City Park to the north west of the city centre. It had started raining earlier in the day and got worse as the day progresses. Perfect weather for a walk in a park!
I dropped by the train station to pick up a train ticket to Prague for the next day. I used a service centre, which looked like a private company and I was expecting the tickets would be quite expensive using them, but I got my 2nd class ticket for only âï¿½¬19!
I trudged back out into the rain and headed for VÃ¡rosliget (literally 'City Park'), stopping on the way to take photos of a few funny old Trabant cars. The park was big and green, but could have done with a bit more maintenance. I came across a free concert, with a guy belting out some cheesy pop to the few dozen people who braved the rain. I continued on up through the park and found a building, which looked a like an old castle (Vajdahunyad) but was actually built in 1896 for the millennial exhibition out of cardboard and wood, but was so popular, it was rebuild in brick. The lake around the castle was undergoing work, so was unfortunately drained. The thermal lake next to it was not though and you could see the steam rising off the warm water.
I had a quick look in one of the famous Budapest spas, then found a circus, zoo and theme park just down the road. From there, I headed to the vast Heroes' Square. I was pretty soaked by this point, so decided to head in the direction of the hostel. On my way, I passed another live music stage, this one with a band playing traditional Hungarian music on stringed instruments. Even with the downpour, this music had people dancing in the street!
By this point, I had managed to get myself a bit lost, so found a cosy cafe to regroup in, as well as to get out of the rain. To help with working out where I was, I ordered a nice big slab of a cream-filled cake and a coffee. It worked and I managed to work out where I was, so faced the rain again and made my way to the hostel.
On my return, I found that Victoria's had gone, which was a surprise. She left a note in my bed saying that the interview didn't go very well and she wasn't asked back for the 2nd day of the interview, so decided to cut her losses and head back home on the earliest train. I don't blame her, but it would have been nice to have had the chance to say goodbye. We kept in touch and a few weeks later, I heard that she'd been accepted on her uni course in Finland, which was great news!
The hostel was pretty quiet in the evening and I didn't particularly want to spend the evening in, so I found a cinema showing Robin Hood with English audio. The ticket was only âï¿½¬5, which is a lot less than the âï¿½¬15 you'd pay for a central London cinema. Unfortunately, the movie wasn't very good. It had a few good battle scenes, but I didn't care about any of the characters and the story was pretty convoluted. The worst thing was Russel Crows terrible accent, which varied from Yorkshire to Geordie, Scouce, Mancurian and even Scottish. His language coach should be taken out and shot. It did have Keamy from Lost and Archie from ER (with a terrible Welsh accent) in it though, which was mildly entertaining. It filled in a few hours anyway.
On my return to the hostel, there were a group of students having a drink in the dorm room. They asked me to join them, so I pulled up a bunk and chatted away. There were 4 Finnish girls, 1 Czech girl and 1 Swedish guy, all studying in Graz, Austria and were in Budapest for the weekend to celebrate one of the girls birthdays (Vocker, I think). She decided she wanted to go to a 'sporty bar' at about 1am, so I joined them! It took a little while to find an open bar, but we found one in the basement of this old building. It was very hot and sweaty down there, with lots of very drunk Hungarians dancing on the tables! We danced to a mixture of music, from Jive Bunny (yup, that little furry bastard is alive and well in Hungary) to 90s dance music and Hungarian pop. We decide to call it a night at about half 2 and headed back to the hostel.