My stay in Krakow has been an amazing experience so far; I’m meeting fascinating people from bizarre lands, experiencing foreign cultures and trying to make the most of this opportunity. But you’ve probably read enough blogs about these things, so here’s a story about my trip to Budapest.
Some friends and I decided that we wanted to go to Budapest for a weekend – there was Funnel from Ireland and Sarah from France. A few days before we left, I realized we hadn’t organized accommodation, so Sarah proposed we all ‘Couch Surf’ with different people and meet together at night.
This fell through for Funnel and I so we looked for a hostel online. Funnel found a cheap hostel, paid the deposit and received the confirmation email.
~3 days later~
Budapest Bus Station
[ENTER Funnel, Sarah and I … exhausted]
Hey Lachy, what’s the time?
About 11:30pm. So, Funnel, how do we get to the hostel?
I don’t know.
Well, what’s the address?
I don’t know.
… Ok, see you guys later.
What do you mean you don’t know? Ok, fine, what’s the name of the hostel? Maybe I can look up the address.
I don’t know. Wait, it’s either the Groove something, or the Lonely Girl something.
So we hauled our luggage into the city and managed to find the ‘Instant Groove’ hostel – fit with bouncers and nightclubs on the two-floors directly beneath the hostel. Luckily/unluckily this was not our hostel.
We left and found a nearby pub that had free wi-fi, I bought a beer while Funnel checked his email for any clues to where we will eventually spend the night (though, by this point, it was 12:30ish). I had a brief chat with a drunk elderly Hungarian as Funnel found the name of the hostel -Lonely Girl on the planet- and its address; number 3 jibberish st.
Bloody excited, we hurried to the fabled hostel for a quick shower before hitting the streets of Budapest to find our own ‘lonely girls’.
But the address was a huge, empty factory. Nothing. The number ‘3’ didn’t even exist on this street. Turns out the confirmation had a typo – the address was 32…
After many more deliberations and offers for ecstasy we found our hostel at 1:00am. The first sign I noticed was ‘Reception open until 10:00pm’ – the manager, Valentino, had stayed up to wait for us (so big shout out to him!) We paid our three nights and headed to our room to get changed.
After I changed, I checked if I had everything; phone – yep, keys – yep, scarf – yep, wallet – … I couldn’t find my wallet ANYWHERE. So, instead of hitting the clubs, I spent the next hour going through all of that again – but in reverse. By 3:00am I gave up and just went back to the hostel to sleep.
Even though I had extremely limited funds for the remainder of the trip, not to mention I was pretty shattered, I managed to enjoy Budapest for the most part. I was able to see some amazing buildings and views of the city. However I will return next year to give Budapest a chance to redeem itself…