My first thought when I was going through the cities in Hungary on the train was "What the hell am I getting myself into?" As the train rolled along I was able to get glimpses of the cities and towns along the way and was not sold on this going to be too good of a time. But so far, it has been nothing but a great experience.
Things didn't start off incredibly chipper though. The directions I had to get to my hotel were wrong. I came to find out that there are 2 main train stations here in Budapest: 1 for domestic trains - which was designed by the guy who did the Eiffel Tower - and 1 for international trains. I Google Mapped from the wrong one but luckily I wrote all the street names down correctly. The people here in Budapest were very helpful in pointing me in the right direction and withing 90 minutes I found what I was looking for. Not quite the 10 minute walk I was expecting, but alls well that ends well.
The hotel I stayed out was fairly impressive. Nice room with a queen sized bed, large windows, flat screen tv. All for $33. The only downside is that there was a shared bathroom for each floor with 1 shower and 1 toilet. The hairy Russians were all over the shower this morning.
I was staying in the Octagon area - which is just named for the way the street doesn't quite make a roundabout, but works in a similar fashion. I hit up a few restaurants and met some Budapestians who were out celebrating their finishing high school - which here made them 19 and 20. They were friendly enough and wanted to talk with the foreigner. So I was invited to hang with them the rest of the night and we ended up having a good time and I got to see first hand what Budapestians do. All and all it was a good first night here in Budapest.
Today I have made it to the hostel that I will be staying in the next 2 nights. It seems like it will be an interesting time. Kind of reminds me of what a hippie commune would have been like. This place has very high ratings and the staff is incredibly friendly and it is in a great location.
Today I plan on doing the tourist thing. There are a lot of different sights, museums, castles and such to see. So far, I am liking Budapest - and I see things continuing to get better. You should come visit.Until next time...