The last travel week for this Austrian experience. It started off still in London where Dan and I headed in to the Victoria Palace to see the musical Billy Elliot – an overly generous Christmas gift. It was my first ever experience of a British performance where I stayed awake (the two previous times, the performances unfortunately crossed with some overwhelming jet lag.) What a great experience it was too. The production itself was incredibly good – only topped by the company and the pre-performance Pret coffees and wraps. That evening we caught the train back to the barn where we had our second lot of christmas dinners. Bruce and Susan came for the night and Mike and Jerry for a delicious meal. A highlight (aside from Polly’s cooking) was the christmas crackers that included whistles, each a different note of an octave. There were eight of us, the perfect number to form the next von trapp clan. Following much laugher and cake, we wrapped the night up with a game of Perudo and then I attempted to pack my bulging suitcase.
Tuesday, following a difficult goodbye, was a commute to Budapest where I met up with Wim and Garrett in our airbnb. Wim and I grabbed some dinner at the Hungarian Christmas markets and then we all headed to bed, exhausted and delusional.
The next couple of days, Wim, Garrett and I explored freezing but sunny Budapest. We climbed up hills, did walking tours, went to markets, ate well and explored some local pubs and bars. Budapest is a really cool city, not particularly expensive and made for a great New Years Eve location. On the 31st after a day of pottering around, buying baby clothes in Zara for Wim’s new niece, we climbed up to Lady Liberty (Hungary’s Statue of Liberty) and watched the sun set over the city. We then popped home, went out for dinner at a local pizza place (Pizza Eataliano, lol), went to a local bar and then grabbed blankets and champagne, heading up to the top of Budapest Castle. There we scaled sandstone, got told off by security, found an alternative lookout and watched the fireworks from the top of the city. After meeting a few friends and scaling a few more buildings, we headed back down to the local bar where some of us lasted long than others……… Let’s just say, the evening ended for me with a solo episode of Sherlock Holmes at 2:30am. Definitely not complaining.
Later on in the week we had some dilemmas with our accommodation, there had been miscommunication and we ended up with a night less than we needed. Between 4pm and 6am we were going to be homeless. Our airbnb host felt bad and offered for us to stay at her boyfriends house. Very kind of her. Also very kind of her to give us a much needed heads up. “It’s really not clean, there’s at least 6 italian guys, there’s no mattresses and they smoke a lot of weed.” I personally opted out and booked the last single bed at the “Red Fox Party Hostel” (ended up being an equally bad decision ft. fire brigade and bodily fluid almost everywhere.) Wim and Garret on the other hand braved the free option, also known as the Italian crack den. That evening we all tried to stay out as late as possible to avoid our abodes, hopping between Chinese buffet and coffee shops. After a while I returned to the hostel, made friends with some likeminded Portuguese dentists, had approx 2 hours sleep and then met up with the boys at the train station early the next morning. An exhausting end for a brilliant trip.
We find ourselves now on a very very packed train back to Austria. Excited to get back to Dornbirn, not so excited to farewell Garrett – amigo number 2.
First of all happy 18th birthday to my little sister, Ellie. We love you. Wish I was at this dinner!
this was the best thing ever – in budapest mcdonalds they provide you with stations to listen to music. however, there’s no choice. pussycat dolls or nothing.