Missed the bus to the statur garden but I didn't have time any way. Le sigh. Budapest also has many fine pubs and my hotel was happily located within staggering distance of many of them. Sadly none serve Oz beer, but I made do and I had much fun. WEirdly, on Friday nights the streets fill with drunk British boys. No idea why. Some sort of exchange programme? I had visions of the streets of London full of drunk Hungarians of just the odd tumbleweed.
The hills are alive
Sadly left Budapest, wailing and gnashing as it turned out because I didn't want to leave, ever, and I was a wee bit hormonal (but had since discovered why I was all puffy, cranky and stupid and oh and if you've got to be ill, then the VSOE is the place to be coddled with blankies and tea).
Wound up through some pretty hills and then I saw that the signs were in German and I suddenly realised these hills were alive...with the sound of music. Heh. Kept expecting Jules to come bounding over the flower strewn fields at any moment. V. pretty, especially when we hit the houses that looked like cuckoo clocks, which was just what I wanted to see (not American style suburbs, feh). Saw lots and lots and lots of maypoles, too, which was a squee moment. Took me a while to realise what they were, though, because despite being able to fill up two pages, front and back with the history and cultural significance of the maypole, I've never seen a damn picture because these books always assume you have seen one. Well, now I have. Neat. I loved how many were next to the churches, wagging away in defiance. Heh.
My other game (was playing spot the maypole) was whenever we stopped for 20 mins or so at a station I'd race off and get postcards (except Munich, alas, when I was seriously doubled over). My most prized souvenier? My Sound of Music postcards from Salzburg station. I'm such a dag but I squee every time I see them in my bag.
Slept through most of Germany, alas (another rough night) and woke up while the train was stopped in Nancy. Next stop - Paris.
Got lost walking out the wrong door at station but happily ran into a chap we'll call Gallic Mads (drop dead gorgeous, fag hanging from mouth in the way they must teach in French schools) and he gave the best directions ever. Found hotel, which was a complete dive. I mean, I was expecting diveness because I'd been lazy and booked near the train station, but still.
She died with her boots on
Spent the day at the Louvre. The whole day. So now I can stop whining. What I didn't see ain't worth seeing, and that's final. Oh my, I walked, I staggered, I limped and then crawled. Saw three more Caravaggios (at last, the ones I wanted to see in the first instance) and giggled at the meh reactions to La Lisa (most overrated painting, ever) and found some cool wings with old European stuff which was just what I wanted to see.
The next day, alas, the Orsay was closed so I hopped one of those round Paris bus thingies, which was cool and what I wanted to do anyway, then it was the mad, mad panicky dash to the train (said I make stuff ups, this time I had no idea the Eurostar was boarded upstairs, there were no signs) and by the time I got to London (fortunately my line was running, the rest seemed to be taken out by giant centipedes again) the Tube was empty (bank holiday) and I had a nice taxi driver take me the 4 blocks to my hotel because I was trashed and the hotel guy carried my bags. Okay, who are these people and what have they done with the real Londoners???
Met up with a friend and had another delightful dinner and tour around London, so I've almost got my bearings. No bragging though because I'm about to walk out the door and walk the wrong way, I know it.
Anyways, later. Oh, the hotel here is lovely, which has never been the case before. I gotta ask, though - who stole all the bathtubs and kettles? The two things I really need on these trips are a noce hot bath and a nice hot cup of tea and so far it's been no kettles and these shower cubicle things that are so small I can't shut the door. Hmph.