Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hello, Budapest

We landed in Budapest at 6 pm. We didn't want to waste a minute, so as soon as we were settled (easy with no luggage!) we hit the streets.

On our first evening out we
  • Bought passes and figured out the Metro
  • Found a restaurant with nothing but an address and a map (we’re claiming victory here, but Google Maps failed us, as it often does abroad, and the addresses and street names are bizarro)
  • Saw Heroes Square, a landmark monument, lit up at night
  • Stumbled across a live concert where they release hundreds of balloons filled with glow lights
  • Talked to actual Hungarians while waiting for the train
  • And, most importantly, found our way back to the hotel in the dark.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Adventures in Travel

One of the secrets to a good trip is to keep doing things you can well and just try to not care too much about anything else.

One thing I've gotten pretty good at is packing. In fact this time, I hardly planned at all. I just pulled out the list I use every time and tossed everything in our bags. We’re hitting Eastern Europe with one suitcase, one carryon, a backpack and a small purse. At least we thought we were.

Two things you can’t control: flight delays and lost luggage. Our original flight out of Dallas was delayed two hours due to lightening. We landed at Heathrow at the exact time we should have boarding our connection to Budapest, but we were saved by the delay. Our connection was an hour late, which put us right on time.

We landed in Budapest right on time. Except our luggage, that one suitcase didn't  It was last seen in Heathrow according to the database. So we filed a report and celebrated how little we had to carry to the taxi stand.

This is when I surprised even myself with my packing savvy. Because even though we had next to nothing in the backpack and purse, we ended up in Budapest with
  • 8 pairs of socks and underwear each (recycling clothes everyday doesn't sound so bad as long as you have clean socks and drawers)
  • Our camera, laptop, kindles (loaded with guide books), chargers and plug adapters
  • 2 pairs of clothes each (if you count our travel clothes)
  • All our prescriptions and a stock pile of Tylenol and ibuprofen
  • Hats and sunscreen
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Maps, itineraries, and tickets
  • And of course, the only two things we really need: passports and credit cards. 

Holy smokes, we’re traveling across Eastern Europe with nothing but the clothes on our backs. And it’s fine. We have until Tuesday morning for the no show luggage to make it to the hotel, or I suspect they will reroute it to our home. Worst case scenario we need to buy deodorant (we’re very European today) and a brush, maybe a couple spare tee shirts.