Hello everyone from Prague! It has been a crazy couple of days! Last time I wrote, was our last night in Vienna. The next day (18th) we caught a train into Budapest....such a gorgeous city! We had quite the ordeal getting our tickets for the metro then finally getting to our hostel. That was very interesting....the hostel was called "The Downtown Hostel"....such a dive. Although there was a Best Western across the street. We were in a 6 bed dorm with a couple from Tel Aviv and two girls from Vancouver. They were all talking about some of the bad trips they've had on shrooms....yeah...that gives you an idea of the type of place this was! The lockers were broken, and we didn't even have a key to the place!!! The door is always open!!
I am ashamed to say as well that we were so incredibly starved for a filling meal by that point that we found a Burger King around the corner and got some yummy cheeseburgers. Horrible, I know, but it was a nice touch of home....and a filling meal!
We climed to the top of the citadel and had an incredible view of the city! On the side we began on, we found the Cave Church....which is actually a Cathedral/church inside a cave in the side of the mountain! It was unbelievable!
On the 19th we got up and moving and walked across and up the banks of the river to the Buda castle. I never knew this, but Budapest is actually almost 2 cities that have merged into one. The area on the west side of the river is called Buda, the east side, Pest! Very cool....so we were on the Buda side, seeing the Buda castle! We took a tram up the hill (no more climbing mountains!) and wandered around the castle complex. There were many street vendors selling traditional Hungarian trinkets and souvenirs. We even found a folk art festival! So cool! I bought an awesome bracelet! We then walked along (with a specific destination in mind....)
The Buda Castle Labarynths. So amazingly cool! Its these caves...tunnels beneath the city! We went down into them, and walked through them all. They are very pagan in nature, with statues, and cave paintings. We even saw a 'gypsy' looking woman beginning to perform a ritual in one of the rooms of the caves. It was amazing.
After that we got our things and went to the train station to catch our night train to Prague. The train we were taking was supposed to go through Vienna, however instead, it went through Slovakia. We all of a sudden got to Bratislava, and were slightly nervous. Our rail passes are not good for Slovakia. The ticket guy who came through didn't speak any of our 3 languages (English, my French, or Katherine's German)....but he did know enough English to say "Austria ok. Slovakia nicht!" (or however you spell no...or whatever he said!). It was quite funny though....so...I've been to Bratislava!! I had to give the guy a 50 euro note to pay for that section of the trip!
We finally got into Prague at 6:00 am yesterday morning. We had a very difficult time trying to find our hostel...which we found........
It was a very run-down, seedy looking building on the side of a highway, graffitti written on all the walls. It definitely did not look safe. I called Justin to have him help us find an Ibis hotel in town (oh, yes, the hostel was definitely on the very outskirts of town....not even on our maps!).
We got checked into our Ibis, which feels like heaven! It's fabulous! I even did some laundry last night, its drying on my lovely clothesline in the room as I'm writing!
Now I'm off to explore Prague! I'm heading down to Old Town, then across the Charles Bridge to the Prague Castle. By the way....Prague was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire! In case any of you didn't know....I definitely didn't until I was reading up on my guide book pages before I left!
Talk to you soon! Keep writing! I love hearing from everyone! Miss you all so much!!