Trip Start Jul 31, 2007
Trip End Sep 05, 2007

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Flag of Slovakia  ,
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Being the idiot that I am, and always on the lookout for a cheap deal, I'd booked a Eurolines coach to take me from Budapest to Bratislava - it was cheaper than the train..... the major oversight was that it was also at 6.30am in the morning.  Not good.  So my alarm went off at 5am and I groggily managed to get myself out of bed and into the shower, leaving the hostel just as the street lights were being switched off.  For some odd reason there were heaps of people on the metro, why the hell anyone would be sat on a metro at 5.45am apart from idiot me eludes me.
I got to the station just before the ticket office opened and joined the queues that had already started to gather.  Old women here don't seem to understand the concept of a queue, they just seem to barge in and blatantly slot themselves into the queue wherever they feel like, usually just at the front, grrr.  Of course, me being an idiot again I'd gone completely to the wrong queue, so all the old women elbowing had been for nothing.  Eventually, ticket in hand, I boarded the bus and managed to find two seats to myself.  The bus was packed out and made a few other stops within Budapest, but thankfully no-one decided to sit next to me, although BO man did sit on the seat behind, urgh.  I don't think I've ever smelt so many bad BO smells as in the last few weeks.  It actually makes me glad that I don't live in a hot country, or at least a hot country with people with no personal hygiene whatsoever, who think that it is ok to smell as if they've not washed for a week, whilst wearing clothes that smell as if they've been sat in a gym bag for a week after a heavy work out.
I digress.....  I managed to catch a little bit of shut-eye on the journey, but not as much as I had hoped.  About 3 and a half hours into the journey we crossed the border from Hungary into Slovakia, and I realised that I'd crossed borders in 4 ways now: air, sea, rail and road, yay!!  The border control guys weren't exactly thorough, a quick glance at the front cover of my passport was sufficient for them.
Bratislava is in an unusual place for a capital city - right in the South West of the country, and close to borders with Austria and Hungary.  So it was only another 15 - 20km later before we hit the city, and I got a chance to see the hideous concrete residential areas, truely monstrous. 
Finally, we pulled into the bus station.  For some unknown reason, or possibly because I had no idea of how to get a ticket for the trolley bus and was severely tired, I decided it would be a great idea to walk into town and then walk to my hostel.  A really clever idea with 20kg of luggage and a gammy foot.  After at least 45minutes of hard walking and a lot of sweating later I'd finally made it to my hostel, and the good news was that it had laundry facilities.  And a horrible dog that made noises like it was just about to keel over and die.
I headed out after washing my clothes to check on the sights of the city with a dodgy as left foot, which was unsurprisingly a lot more painful than when I'd woken up.  Thankfully, my SAS training meant that I just ignored the pain, but kept the sight seeing a bit brief, taking in the Primates Palace where they dress up monkeys as royalty for fun, the main square, and a lot of OAP tourists wearing their favourite colour - beige.
Then it was off to Tesco's (yes, they have got this far....) to pick up some scran, and a half walk half hobble back to the hostel, to discover I would be sharing my dorm room with 7 guys, hmph.  Bloody mixed dorm rooms.  I took in an early night, hoping the sleep would help with the aching foot and my forehead, which was sporting an attractive lump after whacking it on the lockers in the dorm room.  The joys.
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