"Blue and Yellow"

Trip Start May 25, 2013
Trip End Jun 23, 2013

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Flag of Hungary  , Budapest,
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Defecting to the train has been working well so again, we leave the Fun Bus's itinerary and head back to Vienna Westbarnhof station and the 8.30 train to Budapest. We arrive to find it delayed by two hours due to a late departure from Zurich. It is due to leave now at the same time as the next Budapest train!

Happily, Vienna's station has good coffee and free wifi throughout.

Budapest Keleti station however is a whole different kettle of fish. Our train trip has been disrupted by flood waters, necessitating a 40 minute bus transfer between two Hungarian train stations and the in-your-face taxi touts of Budapest are now most unwelcome. The blue and yellow Hungarian MAV train network hasn't matched it's more westerly neighbours either.

We find a couple of authentic taxis in the official rank outside and head off into the Hungarian traffic. It's a wild ride including speeding along bus lanes (presumably allowed - and a good idea) to U-turns at speed at city intersections. Crossing the Danube, we see why the boat never made it here! Moorings bob in it's depths, unreachable from the flooded banks.

We do reach the cruise's destination for the night though - the Novotel Congress on the Buda side - dump our bags and head out.

The Buda side of Budapest sits on a series of hills along the river. The Palace is on one, a park with public baths on another and the Imperial Castle on a third. We catch a tram to visit the latter. It has an impressive collection of buildings and churches within the confines of it's fortifications and a great view over the city. More impressive is meeting our Perth mates - at the pub, of course!

We have missed connecting with their city tour but score a ride home.

Tonight is the last night on our bus cruise. The Fun Bus gather for a very average buffet dinner in the hotel, but a sensational send-off for Andreea and Mirela, our two guides who have worked well above the call of duty on this trip. Kiwi John makes a speech, the Kiwis sing for them, they burst in to tears and a rousing night is had by all!

"Blue and Yellow" by The Used
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