The night train to get here was fantastic. I met two awesome people from the Netherlands on it. One of whom was reading my favourite book at the moment: Sapiens. They taught me a great game called Black Stories, where you are given the premise to a story (a riddle) and you have to ask questions to find out what happened. For example: a man died on the item he was carrying. What happened? Jesus Christ carrying a cross, of course! It only took twenty minutes to get there though with your mind racing off in a hundred different directions.
To top it off, come night time I’m able to declare one of the entire cabins as James Cabin given how quiet the train is. All is well until the inspector comes in to check passports and tells me to sleep with my valuables under my pillow. Why? Because someone WILL steal them otherwise and there’s no locks on the cabins. Great.
Slovakia wasn’t the luckiest of countries for me. It started off with a train having its running time changed without me knowing. Which meant I had to get an overnight train instead (paying for the reservation for that and the night at the hostel I had already booked!). It ended with me getting on the wrong train to Budapest, instead taking me in a totally different direction.
Some days it becomes blatantly obvious to me that my ignorance can so easily become a hindrance. Today is one of those days. My stubbornness, seemingly, exists only to exacerbate the hindrance into a unnecessary, uncomfortable and undesirable obstacle to overcome. It seems to be an internal mechanism for me to actively try to chip away at my ignorance to avoid this self-prescribed difficulties.
Arriving in Romania for what was meant to be my final weekend of party before I make it to France for school next week but, although in much higher spirits, still with a need for sleep. Thankfully, the hostel is one of the most chilled spaces I’ve seen in all my travels. Just sit, relax and spot the latest meme up on the wall to put a smile on your face. Or notice the record disk that being used as a light fixture. Or simply wait for the resident dog, Bronco, to appear before you and make his 50/50 decision of whether this will be a love or a hate moment. There’s no in-between and there’s certainly something to be said for his decisiveness. Never have I been in admiration of a decisive dog before.
I’m hungover. Portugal’s off to a good start. Let me explain. I’ve come straight from a stag do. My first ever stag-do. It was good: zorb-football, paintballing, drinking, dancing…… sleeping. Not so much of the last one, but still. Great time.
Although I’m only a few countries in, I’m already blown away by the beauty that Eastern Europe has to offer. The history of it is so rich, varied and emotional, that it is a trip that I really needed to do to rid a tiny bit more of my ignorance away!
When I arrive in the morning, I drop my bags off at the hostel and walk around town. After exploring the Jewish quarter of Krakow, I stumble across this…
When I arrive in Budapest I’m not feeling my usual ‘top of the morning to ya” self. I wouldn’t say I was ill but certainly not healthy. As is the way in my life, I’ll conk out, recharge and move on. Not dissimilar from a rechargeable Duracell bunny. Just not quite as cute.
So this is it, I’m on the road again. It’s a strange feeling on the run up to it and the same as last time. There’s no fear. Equally, there’s no real bubble of excitement. The week running up to it, it just feels like something that you need to do. The equivalent of getting up and going to work (albeit one you really enjoy!) because you need to do. This is similar to that. A feeling that I need to go on this trip. In part because it’s booked and paid for. Mainly because I need to rid myself of at least some of my ignorance towards Easter Europe.