I am woken at some ungodly hour by Matt, jumping up and down. He deposits his phone on my chest and has it blare The Varangian Guard in my face. I feel like my brain has been dried, smoked and spread across Odin’s own toast. This is Day Two.
I crawl out of bed. Breakfast is cold smoked meats and cheese. This is pleasing. We drink tap water with strawberry flavouring.
Shame-facedly, we request to stay another night. The ugly receptionist laughts and denies our request; there is only a single bed available tonight.
The internet yeilds alternatives. We attempt to book two nights in another hostel, but balls it up and manage to book only one. We attempt to book the second night, but somehow the beds have already been taken! Never mind, one night will do for now.
We take our flight. It is a simple walk that shouldn’t take longer than twenty minutes, even in the blazing heat. Unfortunately, we are distracted by a market stall selling pelts and furs. We lust over them briefly, before moving on.
Needless to say, we are soon lost. Why we didn’t mark the hostel on the map remains a mystery… The combination of sun, bags and hangover is enough to kill a hound. Luckily, I am no hound.
The only thing that makes the walk bearable is knowledge that this time, at least, we have booked in advance and know we can stay. This concerns me slightly; we have turned our back on unpreparedness…will our luck now run out?
Eventually, we arrive at High Life Hostel. By this point, Matt has decided I am a figment of his imagination. I fear he may be correct. Still, at least we have found our hostel!
A brief talk with the receptionist reveals the source of our earlier booking troubles. We successfully booked ourselves in for only one night…tomorrow night. This was why the beds had been taken when we attempted to book our second night; we had already taken them…from ourselves.
There is no room for us tonight. We despair, briefly. The receptionist smells our disappointment for, somehow, she finds room! We revel in glory and, after dumping our bags, head into town for lunch.
By this point, the endless walking has more or less cured the hangover. We find a lovely outside cafe/bar and settle ourselves down for a nice, lunch. At last, peace and calm. What’s this? Unique seafaring atmosphere and sea shanties every Friday night? Sounds amazing! Shame it’s not Frid…oh wait… IT IS!
We consult the menu and both order borshe and chicken, naturally. We then order a large bottle of water. I communicate this in hand gestures – ‘large’. The waitor udnerstands; “One litre?” he asks. I demand two. “Perhaps Tiske?” he adds. We laugh and wave our hands around, to communicate that we are far too hungover to drink any beer yet. He understands and leaves.
Naturally, honour dictates we consume them. It is not easy, being this awesome. We resort to playing ‘Doubles and Sevens, Drinks on Elevens” again. The pain is great.
The food, however, is delicious and we are soon fat and ready for the slaughter. I mean, ready to walk around the Jewish Quarter. So we do. It is a pleasure.
Eventually, however, we head home. Partly because it is very hot and partly because I have neglected to wear underpants and the chafing is starting to have an impact on my gait.
At home, we shower. Seperately. Then we read for a bit, have a coffee (three sugars?!) and I write the blog. The evening looms, threateningly…
Tower Bar is deserted this night. Still, we drink. Eventually, we head out to the streets and visit the local bars.
We drink more. Much more.
Then we head home. Shaken. What is this world? What is this place? What are these…pants?!