We have two goals for my final day in Poland:
1. Visit Memento Park to see statues from communist Budapest.
2. Pilgrimage to the statue of a man punching a hydra.
We get up early, ten litres of beer from the night before still sloshing around in our bodies. Matt has damaged his toe by stubbing it on a rock. He has also chafed his balls from walking too far without underpants. Rule six: pants.
Uncharacteristically, we make the hour-long tram and bus journey to Memento Park without incident. We don’t even pay for the privilege!
The park itself is vast and very, very strange. It’s genuinely creepy… Everywhere we gaze, stone and bronze glare back at us. In response, we take amusing photographs with the enormous, otherwise imposing statues.
Not so scary now eh, enormous raging worker who has broken free from his oppression?
Soon, however, the heat threatens to kill us, so we return to the city. Not before we play around the square wherein stand Stalin’s enormous bronze boots. They are terrifying enough, without witnessing Matt laying down hard law from a dais just beneath them…
Back in the city, we have no choice but to walk…for we must now climb the hill to see the man punching a hydra. He would not be pleased if we arrived by any means of transport that wasn’t muscle powered.
Much scrambling later, we arrive to behold tragedy. As it is Hungary’s birthday in a few days, the man punching a hydra (and other statues) have been surrounded by fireworks and humans are not allowed entry to the terrace where they are based.
All we can see of him are his firm, firm buttocks.
But we are not to be denied. Climbing over a barrier, we sneak around the outside of the terrace, to peer in on the statues. Despite the sneaking and distance, he is still the most glorious of sites; mounting the hydra and pinning it down, fist raised high in preparation to crush one of its skulls.
He could certainly punch over 900. Every time.
Disappointed that we couldn’t sacrifice before the statue. We even have the knife in our bag. Instead, we hold an archery tourney. We loose 17 shafts each, but fail to hit a bullseye. We decide this is because archery is for the craven…and the man punching a hydra hates a coward.
We then play on some enormous war guns and make our way back to the city.
We spend the evening playing with the gladius and drinking. Rocktogon is deserted again, yet this time has an entry fee. Even we, Princes of Dicks, have our principles and paying for an empty bar is strictly prohibited.
We head back out into the night. The bohemian bar still doesn’t exist and, by the time we find somewhere decent, they have stopped serving. We head home, defeated.
On the way, we stop into a comic-book-bar for a couple of beers. It is strange, however, and the football is on the background. We leave and, buying 1.5 litres of beer from a local shop, head up to our apartment.
Taking up two glasses, we drink to our memories of the holiday, filling our glasses over and over, until the beer is gone.
We drink to beauty and to adventure.
We drink to never looking back and regretting nothing.
We drink to feats of strength and to living strong.
We drink to the White Bridge and to the Blue.
We drink to absent friends.
Finally, we drink to the man punching a hydra. Punching…a fucking hydra.
As a final act, I snatch up my gladius and slam it through a chair. We are done here.