Our bus pulls into Budapest at 23:00. The bus station is a sea of blue and red lights. Riot police are everywhere.
We have no money, no map and no idea where our hostel is. Football fans flood the streets.
Gods, what have we done?
We abandoned Simon in Krakow, as he flies home tomorrow. We then went hunting transport to Budapest, in a pilgrimage to see the Man Punching a Hydra.
£80 for a 12-hour train to Budapest?! We thought not.
£18 for a 7-hour bus to Budapest? It was leaving in an hour and a half? There were only two seats left? Shit…OK…why not? ADVENTURE!
There was only one hostel available in Budapest. Hostel Relax. Sounded fine. Sounded…fine? That’s what the feeling of doom started, deep in my belly…
Now we’re here. Surrounded by football fans and riot police. Hostel Relax is nowhere to be seen.
Cash machine. Taxi. Phone internet reveals location of Hostel Relax. We’re safe.
Or are we?
The minutes tick by. The taxi drives on. Hostel…Relax?
We’re deep in the suburbs. The taxi driver is muttering on the radio. What the fuck is going on…?
I show him the address again. He nods. We drive deeper into the suburbs. Midnight comes and goes. Hostel Relax?!
Eventually, we pull up on a seemingly random street, surrounded by houses. “No hostel…” the taxi driver shrugs. Shit. Hostel Relax???
Internet again. Phone number! We make a panicked call.
Are we outside? Yes? Yes! Hostel Relax!!!
A woman scurries out into the street to meet us. Her house…is Hostel Relax.
We are not relaxed.
We are, however, hungry. She offers us chocolate biscuits and tea. We accept and huddle in the kitchen.
Soon, she goes to bed. We retire outside and smoke a [edited: curious concoction involving shaman tobacco] compliments of a friendly German.
After all, there’s no beer and we can’t sleep sober.