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Bill's European Adventure, 2001. Part 8: Zagreb to Budapest

Back when 'going emailing' was a thing and cold coffee wasn't

Sep 6

Got up late again, and ended up having expensive cheap breakfast in a swanky hotel right on Ban Jelačić Square out of laziness.

Had Boban's booked for 8pm, and went emailing to fill the weary hours between lunch and dinner, as rich people termed it.

What was so funny about the meal was that we ate more in a more renowned restaurant than the day before but cost us less - £8.50 each for four starters, five main courses, three desserts, four beers, two bottles of wine and eight coffees! My main course was the nicest pasta of all time - penne with smoked ham and cream and breandy sauce! French people at the next table were laughing at us because we ordered cold coffee by mistake.

We went upstairs to the cocktail lounge and had the strongest Irish coffees of all time, and then had a round in a jazz bar the book (Lonely Planet Europe on a Shoestring) told us was good but it was a bit dead, and they closed up, so we went to the Hard Rock Cafe nearby for one more and then relaxed in bed with really sleeping because of the coffee adn had to check out the next morning at 9am - doh!

Sep 7

On the tracks again! Had breakfast in what we called Dublin 7 because it was so far from Ban Jelačić Square, the centre of Zagreb. Got coffee and a tiny ham and cheese toasted sandwich for £2.60 and then lazed in a park until it was time to go to the station for our 13:20 to Budapest. Paul & Mary left us at the station as they were getting a night train to Venice. We were in a cabin (six-seater) by ourselves for most of it, and it was a smoking carriage - cool!

As we got off the train some guy gave us a leaflet for the Cozy Guest House but he seemed dodgy so we went to the Museum Hostel which was full so the owner there got us three beds in a hostel over the phone and then told us it was called the Cozy Guest House! It turned out to be ok after we stopped in a Chinese 'buffe' for a Chinese with a small can of beer £1.70! Went to a pub (for once not a cafe bar bistro or anything) for a few quiet pints and then left because Julie was sick or tired or something. Ollie had to sleep on the floor while me and Julie shared a double bed - the first time she had slept with a man since she left Dublin!

Sep 8

funicular.jpg

Arose about 12, determined to do a half-day's sightseeing. Wandered around the city in the rain, crossing a gigantic bridge over the Danube to Buda, the historical, cultural rea of the city. We took a cable car up the side of a mountain (technical term: funicular railway) to Buda Castle, which we didn't go into because of the queue but browsed the market stalls, where I bought a huge, real leather wallet for £11. Took a trip to the war museum, where our student card got us in for 24p and when we asked the old man in charge what was the best to see as we only had 20 minutes he gave us a free guided tour. Went down into the labyrinth where we had great fun runnign around in the dark with paraffin lamps, with cup of strawberry tea included in the admission price!

Went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner, where I had duck for the first time (gorgeous!), and fried ice cream (a golf ball-sized lump of ice cream in batter). Crossed the street to Cafe Mediterranean which had crap waiter service and so-so beer. It closed at 12 so we went back to the hostel but the NI guy took us back out to the Old Man's Pub, a sweaty cramped night club with sporadically good music. The barwoman served me Pall Mall cigarettes in error but I took them anyway as she opened the packet first. Got back around 5am.

Posted by BillLehane 06:06 Archived in Hungary Tagged trains budapest travel hungary youth croatia zagreb interrail blogs

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