While I was leaving Krakow, I started to feel a bit tired, because I was already on my way to my fourth destination. Thinking about the travelers who are constantly on the road, I couldn’t help respecting them, because it needs more effort to be a full time traveler/nomad where I have been only a beginner. However, this is how one can gain strength for the longer travels I suppose, slowly but surely.
For Bratislava, I couldn’t find any host and tried my chance at a hostel which was OK. I arrived way earlier than I expected and everywhere at the bus station was closed, so I neither could get a city map from tourist info centre, nor could ask my way to hostel. Just randomly, I asked a girl at a bus stop how to get to the city centre. All I knew was the name of the Hostel and I didn’t have mobile internet and just used my instincts. One street straight, one street back and one street down, eventually I decided asking my way to someone and saw two boys who were having a chat in a glow, if they had any idea about the hostel and they used the power of the internet and I got it on the right street 🙂 Even thinking now, how could I be so reckless not to write down the address of the hostel or getting a screenshot of the city map etc. Fortunately I was really lucky and got the hostel even though I had to wait for check in hour which was at noon and it was only 4:30 am. I had the experience of sleeping in common hall, covering my head from the lights to be able to fall asleep until I get to my dorm.
After all of the museums, galleries, churches, architecture etc that I have seen, I was kind of losing my appetite for all of these. So, I gave myself a bit break in Bratislava to collect some more energy for two more of the destinations and decided to relax for a while. I walked long distances by choosing a spot on the map and did circles around the city in which I caught many interesting details and photographed each of them.
Bratislava was short but was quite satisfying with its interesting atmosphere; somewhere between post-communism and welfarism, was imprinted in my mind.
I couldn’t have imagined that it was really close from Bratislava to Vienna and it cost unbelievably cheap which made me (any traveler would be happy with that) happier than ever after all those expensive train tickets between Prague-Dresden-Krakow-Bratislava.
After some time, in Vienna I was lucky to be picked up by some familiar face; my friend from Marmaris; Gül (which means a ‘’rose’’ and also a ‘’laugh’’ ). We met after a couple of years of separation and both were excited about how much piled up to talk. Living and studying in Vienna for so many years now, Gül is fluent in German and I could leave myself to her guiding for the beginning. First, we had our coffee at the station because it could never wait to have a quick chat and continued our day with Belvedere Palace in which we saw the original ‘’Kiss‘’ of Klimt and had even photo of it, even if it was not allowed 🙂 (We have a funny story about the security man who obviously left us alone by choice for us to take the photo comfortably because we were not going to give up standing around the painting until closing).
Every capital/metropolis is pretty much the same. However, most of the opportunities happen to be in such bigger cities, I’m not going to deny it even if I’m not a fan of bigger cities. To travel and to see for a while they are great but to continuously live, I might prefer smaller cities/towns even villages 🙂
Later, I continued my time in Vienna alone and met Gül in the evenings at home. I was really quick to figure out the metro and my way around in the city. I fell into the heaven of art and sculptures like I did in Dresden. Vienna has many museums but of course I did not have the time and money to see them all. I had to content myself with Albertina Museum, Art-History (Kunst-Historisches) Museum, Hofburg Palace and Ephesos Museum which already left me bursting with happiness.
I had real fun in Vienna and Gül made the most of it. I still remember the time I helped her moving her house and we carried some of her stuff (five pieces of luggage) to her new house and it was a really funny memory in which we burst out laughing with all the heavy bags trying to walk and tug them behind us, we looked like untrained weight-lifting athletes.
Four days passed real quickly, I felt I stayed in Vienna for weeks and got used to Gül’s company very much. She was too kind to farewell me to the bus station for Budapest. We left each other to meet for the next time.
By bus it didn’t take long from Vienna to Budapest. With the flowing view at the window of the bus, I was feeling that my trip was coming to an end. It was kind of sad, because it was ending, but it was also comforting and pleasing because I had many nice memories and stories that I can not forget or couldn’t live if I hadn’t done this trip. I arrived in Budapest in an emotional mood, however just as I arrived, trying to figure out how to arrive Budaörs, my last host Lilly’s house, kept me away from the emotions and I again was in a nice rush from to/from metro to bus.
Finally, I was on my way to some place which was far from the crowd of the rushing city and was welcomed by a lovely family with whom I spent a couple of nights. Lilly, her daughter Anna, her son Kristofer and her mother and their lovely cats Coconut, Lizzy and very clever dog Oreo, I fell into a very big, warm family in cold Budapest.
Soon after I left my bags and met Lilly’s family, I got back to the city to discover and walk around a bit before it is too dark. I had the chance of seeing beautiful Budapest in the sunset with pink-purple sky and under lights, it was breathtaking not only romantic but romance for a solo traveler is just like what a bicycle is to a fish 🙂
As my trip was coming to an end, my battery was about to over as well but I was still hanging on.
I did what I did before all in the other cities I have been; exploring the city on foot, photographing around and what is interesting, finding some cute, cosy cafe to relax at and so on. Budapest, too deserves more than a couple of days and one surely would enjoy it a lot.
My ‘’out of nowhere’’ plan for East Europe trip ended in amazing memories and it turned out to be a great experience for me; another solo travel in which not only I learned/discovered about myself but also met many more -new- lives and learned many different ways of thinking and I felt I was going back home with a new person inside of me, just like after each travels.