A Tale of Two Cities – Buda & Pest 

That’s right. Budapest is actually two cities, Buda and Pest separated by the Danube River. We arrived via the night train at 8:30 in the morning and checked into our hostel called Lavender Circus (cool name for a cool hostel). In fact, this hostel is the best one we have stayed in so far. We were greeted by a friendly Italian named Andrea who fixed us a fresh pot of Italian coffee and then proceeded to sit us down over our cup of java and explain in detail (with maps) everything we needed to do, see and eat. We have never gotten such great treatment and it was a fantastic way to adjust to the city after a crazy night train. For some reason whenever we said “night train” we would sing it like the song “Night Train.” I don’t even know who that song is by or any other lyrics, but I know the “night train!” part.

We then checked into our awesome room – see pics. Lavender Circus was a fitting name for sure! We grabbed a bite and then headed out for our 2PM walking tour. European cities have come up with this great concept called Free Walking Tours. They have them in most cities and it has been the best way for us to get to know the city. They are led by energetic and passionate people who are paid purely on tips at the end of the tours. We had a Hungarian girl who said her name in American would be Ursula. She had a bubbly personality, laughed a lot at her jokes, and only knew one English adjective – “funny”. She used it whenever she meant interesting, important, exciting, or if it truly was humorous. At first we were a bit confused, but in the end it just added to her charm.

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