Published: August 15th 2009August 15th 2009
We have had a great time since I last updated. We left Lake Balaton we went to Budapest (Would have stayed longer but the English bloke we met had cabin fever and wouldnt piss off). Budapest was lovely and easy to get around......in bare feet!. Just got into town and in the old section i.e miles from the shops and my flipflops (thongs to any aussies) broke. Luckily Scott was wearing my shoes - (make of that what you will!)--(Well they are hiking sandals actually)) so he gave me those and he walked in bare feet across the hot surface until I got some new ones (Which was a drama!! I mean F**king hell!! I'm standing in the burning tar and she was worried bout how they LOOK!!). We had a whole day in Budapest which is clearly a city of two halves. In the evening we went to see Spanyol Lovasiskola. They are like the spanish dancing horses but not the real things but still very impressive. (Quite dull really watching the second string team, so Vicky nothing to be jeaslous about)
From Budapest we went to a place I now love. It is called Eger and I would come back to Hungary just to go here. It has a horse shoe shapped road that is lined with little wine cellers (sorry Lisa more drinking stories). They are all cold, smelly, low rooms cut into the rock. They all are selling their local wine. You can taste a few in each for free or if you like it get a glass for about 40p or fill up a plastic bottle for £1.40 per ltr, and they are some of the nicest wines I've ever had. We spent about three days there before it was time to move on before we pickled ourselves. I loved that place just walking from each one and talking to the owner.
From there we then tried the Ukraine border. We knew it was not going to be stright forward so at 4pm we thought we would just give it a go. We crossed the Hungry check point no probs and made it across the bridge to the Ukraine border. We were directed to a different part a guard took our passports and off he went. He came back after 10 min (10 min??? where in the same car as me??? more like a bloody hour) saying there were two problems - Scott did not have a visa (we never found out what the second problem was!). We asked if we could not get one at the border (my subtle bribe attempt of "how much?" with a wink did not work!)( That scared him I think). He left again and came back - I had a stamp in mine and a letter in Russian to give the guards back in Hungary. OK we give up so at 4:30pm we head back across the 400meter bridge. By 10pm we got to the check point!! They couldnt read the letter, work out why Scott had no stamp and I had one or speak English?!. Eventually they worked it out and told us if we tried in the morning we might be able to get a visa on the border (we got the only honest guard!) and we crossed only to get called back to have the van searched. Thankfully once they worked out we hadnt actually made it into Ukraine they gave up and sent us on our way. So we have given up on Ukraine - not going through that again. We carried on through the night and crossed into Romania - much easier at the check point there but Scott now has 3 stamps in his passport at last!. (5 months and many ££££ later for those stamps thou, and they put them in the back!!)
Romania is going to be interesting as our faithful tomtom is good for nothing here. The first morning we set off from the truck stop, spent an hour trying to get on the right road out of the town then drove past where we had slept and we were on our way!.
Northern Romania is so wonderfully backwards in a rural way(about a hundred yrs). Firstly the roads are more potholes then road - we are talking going 10 mph on a A road because of the surface. Every third car is Italian and they are crap drivers (thats a slight understatement--- lines and signs are for decoration and traffic lights are for illumitation!! Its only one speed-Flat out!! and they take up all the road and expect you to get off the road when they overtake on a blind corner and have other traffic coming at them!!) . There are heaps of horse and carts on the roads - some with number plates on and on a night they have a candle in a red bucket to give a light!. The countryside is lovely and all the villages are the same. Also it is silly cheap - a loaf of bread 12p!. Also because they dont have enough small coins in the country when you get change most time small change is giving as chewing gum, mentos or chocy bickies.
We visited some of the othordox monastries in the north of the country. Big churches with a wallaround them but the paintings around them are still in really good condition and are 400 yr old. Inside the alters are all gold with heaps of detail.
We went further south and arrived at Sighisora a few days ago. The birth place of Dracular. Yesterday we visited one of the many saxon villages in the area and going to look at some more today. We thought we would blow the budget and head out for a meal the other night. 2 pizzas, 2 large wines and 2 large beers came to £10. Also in a bar it was £1.15 (5ler) for 100ml of vodka. OMG.
Right I'm heading for a shower and going to let Scott make his comments. Not much to add really Love this place, Ohh the other night heading down another fantastic Romainian road the wheel bearing was making funny noises!?!?! So as we where in bumf**k nowhere meaning literally no horse and carts rural, we limped our way to the nearest major city(Or just the largest) and waited til the morning to fix it............Then it rained and the head came off our top quailty tools!!! And having to dig a hole to fit the tyre back on as the jack had sunk into the ground.GGRRRRR (Caroline quote---Thank god for usefull men!!) Done a back tyre so looking for a spare getting in practice for the charades, found the tyre fitter to speak perfect English...Thank God