So this story starts in Budapest in a lonely little hostel called Carpe Noctem. Think Uni, think Sharehouse, think Australian’s everywhere and chances are what you can see in your pretty little mind is Carpe Noctem. I knew when I booked it that it was going to be a party hostel – it screams it on Hostelworld to make sure that you don’t book it thinking your going to get a good nights sleep or anything like that. But I wasn’t quite expecting what I got. I arrived in the middle of the night, found my way through the cobblestone streets to the unsuspecting door that was the entry to the hostel. I buzzed up, announced myself to the little voice coming from above and was let in. I climbed the 6 flights of stairs in the dark, not sure if there was a hidden switch somewhere or if I just wasn’t tripping the sensors. I arrived at the top and was shortly greeted by Juice, one of the staff at the hostel. He ushered me in, down the hall to the living room and into my dorm where I found my bed and dropped my stuff. I joined him in the lounge not long after to be checked in and to be adorned my wrist band, officially receiving the stamp of approval. He asked me if I wanted to go join everyone on the pub crawl but after being on a bus for 7 hours, I was more than ready for a peaceful nights sleep. Now, I was anticipating the arrival home of my fellow bunk mates. I was ready for it – sleep mask on. Had it have just been my bunk mates I encountered, I would have soundly slept through it but as it was, it was only two of them that I ended up encountering. It was the infamous nymphomaniacs. Some of you may remember this from facebook – my need to broadcast the fact I had ring side seats to a little coitus match my first night there but for others, it went a little like this.
They started on the bed and that was ultimately their undoing. See for a party hostel, and a hostel that promotes the free expression of love at that, the beds have the noisiest springs I have ever encountered. Maybe it’s designed that way, who knows – I’m sure they want to know when there is a little nooky taking place so there is something to talk about the next day. So as they perfected a gentle sway, the rhythmic squeaking of the bed began to stir me. By the time I was just about conscious, they made the decision to move to the floor – right next to me, meaning that not only was I now awake, I also had ringside seats. Had I have been there a day or two, I probably would have gotten up and gone out to the lounge or something but as I was new, I was too embarrassed to do anything so instead I just lay there, dead still, hoping to drift back into slumber. This did not happen. Finally they finished and I was able to resume my peaceful rest. Welcome to Carpe Noctem.
The rest of my time in Budapest was a little bit like this first night – every one of them punctuated with sex in one way or another. I joined the events of the evening the following day, got substantially drunk, played some darts, a bit of fuseball and… well, the rest is a blur. I said I was drunk. I do remember being outraged at having to buy toilet paper for the toilets in the club I was in, so I tore it in half and stashed it in my coat for later when I, after using the bathroom again, proceeded to laugh at the lady selling the toilet paper because, I fooled her!
Actually, the only thing I did do in Budapest apart from drink was laser tag & forcing myself to get out of bed on the last day so that I actually saw Budapest before I left it. Laser tag was awesome. Budapest was awesome. Then, just like I had arrived, in the middle of the night I quietly snuck out of the hostel to the bus that would whisk me to the small village of Krakow, which is where the next part of the tale takes place.
So, having been drunk for a large portion of the four days I was in Budapest, I was not anticipating a large one in Krakow, which is almost what I got. The hostel I stayed out fed me breakfast & dinner so I pretty much never had to leave. If it wasn’t for all the tours I did, I probably wouldn’t have. I ended up having quite a sobering but full experience of Krakow as I delved into the city’s history in the morning and then into the history of the Jewish Ghetto and WWII. The following day was Auschwitz & Birkenau before a final day of the underground museum. Each day was sobering and solemn while each night was filled with the beauty of an old city, drinking & singstar. Actually, I think I singstar’d every night I was there, each night with new people too. There was a lot to take in over the four days I was there but it was great.
Then on Thursday, I left Europe behind and headed for Edinburgh, which is where the next part of the tale takes place. But that’s enough for now. Edinburgh will follow shortly.