Blue Danube

Crossing the border into Hungary was a great welcome to the European Union.  Once we got past this border, no more explaining to customs officials that our bike was from Singapore and that we were only driving it through their country with no intention of importing it.  A process made slightly more complicated by the fact that we did not have the original registration documents for the bike, relying instead on a faxed copy which got more faded each time we had to pull it out at the borders.

Luckily, entering Hungary was a breeze and getting to Budapest from the border was even more straightforward.  The highway brought back memories of the M2 in Pakistan, although Sabby did miss the Ukrainian roadside vendors a little.

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Almost the M2!

In Budapest, we decided to treat ourselves a little and cashed in some frequent traveler points to get us a room with an awesome view across the Danube.

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The amazing view across the Danube from our room at sunset, nightfall and sunrise

In our opinion, Budapest is probably one of the loveliest cities in Europe with beautiful historical architecture which has been very well-preserved and well-integrated with modern buildings.  We took a stroll through Castle Hill in the evening, wandered through the Festival of Folk Arts at the Palace and enjoyed some excellent Hungarian wine at the Fisherman’s Bastion.

In the morning, we had a lazy brunch on the Pest side.  It was a proper brunch with muesli and brie sandwiches, very much unlike the simple breakfast of coarse peasant bread and coffee we had at Karakul Lake (Tajikistan) just weeks ago.  We almost had to pinch ourselves to make sure we were not in a dream.  In retrospect, the decision to travel from East to West was a very wise one, as it has been so much more pleasant rediscovering creature comforts than it would have been losing them.
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What a difference two weeks make!

MJo also went to check out the baths that Budapest is famous for.

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