Today I visited my good friend Carlyn in Göd, a small town north of Budapest. I actually live closer to her than most of my other friends located in the heart of town. My dear friend Emily lived and worked there last year. Göd looks like “god,” but is actually pronounced like “good.” Hungarian vowels are indeed mystical in nature.
Göd has about a fifth of the population that my district (Újpest) in Budapest has – it comes in strong with about 20,000 people. Göd, like many cities I have been, is located on the Danube. Known at the Duna in Hungarian, this river flows through ten countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania. Although I have visited only a few cities that this river flows through – Vienna, Bratislava, Esztergom, Visegrád, Szentendre, Mohács – I can clearly grasp the important role the river plays in each one. Carlyn and I decided to spend the day walking along treacherously muddy trails that run parallel to the Danube in her part of town. Note: Neither of us slipped, but we did see a young boy totally eat it whilst carrying fishing gear.
Two or so weeks ago I visited Carlyn to book things for our Balkan trip. We made small changes here and there (meaning that we totally changed it up). Our old itinerary looked like this:
Day One – Budapest, HUN to Belgrade, SRB.
Day Two – Belgrade, SRB to Sarajevo, BIH.
Day Three – Sarajevo, BIH.
Day Four – Sarajevo, BIH to Mostar, BIH.
Day Five – Mostar, BIH to Dubrovnik, HRV.
Day Six – Dubrovnik, HRV.
Day Seven – Dubrovnik, HRV to Kotor, MNE to Podgorica, MNE.
Day Eight – Podgorica, MNE to Belgrade, SRB to Budapest, HUN.
We had planned each part of the trip out – which hostels we would stay in, how to get from city to city, etc. Whatever the case may be, any rational person can clearly see that our plan was a little ambitious to say the least. In an attempt to prevent Jolan from using her 15-year-old black belt skills on our sketchy train to Belgrade, Carlyn began looking for random flights. She found cheap ones with substantial layovers in Istanbul, Turkey. We then began to joke around about making this visit to Istanbul a reality… and low and behold! WE’RE GOING TO ISTANBUL. We ended up scrapping most of our Balkan trip (with the exception of the cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina that I refused to give up).
In other travel news, I also might be going to Romania with Carlyn and Rosti this weekend. I will know for sure on Tuesday night. You are probably wondering how I am able to afford all of these trips. If you can figure that out, let me know. I need all the help I can get. According to my calculations (lest we forget I am the Master of Coin), the trip to Romania will only cost me around $75 to $90. We are only staying in a hostel for one night – we are going to take overnight trains there and back. Ten cheers to 13 hour (per way) train rides! Are there such things as gluteus maximus masseuses?
A Lesson From Miss Jennifer: Don’t wear new shoes to walk along a river.