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Budapest

My Eastern European blitzkrieg has bogged down, as is typically the case. I spent the last two days in Budapest, having decided that Ljubljana in just too far out of the way (9 hours, and no night train). So the plan for now is to hike over the Slovak-Polish border at 2500 m, and then relax in Krakow for a few days before heading home on what will no doubt be a hellish six-day gauntlet of international trains, intercontinental flights, and interstate driving.

Actually, I’m crossing out of Hungary right about now. I speak absolutely no Magyar, which is what Hungarian is called by people who aren’t ignorant Americans, but the procedure is the same everywhere: the one with the gun wants your passport, the other one, your ticket. In most of Western Europe (the Shengen countries) border crossings are seamless, and the gun-toting passport-checker doesn’t even board the train, but I’ve crossed the Iron Curtain several times now, and by local standards it’s almost hassle-free.

All told, then, I will have been in 14 countries (12 of them for the first time) in 53 days, about which I can’t help feeling a little proud.

Grazer Schlo├čberg

Grazer Schlo├čberg

 
Graz and the Kunsthaus

Graz and the Kunsthaus

 
ATOs are EVERYWHERE.

ATOs are EVERYWHERE.

 
Serving absinthe the badass way.

Serving absinthe the badass way.

 
Nicest. Hostel. Ever.

Nicest. Hostel. Ever.

 
Crappy weather in Budapest

Crappy weather in Budapest

 
Bratislava is known for wacky sculptures...

Bratislava is known for wacky sculptures...

 
... this being the most famous.

... this being the most famous.

 
'UFO bridge' and Soviet-era tenements

'UFO bridge' and Soviet-era tenements

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