The personal blog of photojournalist Noah Darnell.

Buda and Pest = Budapest…

So, who knew that Budapest, Hungary, is actually two cities now glued together?

Well, it is. Both sides of the Danube River.

And if you can’t tell from the above photo, the river is a wee bit out of its banks for the moment.

Still, the day began from the previous train ride through Romania. Oh, all totaled around 32 hours of train time since Thessaloniki. Honestly, more like 38 if you count the train ride from Athens. You REALLY gotta want to train up the Balkans. I’ve always told people NOT to do it, it does take a lot of time. But its a truly beautiful trip and quite the experience.

And it always goes back to one of my favorite quotes by Conan O’Brien: “If you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” Well, we tried really hard to connect (even with such a language barrier) and was kind and the conductor of our train from Thessaloniki sort of took us under his wing for the first 16.5 hour trip and brought us free drinks and things and even really came to our side when the Bulgarian ticket people wanted to charge us for an extra ticket regardless of the Eurail.

THEN we made another friend with the Bucharest-Budapest conductor, he charged us regular price and let us have a couchette to ourselves, marking the room as full.

Tip of the day: never ever ever act cocky when traveling. The people in charge ARE in charge of you and your situation more than you’ll ever know… do whatever you can to have them on your side.

My sister and I typically try to play a little dumb – “Silly American, I’ll come to your rescue” – and it really gets you places. Humility is everything when traveling.

Anyways, back to Budapest…

…and the slightly over-its-banks Danube River.

But that’s beside the point. Just a neato photo.

The rest of Budapest is a pretty typical European city, on par with anything Central Europe like Prague or such.

And the people? People are people no matter where you find yourself…

Lots of people…

Lots of pretty places…

And tomorrow is another day. Likely another city.

For that, stay tuned…
-Noah D.

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