Day 14: 31 July 2004
Saturday – last day in Budapest – Hungary even. Most of my new found friends have departed already. I meet with Steven downstairs in the vaulted bar beneath the hostel for a last breakfast of cold meats and cheese.
Following my breakfast I say my goodbyes to Steven, check out of my room and head off for a last amble round town before my flight. I head back down to the indoor market via the backstreets from Marco Polo, where I too buy one of the secret boxes, managing to haggle the price down to the same 2100 HUF when I explain who was with the day before. I also find an etching by a local artist of the chain bridge and Danube in Budapest – it will hang well alongside my Tallinn print from last year.
I begin to wander back through town revisiting some favourite streets, finding again restaurants where I have eaten, photographing them to accompany these pages, and so at around 11.30 I arrive back at the Marco Polo to await the airport minibus.
The journey back starts well, but delays at Heathrow mean I am late leaving Budapest, which knocks my eventual arrival time on still further. At around 9 o’clock in the evening, I turn the key in the lock and let myself into my little house. I am relaxed and tired, happy and sad, all the same time.
Next Year: Travels in Transylvania…