It had been unclear for too long who would join, resulting in difficulties with arranging beds in the places I wanted to go to around new year. In the end, Data, Jimbo, Wong, Betsy and myself left on the 27th for a trip that would eventually bring us to Passau, Bratislava, Budapest, Ljubljana, Bled and Munich. Also, our car would be broken into and Jimbo was to be showered in champagne.
I had scheduled the new year’s party to be in Budapest, the city I lived in for close to a year during 96/97. I really looked forward to visiting this beautiful city once more, only months before it would join the European union.
Originally, I wanted to leave for eastern Europe before Christmas, as to avoid the obligatory Christmas visits, but that didn’t work out. At first, Hogo wanted to join but he couldn’t leave before the 27th. This meant that Jimbo could also join, so when Hogo suddenly canceled, I couldn’t set our departure date back to the day before Christmas.
Nevertheless, the trip was long enough, although I would have preferred a bit more time on our way to and from Budapest. Due to the working class of our group wanting to be back early on Sunday, we weren’t able to chill in Bled, arguably the most beautiful island in Europe.
Luckily, we left relatively early on Saturday so we were able to stop for the night and keep our driving time reasonable. We stopped for the night at Passau, where the youth hostel, quite expensive, is located on top of a rock in the middle of the town, allowing for fantastic views of the city. Passau, right on the German/Austrian border, is the meeting point for the Inn, Ilz and Danube rivers and has a lovely authentic city center.
As one does, we had a good schnitzel in a local pub and played Jenga until our waitress joined. She lost terribly. After dinner, we enjoyed a good water pipe at a rather lovely Arabic bar.