Thursday, July 17, 2008

Making It Up As I Go Along

After one night in a small town called Szigetvar, I caught a morning bus back to Pecs. This is where the fun started. Before leaving Pecs two days back, I noted when the bus was to leave from Pecs to the next place I wanted to go once I passed back through. Apparently I messed up when I thought I could get the next bus I wanted out of Pecs. I guess those little numbers next to the times on the bus schedules mean something afterall. I probably should have paid a little closer attention. So I didn't get out of Pecs at 10am as planned. I'm not sure that that particular bus was even running on that particular day. Oops. Rather than wait around until 3pm for the next bus to the place I hoped to get to (Kesckemet), I hopped on a 10:30am bus for a 4.5 hour trip over to Szeged, mere minutes from the Serbian border.

Now, on my map Szeged looked pretty simple to navigate. Its shaped sort of like a bicycle wheel cut in half with a river running along the bottom. Unfortunately, a lot of the inner streets I tried to follow as I searched for a hotel seem to have been drawn by a 5-year old with Attention Deficit Disorder. It seemed that at every intersection, streets changed names. The 33C weather certainly didn't help. The little map in my guide book left a little to be desired too as a few streets shown lacked a name. For the most part, I'm pretty good with finding my way around but I think the long bus ride coupled with the heat and fatigue was leaving me a little dazed and confused. Eventually, on the third try, and after a mere 2 hours of searching, I found a nice little hotel. I'm only here one night. There aren't many sights here that interest me - a couple churches, a couple minor palaces, the ubiquitous statues.

The plan was to use Szeged as a stepping stone to get over to the eastern part of Hungary. The entire transportation system here is well connected to Budapest but I'm finding that in the southern part of the country, getting around can be a bit tricky. Buses are the only real option. No worries, though. At least I have air conditioning now.

I plan to get extra early in the morning so I have plenty have of time to find my way back to the bus station. You know. Just in case.

(Now, hopefully, I'll find myself in Gyula, near the Romanian border tomorrow.....oh great.....Dracula.)