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Europe 2017 {Budapest ~ Day Six}

On Thursday, December 21st, I caught a 7:45 train out of Vienna and headed to Budapest.  I arrived in Budapest about 10:20.  
Last time I arrived in Budapest, I had a driver from the Four Seasons greet me.  The hotel had told me this would be best.  I remember thinking the train station was sketchy, but he whisked me away quickly.  This time, I just planned to take a taxi.  Boy, I had not built up the sketchiness of the Keleti Train station in my mind, it was every bit as bad as I remember.  Probably worse.  
I caught a cab after fighting with a couple of cab drivers who I thought were trying to rip me off.  I think I got ripped off in the end, but was finally resigned to it after a couple refused to take me anywhere when I told them I knew they were suppose to use the meter.  One told me to "report him" and then yelled at me in Hungarian.  
Anyway, I got to my hotel and they allowed me to check in early, so that was a bonus.  I then walked to Vörörsmarty Tér.   I went to t…
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Europe 2017 { Bratislava & Vienna ~ Day Five}

On December 20th, I had a day trip planned to Bratislava, Slovakia.  I've had lots of people look at me like I was crazy when I said Bratislava and asked "where's that".  A little geography/history:  Up until 1918, it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but that year it broke apart as part of Czechoslovakia.  In 1993, it split with the Czech Republic, and Bratislava became the capital city of Slovakia.  Slovakia is surrounded by Czech Republic to the west, Austria to the southwest, Hungary to the south, Ukraine to the east, and Poland to the north.
It's only about an hour train ride from Vienna, so I decided to just make a day trip of it.  I had read mixed reviews about Bratislava, but I was pretty excited to go.  There isn't really a guidebook dedicated to it, it's just an chapter in Budapest or Vienna books.  I didn't have a great map, so I planned to hit up the TI once I got there to get a better map. I took a taxi from the train station and …