Ode to Mandala

Budapest stood on its own as an endless fount of discovery and gritty beauty, but what made it really special was that we stayed at Mandala Hostel. Our friend Leah found the place, and we ended up there with her after being unimpressed with our first I-know-you’re-checking-in-at-11p.m.-but-we’re-not-sure-which-beds-are-free-and-also-we-forgot-to-hang-the-clean-bedsheets-out-to-dry hostel.

Mandala entrance

Mandala courtyard

Living at Mandala is basically like living at your friend’s apartment.  If your friend put a bunch of beds and a loft in their living room.  Another key component was that the group of people who happened to be there at the time, were all lovely and interesting and conscientious and it felt like we had our own little family group.

Zen room

plants in the window

games in the window

hostel kitties

Furi and Petr

kitchen

Some days we would just sit around and make tea and talk on the courtyard balcony, or on the sofa.  Some nights we would all go out to the neighborhood ruin-pub for some traditional (and not-so-traditional) Hungarian folk music.

Gondozo - dancers

Polish Coffee

Casey, Kat and Matilda

impromptu portraiture

So we ended up staying a lot longer in Budapest than we originally intended.  It was a good thing.