I know there are solutions to jet lag — sleeping pills for the plane ride, a glass of wine, herbal tea, and other sleep aids of choice — but nothing has ever worked better for me than good old-fashioned sleep. Given the time to do so, I just need to get to my destination and find a bed. Or, if sheer excitement from being in a new environment can keep me going for a while, then I could always pass out after the adrenaline wears down.
This is precisely what happened when I reached Budapest after a night flight with connection in Frankfurt. Actually, I expected to catch a catnap in the Frankfurt airport, since the layover was considerable — over 2 hours. But no such luck.
By the time I got to Budapest in the mid-morning, said adrenaline rush was in full swing, so napping lost its appeal for a while. I spent the day acquiring as many experiential souvenirs as possible and, after a great meal at a nearby five-star restaurant and a postprandial cocktail in the hotel’s jazz lounge, I had planned out what to do the next day, since the stay in Budapest was so limited, given that boarding time for the luxury train was scheduled for 4:00 p.m. the following day.
You can probably see what’s coming. I dutifully set the alarm on my normally-trusty iPhone and fell into a deep sleep, planning to wake the following morning by 8:00 a.m. to make the most of the last bit of time in this beautiful city.
The next thing I knew, I woke up to find that it was already 12:30 — a half-hour past check-out time!
Had I made a mistake on the iPhone alarm? Did it go off and I just didn’t hear it? I never bothered to check but rapidly proceeded to make the most of the last few hours in Budapest.
As for those last few hours: See upcoming post.