Adventures in the marvellous Mini of doom!

Dave Smart

Lenin and the Mini of doom
Lenin and the Mini of doom

Day 16:
A visit to old monuments from the Communist era

On Sunday I had heard about a museum called the House of Terror, but sadly found out that all the museums were closed on Mondays, so I arranged to go to Memorial Park with Antoine, as it’s a bit out of town I decided to drive, Antoine had never been in a mini and revelled at the thought. Off we set, with me at the wheel and Antoine navigating, it really could have been a recipe for disaster, but other than missing the place on the first run it actually worked out pretty well.

The park itself is where the former Communist statues from around Budapest have been assembled, it’s really quite interesting, my favourite was a pair of boots, which is all that was left of the statue of Stalin from the revolution in the ‘50s.

On the way back from the park I stopped to show Antoine the spud gun, so at the side of the road, at a fairly isolated area, I went through the rigmarole of loading it and, as sometimes happens, it didn’t fire. With a little messing around the lighter lit and the gun went off with an almighty BANG, the bottle exploded and left me with a scorched T shirt and a big red mark on my stomach, my ears were ringing, but I couldn’t help laughing, Antoine looked rather bemused at all this.

Later in the day Fin wanted to pop out in the Mini, so as Anna, one of the bosses from the hostel, left to go home we went with her. Anna has a love of old cars too, having a 1969 Renault 4. All she could keep saying when she saw the Mini was ‘It’s really Mini!’ Anna took us back up to the Citadella for views over the city and left us to wander round, after a quick look round I showed Fin the spud gun. Now with a new combustion chamber, whoomp, I fired the spud across the park below. Being Irish, and fond of spuds, Fin nearly chased the projectile into the park below claiming it was a waste.

The sun was now going down, and with out a map of Budapest we managed to get lost. The streets of Budapest are long and bend gently, so without the sun for reference it is very disorientating. After a couple of dodgy U turns, where I’m sure Fin saw his life flash before him, we managed to navigate back to the hostel.

Later in the evening I managed to get a splinter right under one of my fingernails. Ferec, another of the hostel bosses, felt rather woozy when looking at it and suggested I visited the local health centre in the morning.

Stalin's boots
Stalin's boots
Keith Adams
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