Departing from Croatia, we reentered the European Union with much less hassle than expected - first guard simply confirmed the US insignia on the front of our passports and the second set of guards laughed to eachother about this new American dream of driving to Mongolia - and into Hungary! We stopped just inside our new haven and without a non-Euro penny to our names proceeded to try to find housing around the intimidatingly large Balaton Lake, but failed to actually find swimmable waters and after rejecting the idea of camping next to a small oil rig, found a plot to set up camp on. The next morning we headed into Budapest, again rising somewhere around 5:30 due to the rising sun insisting on poking its head up earlier and earlier as we headed West, no one yet interested in changing time zones.
Budapest signs directed us toward an information hub - travelling again with simply the map in our European Road Atlas - which only offered hotel info, but did guide us to a bank so we could load up on kuna and fuel. After discovering the conversion rate and starting to heavy our tank, we were appalled at a one hundred dollar gas bill and stopped the tap early. Turns out a 65 euro bill was just as hefty only we had never paused to calculate its dollar value.
Full of gas, we parked by the Parliament, wandered around, found a bookstore to replace my recently lost moleskin journal (and credit card which I promptly cancelled four days later - don't worry no charges yet) and check on the info about our couchsurfing host that night, and generous Italian who allowed us to shower AND wash our clothes! Budapest was beautiful and reaching our budget in prices, and following a morning romp up to a castle, we departed for the Hungarian countryside and some sites we had found in our host's Lonely Planet guide (yes, we caved).
Egger was an amazing town with some old castle remnants we walked around but not into and some amazing wine stored in a cellar so oldly constructed and anciently named that noone can date either occurrence. This proved perfect in providing us with an enormous 2L bottle of red wine that was actually tasty which later soothed our wounds when upon reaching the Ukrainian border we found them unwilling to accept our temporary registration for the car. New plan - wander the Romanian countryside and maybe even Transylvania while we pass the weekend and await paperwork being sent from the ever helpful Elias Uria family in the Basque Country.