Terror Down Below

Buda Castle Hill is home to ancient limestone caves. Over the centuries, Budapest's various rulers carved out chambers from the rock, putting together a reasonably substantial network of passages. Now, surprise surprise, they're a tourist attraction.

When it comes to the lowest common tourist denominator, this is one of those divisions by zero. They've loaded up the "Labyrinth" with humanesque statues meant to seem ominous, piped-in sound effects, and an especially cheesy exhibit of "recently excavated ancient fossils" featuring the imprints of computer keyboards, ATM terminals, and Coke bottles. The whole is so busy trying to be atmospheric that it's almost entirely uninteresting.

There's a bunch of schoolkids down there with us, though, running around trying to scare each other and generally making an astonishing racket. I convince Sarah to pretend that the kids are actually a pack of bloodthirsty ape-men hunting us with crude stone hand-axes, and we are careful to hide behind pillars whenever the ape-men go by. The Labyrinth winds up being worth the trip.