Friday and Saturday–so busy and yet so great!
As usual, I spent most of the day working with each of my students. It was a normal day and I don’t think I had any in depth conversations with them. I can’t really remember. It’s possible that I forgot in light of the beautiful things we saw in Budapest. However, the preacher and his family took us out after lunch that afternoon for dessert, which was really yummy! Plus, we went up to the plot of land they own to see where they will build their house once they receive the money to do so. It was a good day all around.
After our last student of the day, we climbed straight into the van and took off for Budapest. Unfortunately, the road trip there did not go smoothly for me. I was so exhausted from lack of sleep that it possibly caused my car sickness. I felt rather miserable the whole way there and couldn’t wait to go to sleep. Still, crossing the border and seeing the Hungarian countryside was neat. It was incredibly flat and had lots of farmland–reminded me a lot of Indiana. There were also a lot of sunflower fields which were beautiful to see.
That night we stayed in a little hotel, ate breakfast the next morning, then drove to outside edge of Budapest in order to take a subway to the downtown area. Big cities have a lot of things in common, one of them being the public transportation. As we climbed aboard the train, I would have thought I was in Chicago if it wasn’t for all the signs and names being Hungarian. Once we arrived downtown, we all had decided we wanted to take an open top bus tour around the city so we could see all the major buildings. It was the best decision we made! Not only that, the weather was absolutely perfect! Clear, sunny, and right around 75 degrees! So for two hours we were taken around the city and told about the different sites. And the tour guide did it in English so we actually knew what she was saying. We saw things like the large Jewish synagogue, the warrior’s square, the Hotel Astoria, the street where all the embassies were, the opera house, the “Terror” building that is a history about when they were ruled by Communism, the Parliament building, the Hungarian Castle, and went to the highest point in the city where you could see nearly all of Budapest. Actually, it was mostly the Pest side of Budapest. Budapest was two cities–Buda and Pest–separated by the Danube River. It’s one city now, but there’s still the Buda and Pest side, depending on which side of the river you are on. It was such a wonderful tour and I got a lot of amazing pictures!
We had a few hours left before we needed to head back to Romanian, so we went to this huge indoor market! On the ground floor was a bunch of different shops of local meats, veggies, produce, and everything food! On the second floor, there were places to eat and a bunch of different shopping booths. Some of it was handmade or traditional items, some had more tourist-type items that had Budapest splattered all over and were likely made in China. Still, there was plenty of locally handmade things in the mix and I found a few souvenirs for myself. I didn’t want to buy much though because I want most of my souvenirs to come from Romania. But, I bought some really nice pieces of art (pictures of Budapest) that were either painted or printed on handmade paper, and a really awesome wood bracelet that will most likely be my favorite bracelet ever!
We headed home after the market and I’m glad to say the trip back was much better than the trip there. The other teachers let me sit up front so I wouldn’t get carsick again, so it was my job to help Tom stay awake and get through the border ok. I now have 3 stamps in my passport! I spent my evening getting pictures posted, and by the time I was done with that, I was ready to go to bed, which is why my post was delayed until this morning. Today is church of course and there’s actually a potluck afterwards. I’m quite excited about that! I am also hoping to go souvenir shopping later today because I have a lot to do still and only 6 days left!
Hope you all have had a wonderful weekend! Thanks for reading and check out my photos from Budapest on Flickr!!