Thursday, July 18, 2013
We left for Hungary today!! I am so excited. We did some last minute packing this morning and then went to class. We watched a documentary about citizen Havel who was a play-write and then became the president. It discussed the Velvet Revolution. We had a short lecture and then Malvina let us go early so we could eat lunch and make it to our train. Katy J., Lisa, Maddy, Paige, Riley, Katie B., Taylor, and I went to Cafe Lourve. It was probably one of the best meals I had this trip. Maddy and I split a caprese salad but it was so different because it had avocado purée on top. It came out with small cubes of mozzarella topped with tomatoes and avocado purée on top. Pesto was decorated on the plate in front of this delicious salad. Maddy and I had salmon and potato gnocchi. There was some more pesto on this dish as well. I want this food again just typing about it! I was in heaven. We were supposed to get the chocolate cake there but we forgot. Lisa, Katie, and Riley tried it and said it was delicious. There was this call board on the wall with two phones. When Lisa and I picked up the phone, we did not expect to hear another voice on the other end. We finished up lunch and headed to the train. On our walk there, we somehow got separated and Lisa, Katie, Maddy, and I got stuck behind. We figured out how to get there and luckily saw the group when we walked in! I looked up and saw a man in blue overalls and a red shirt. I kept saying “Mario” over and over and then Katie said, “and Luigi.” There was another man with him in green overalls and a white shirt! They were working on the escalator but we wondered if they dressed like that on purpose. Then, out of nowhere Michal arrived. He is our Czech friend and we never thought we would be seeing him at the station. Our train was delayed a bit but Michal entertained us until we got on and made our way to Budapest!
We had assigned seats on the train but when we walked on, about 15 preteens were sitting in our spots! We didn’t really know what to do at first because we thought they could have also had our same seats. They luckily didn’t but we had to ask them to move. They then were sitting in each others laps and the middle of the walkway screaming and yelling. Some of them were sitting on each others laps while Anthony was smashed to the window! Taylor asked them to please be a little quiet but 5 minutes later they got a little wild again. Taylor couldn’t handle it anymore so she got up and asked the ticket lady to please ask them to quiet down. The woman told us they were getting off at the next stop so that was really lucky for us! We ate dinner on the train and it wasn’t that great but what do you expect? We arrived in Budapest at 11 p.m. and rushed to exchange our money and hop in a cab. The cab driver was very nice and taught us some Hungarian words.
We got to our hostel, Interflat, checked in and got ready to go out for the night. Our hostel is cool because there are a bunch of other kids our age living there as well. We are staying on the Pest side of Budapest. Pest is the flat city east of the Danube River. It is a commercial core of Budapest. Buda is the hilly city west of the Danube River. The Romans founded Budapest in 89 AD and the Magyars replaced the Romans around 900. Turmoil went on throughout the country during World War I and World War II. Hungary was under very strict communist rule until 1956 when the Hungarians rose up against communism. The revolution ended when the Soviets sent in tanks because they felt Hungary slipping out of control.
We went to a ruin pub called Morison’s. Ruin pubs are these old buildings turned into pubs and clubs here! Most of them are only open during the summer. We met old guy who was wearing a shirt like Ridge’s Stitches! I told him I make shirts just like that. They thought I was some American celebrity and asked for my business cards. They kept taking pictures of me and then I told them Maddy and Jackie were my models. We were all laughing so hard and by the end of the night the men were literally asking for signatures on the business cards. The club was so cool though. There were different clubs on each floor and there were 3 floors! There was karaoke in the basement, an outdoor patio and a dance club on the main floor, and a game room on the top floor. A few of us were walking around trying to find the rest of the group and walked down to see everyone singing karaoke. We stayed there for a while and walked home. Our hostel is so close to the bars so it’s been really nice not having to take a train or a cab!