Monday, June 1, 2009

Budapest weekend - oops thought I had posted this.

I headed into Budapest on Friday for the three day weekend with a shopping list in hand and excited to be going to the National Gallop - an event I stumbled upon last year with Giulia. I had made arrangements with Peggy, (CETP teacher in Budapest who came in January) to explore some of the markets and to see the National Gallop.

I was able to complete some of my shopping on Friday night, and then early Saturday I was up and off to the Tesco and mall near Keleti Train Station. I found the pancake mix, syrup, peanut butter and tortilla shells I was looking for, but not a tank top, hat or lighter weight electrical adaptor.

The weather was not all that great, but I met Peggy at 10am and off we went. Our plan was to check out some of the markets in Budapest - other than the huge Great Central Market. I knew of one that I went to last year that was very much a local market, so we went there first. Then, close by was a gourmet foods store -- are Oreos gourmet? Anyway, they had oreos and a few other US foods, along with foods from all over the world. Nearby was Tree Hugger Dan's, the used English bookstore that I have wanted to go to all year. Peggy found quite a few books and I regretted even more not making it there before for some books. I'm sure Peggy will be a regular there, trading in old and getting new-to-her books. I did get a dictionary to leave with the Scrabble game, a travel book on Greece, and a book written by an Hungarian writer, translated to English.

We went to Iguana's for lunch and Margaritas/Sangria and then to the Gerbeaud Cafe. I had not been there before, but had read about it. It first opened its doors in the 1850's and is known for its cakes, etc. As it was raining, we sat there for some time before heading to the metro to head back to our own places. I couldn't find my umbrella and finally decided I must have left it at home. Quite frustrating. I really didn't want to buy ANOTHER one, as I already have two!

The evening in the hostel was pleasant and I talked with two gals from South America. One was from Chile and is a graphic designer and the other from Argentina and is a triage nurse. They met each other on the train to Budapest and were going to travel on to Vienna together. Both are on extended trips and it looked like their paths would cross again. I talked to the one from Argentina about her country a bit, as the GeoVision program that I recently found as a potential for traveling in the fall, has a program there. She was excited to show me pics of her country and encouraged me to travel there.

Sunday morning the weather was no better, but again Peggy and I met at 10am and this time headed to Hero's Square where the National Gallop was taking place. We walked amongst the booths from different towns and regions and picked up a number of brochures and booklets. Some are for my use with Becky when she gets here, and I thought I would leave some for the new incoming teacher to Kisvarda, Rette, and send some to the Larry and Bonnie who are coming to Debrecen and a nearby town. We hoped to see the both from Hodmezovarsahely, as they had one last year, but no louck. We were only able to be there for about an hour before the rain really started coming down. We decided to go to the mall that I had gone to on Saturday morning and figured we could shop and maybe take in a movie.

Well, we were wrong about the shopping. Today, Monday, June 1 is a holiday, so the stores were all closed on Sunday too!!! The restaurants and the movie theatre were open though and there were many people window shopping throughout the mall. We had a nice lunch while we waited for our movie to start. We saw Russell Crowe in "State of Play" in English with Hungarian subtitles. It was sooo good to do something so "normal" and I really enjoyed seeing a movie on the big screen.

When I got back to the hostel, I realized that I would have the evening ahead of me without anything really to do, and there weren't many people around. Because the weather wasn't supposed to get any better, I realized I would just be leaving first thing in the morning anyway. So, I checked the schedule and was able to catch the last train to Kisvarda, getting here at 10:30pm. I read "Twilight" all the way back on the train! Thanks Claudette - it sure made the time go faster!

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