Nora met us at the airport, which I was surprised about! I thought she was working the day we arrived. Her parents also met us and drove us all back to their house. Elice, Allison and Anna's mom, flew in later that day.
These are pictures from one of our dinners. I believe this was goulash night, so our first night there. They're out of order from the blog because all my text just shifted and won't go back. -_-
We were all a little exhausted, due to many days of waking up early and walking miles upon miles. We ate breakfast, which included this amazing spread that consisted of cheese, carrots, garlic, mayonnaise and mustard.
We all chatted with Nora, Lilly and Judit and Kosztya for a while, then the 4 of us travelers took a nap. I fully intended for that nap to be only thirty minutes.
Three and a half hours later, I dragged myself out of bed and went into the kitchen.They'd left to go pick up Elice at this point.
Elice arrived and we all continued talking and laughing and enjoying each others company. It was good to have a relaxing day, because I don't think my feet would have survived walking that day!
That evening, Judit made an amazing dinner of Hungarian goulash, followed by ice cream and crepes. We continued chatting and eventually went to bed at a decent hour.
The next morning, we ate a delicious breakfast, including the delicious spread that even Adrienne ate with gusto, then headed out into Budapest. Nora was working that morning, so it was just me, Adrienne, Anna, Allison and Lilly.
We headed to the Castle District, which is up on the hill overlooking the city and has a great church and little neighborhood around it. It also has the Fisherman's Bastion, which is interesting looking but not very old.
This is the neighborhood nearby.
It's a Roman Catholic Church, originally built in 1015, but the church as is stands today was built in the 14th century. It's actually called Church of Our Lady, but was renamed after King Matthias, who had his two weddings there and ordered construction of part of the church. It was temporarily the main mosque in Budapest during the Turkish occupation. A lot of the frescoes were whitewashed then, so they had to be restored later.
Random story: My student was reading about World War I but read the "I" as in "I am going to the store." He said, "Teacher, shouldn't it be World War I am a great war." It was cute.
This is Stephen I of Hungary.
He was king from 1000-1038. He was buried in Székesfehérvár. I just want you to look at that word. It gives you a little bit of a hint of how difficult Hungarian words are to pronounce/read for non-native speakers.
A reliquary. Gross.
I am not sure what these are or why the woman is missing arms.
A different staircase.
It was required because Adrienne is immodest.
This guy has quite the flourishing mustache.
Another side of the church.
We stopped at a pharmacy to get Adrienne eye drops because her eyes were itchy and one of them was swelling.
I saw these enormous diaper/pads. I had to take a picture.
"A Hungarian legend tells the story of Emese, wife of Ügyek the descendant of Atilla the Hun, who once had a dream in which a Turul appeared to her. In this dream, a crystal-clear stream started to flow from her, and as it moved Westward, it grew into a mighty river. This dream represented her symbolic impregnation by the Turul, and meant that she would give birth to a line of great rulers. Emese later gave birth to Álmos, who was the father of Árpád, the great leader of the Magyars and founder of Hungary. This story reaffirms the Hun-Magyar kinship, and the knowledge that the Magyars reconquered Hungary as their rightful inheritance from Atilla's great Hun Empire. The great mythical Turul bird of prey is one of the most important symbols of the Hungarians. It represents their god's power and will. The Turul was seen as the ancestor of Atilla, and it was also the symbol of the Huns. The Hungarian Turul is often represented carrying the flaming Sword of God."
That's the Chain Bridge which I'll talk about in the next blog, because we walked over it.
Adrienne and I had matching tan lines.
This is the Lions Court
This is a horseherd. It is a horseherd taming a wild horse.
We walked down the hill from the Castle afterwards and headed towards the city center. We walked across the Chain Bridge, but that will be the beginning of the next blog!
We found this statue. I couldn't remember what it meant, but Lilly told me again. It's a 0 and it ind indicates the center of the country. As you drive around Hungary, there are a lot of different numbers and statues, which are the distance in kilometers between the location of the number and this statue.
We all took pictures with it. Anna and Adrienne posed.
And that is all for now!