27 November 2009

Budapest, Hungary ~ until November 10th

After Berlin, our second class trip was to Budapest, Hungary, which is where the Valpo director here is from. It was interesting being able to see a former-Soviet block country and a part of Eastern Europe in general. We were there long enough to take it easy, see the sights, relax, and enjoy ourselves without having to rush to do everything.

My favorite day was Monday. Half of the crew were caving all day, so the rest of us wandered around the city, taking advantage of the one non-rainy day we had the entire visit. Kristyn, Paul, Austin, Ryan, Tristan, and I walked over to St. Stephen's Chathedral first, stopping to take pictures and then climb up to the top of the dome ~ really good views, since it was clear skies all around. On our way to the Parliament building (which we ended up missing the last tour for), we all got hungry, so Paul, Tristan, Ryan and I split ways with the other two to search for a good (but cheap) restaraunt. The three guys found this awesome little Hungarian restaurant, tucked away on a street off of the cathedral sqaure. It had a courtyard and we think it was actaully part of a hotel or something, but the prices were relatively low for such amazing authentic food. We all were stuffed by the time we finished and declared it to be one of the best meals we had had all week. Yum.

To make the day even better, I got to hear Mahler's 1st Symphony at the Budepest Opera House. The previous night, Jon, Paul, and I had went to see a Verdi opera there, but other than just the experience of being there, the performance hadn't been wonderful for me. Jon Larson and I got a box directly across from Paul's, except our seats were at the back of the box and the box was close to the stage, so we basically couldn't see anything at all. I thought, "It's an Italian opera. Ooops. Well, at least there'll be subtitles overhead...oh wait...they'll be in Hungarian." Net result: I had no clue what was going on during the entire opera. I still don't know what the plot was, other than something having to do with Israel and getting out of Egypt? or maybe not. In anycase, the second night with the symphony was much better. From the top balcony, I had a clear view of the orchestra....and wow. The hall has great acoustics. It was a fantastic performance.

After five days in Budapest, it was back to Reutlingen for me, so I woudln't have to miss my three-hour Alternative Energy lecture on Wednesday... unfortunately, all my trains were late and I missed one because of that and all total, arrived two hours late in Reutlingen, at 2 am in the morning. It was ong walk back to my dorm and then staying up even later to chat with people before finally crashing on my uber-comfortable, wonderful, BED.


Pictures from Budapest: http://picasaweb.google.com/Smilegirlerin/510112009BudapestHungary#

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