Tuesday, November 21, 2006
We’re refreshed after our weekend trip to Budapest, Hungary and I just wanted to fill you in! Yes, we went to Budapest this past weekend…that’s our 12th country since moving here, and it was just as exciting as the first! Honestly, we couldn’t have asked for a better autumn trip. We saw and did just about all there was to do.
We arrived in the evening and we got the layout of the city, strolled down Vaci street (shopping district) and went for a big Hungarian style meal. Hungarian means meat…and lots of it (at least that was our experience). So, Sarah and I went to a place that was mentioned in one of our guidebooks. The portions were big and the place was friendly. We went to leave a tip at the end of the meal and our waiter said that we had left too much…so he only took about half of it. After that we went back to our Hotel that was on the outskirts of the town so we had to take public transportation and such.
The next day we awoke to a breakfast at the hotel and then we were back on the tram headed into the heart of Budapest. I wanted to hit the Turkish baths first so we headed over Liberty Bridge to the Gellert Hotel, which is also famous for its baths. We bought our ticket and found ourselves in the infamous Turkish baths with all the other tourists and locals (and yes, I did experience the steam room, Milliken…and you were right). After spending the morning in the baths we left and went up Gellert hill to the Citadel were there is a statue that can be seen from anywhere in Budapest. It was quite a hike to the top so we stopped and took some photos and stuff before heading back down. On the way down we stopped at the monument to Saint Gellert himself. He was a Bishop who was a martyr.
We then went to the Castle District, and saw, well, the castle! Had lunch at another place mentioned in our guidebook—a cafeteria of sorts. We ate bean soup and chicken and potatoes…good hearty food again. Then on to the Parliament building. It wasn’t open cause it was Sunday, but it’s a great old building. Then on to St. Margaret Island, in the middle of the Danube River. We had been walking all day long, so we rented a hilarious 2-person bike thing, where we sit side-by-side and pedal this little car together. The island was beautiful, basically just a park, but with the autumn leaves changing, it was amazing. By the time we finished here it was dark. We headed across town to the State Opera House, a beautiful old building with winding staircases and 3 ton chandeliers! All red and gold inside. We asked if there was an opera on that night, and there was! It (an Opera called Jenufa) started in an hour, so we bought some great seats in the middle on the floor (not balcony). This was our biggest splurge—about 25 pounds. A ¼ of the cost of our entire trip! (Notice it was a CHEAP trip!) We were the only people there in jeans and backpacks, but we didn’t care! The opera was simply amazing, the best part of our trip.
We got back to the hotel late that night, then woke the next morning to check out. We put on our packs and headed back into town for a few more hours of wandering the streets and shops and the Jewish Quarter before heading back to the airport. The trip had basically no hitches, and ended up being just perfect!
So next up is our trip home to America for Christmas! We are so super excited! We will spend most of the time in Arkansas, but will be spending New Year’s Eve till the 3rd in Ohio. Now, Ohio friends, we did want to surprise you all and just show up at a party, so we confided our secret plan to Liz Dally, the only one who was supposed to know…but she let the cat out of the bag! All of a sudden we are getting emails from Ohioans saying they are excited to be seeing us over New Years! So, no surprise anymore (never tell Liz a secret!! j/k), we are definitely coming up to old BG. We’ll be there a few days, so we hope to see you all.
Write us soon with any updates, and we look forward to seeing almost everyone on this email list hopefully at Christmas!!
We love you,
Jason and Sarah Suel
PS: For all the music fan out there, on Sunday (Nov. 12th) Sarah and I went to see MUSE in concert in Cardiff, Wales. They were ace! Rockin’ tunes and great beats. Get into that!
At the Gellert Thermal Baths (check out Sarah's awesome rental suit!)
Sarah with a view of Budapest Castle
Jason (looking cool in his Tapes t-shirt) with a view of the Parliament
Inside the awesome State Opera House