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Hungary was part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I. The country fell under Communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. Under the leadership of Janos KADAR in 1968, Hungary began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called "Goulash Communism." Hungary held its first multiparty elections in 1990 and initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004.

On our way to Belgrade!
Submitted by bugsly on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 - 01:42 Car | Core | Europe | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hungary | Serbia | Train

This morning after rushed packing and jumping into a taxi, we arrived at the train station in Budapest. We then caught our train on Platform 13 to Belgrade, Serbia.

I'm writing this entry on the train. We will arrive this evening around 8:00 pm. We are going there to visit our friend Steve Smith who is working there now teaching law enforcement training to police trainers in Belgrade. So far we have been riding in comfort. I don’t really like long train rides because sometimes they aren’t smooth. But this one has been so far.

Bugsly


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BRRR!
Submitted by bugsly on Monday, February 6, 2006 - 01:40 Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hungary | Walk

After breakfast this morning, we walked down to the bus station and eventually ended up next to the castle in Budapest. From the top of the hill next to the castle, you can see the entire city which is huge. Eventually we moved on to a folk art shop to purchase a few items. After that we ate at a small café. We then went to the grocery store to get food for dinner and breakfast and went home because it was just to cold to be outside!

Bugsly


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Gellert Hotel here we come!
Submitted by bugsly on Sunday, February 5, 2006 - 01:35 Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hungary | Subway | Walk

Today has been very busy, but totally worth it. In the afternoon my mom and I went to the Gellert Hotel spa, while my brother and Dad headed straight for the baths. So after about an hour of spa treatment we went down to join them.

After buying a ticket and changing into your swim gear, you head for the pool. However, mom and I took a wrong turn and went into the women’s thermal baths. Let’s just say that I won’t be joining a nudist colony any time soon and just walking in and out of there is enough for me.

Eventually, we found the actual swimming pool that has water from the natural spring. Not to mention way too much chlorine! I myself much more enjoyed the hot tub that had the water at a very nice temperature although. Finally we decided to move on, and mom persuaded me to go into the thermal baths with her. Once inside we sat around for a few minutes in the water that was straight from the earth and tried not to look around us to much(it would be inappropriate to describe more than that), and surprisingly enough they don’t allow camera’s!

After moving away from the baths we stopped at the hotel restaurant for some food, and set off to find the right bus home again and after some confusion found the right one home to Diosd a city just outside of Budepest.

Bugsly


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Budapest
Submitted by bugsly on Saturday, February 4, 2006 - 12:09 Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hungary | Walk

This morning we headed off on the bus for Budapest.

The first thing we did was stop for an hour and a half at a Kavehaz (Hungarian for café) and have a delicious meal. My mom had a traditional meal of bean and sausage goulash.

We then headed out to the pedestrian area and stopped at a Hungarian Folkart Center. One interesting item they had in the shop was the traditional costumes, some worn for Christmas, others on special occasions, and some just for daily wear. Another interesting that I saw there were wooden painted eggs and actual eggshells that were painted.

Then we rode the metro and the trolley bus to the Hotel Gellert area. From a high spot on top of a hill, we saw the Chain Bridge that crosses the Danube River. We then moved on and took a bus back to the house after a quick stop at the market to buy food for dinner. Today has been a great day!

Buglsy


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Dublin by day, Budapest by night
Submitted by bugsly on Friday, February 3, 2006 - 11:59 Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hungary | Ireland | Walk

This morning we set off for Trinity College in the center of Dublin to see The Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is a sight within itself, with all of its illuminated letters, complex drawings and beautifully scribed Latin. The book itself has been bound into four volumes and depicts the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I especially enjoyed seeing the complex illuminated letters. My favorite thing about them was the red dotted rim and gold filling on each one.

After moving on and driving to the airport, we boarded our plane to Budapest, Hungary.

Upon arriving in Budapest, we were met by the brother-in-law of the owner of the house where we are staying (a friend’s home that isn’t here right now!). He drove us from the airport to the house in the village of Diósd giving us ideas on local food, shops and how to get around. The house is very comfy, colorful and warm, even though it’s 26 degrees Farenheit outside! Then, when my dad and I walked to the local bar, we stepped inside and had the following conversation…

“Do you speak English?”

“I do not understand English!”

“Food?” (we were pointing to our mouths and making eating gestures!)

“Huh?”

Then we heard rapidfire Hungarian being spoken by the woman and the customer, and just as we were about to leave, she jumped up and pointed to the market nearby. At the market, nobody spoke English either, but we managed to buy enough food and drink for dinner.

And now we are all going to go to sleep because we have had a very tiring day.

Bugsly


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Fun Fact...

There are three types of "Kiwi's" in New Zealand. Kiwi birds, Kiwi fruit and the New Zealanders call themselves "Kiwis"!

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