Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Week: May 24 ed.

-I had German lessons X4 and a meeting with my tandem partner.

-I stopped by a nearby village to buy some garden tools because the garden is completely out of control. It was also the day of the Firmenlauf, which is when companies can send teams of employees to participate in a run through town. It took me 45 minutes to get back to my house. It should have taken 15 minutes. Sometimes I pine to live in a bigger city but when things like this happen, I'm thankful for my "smallish" Kaiserslautern since it's not too often to have really bad traffic here.

-C and I went for our last hurrah trip before she moves back to the US. It's both a sad thing and a good thing; she'll have a new experience but I'll miss my travel bud (and all around friend) for sure.

We took a short trip to Budapest for the Memorial Day weekend, leaving Friday night from Frankfurt Hahn and returning Monday night. I hadn't done much for planning the trip, which is not my normal style. I had already visited the city in 2010 and C and I both were worn out in advance of the trip; she from her upcoming move and I from being so busy with my normal activities. Plus, I'm three weeks into having four sessions of class a week. It's wearing me down.

Instead of rushing about during our vacation, we took our time and it suited us very well. We didn't arrive at our hotel until 1 a.m. on Saturday and ended up sleeping into 11:20 a.m. Whoa! The room didn't have a clock so it was disorienting to wake up and see that time on my phone. My phone hadn't been connected to a network so I thought that maybe the time was wrong. I checked the tv and it was correct. Oh well! It felt really good to sleep in.

After getting ready, we headed downtown to have lunch then explore. We had planned to try a different restaurant but Hard Rock Cafe caught my attention and I convinced C to eat there. I am not normally a fan of American food, but I love their nachos and haven't had good nachos in an eon so I couldn't help myself. The nachos were just as good as I had expected and the customer service was the best we've had in ages too. One of the waiters brought us our drinks and said "hallo Leute!" We ended up speaking German back to him and he was confused. He probably thought he was cool speaking to the Americans who couldn't possibly know German, getting it right back, and not understanding what we said because he doesn't actually speak it ;)

Following lunch, we stopped at the Grand Market Hall to wander around. It's beautiful and worth a visit to look around and also to buy some produce if one is sick of eating rich holiday food. Our next stop was the Hungarian National Museum, where we spent several hours.

Grand Market Hall
 A ride on the number two tram was the next stop. I recommend it as it's a good way to see many of the famous buildings along the Danube River downtown. We had the week pass so it was a great way to get some more use out of it.

Later we walked around some more then wandered into the nightlife district, selecting Vintage Garden for a light dinner for C and some delicious lemonade for me. It is a beautiful restaurant, decorated in a French countryside style with lots of flowers. C ordered a bread and spread sampler and a salad, noting that both were delicious. Our experience was soured, however, when we asked our waiter for the bill and he never brought it. We kept trying to catch the eye of other waiters since ours disappeared and they ignored us too. I finally called out "excuse me!" and caught someone. It took 35 minutes to pay and she never even came back to give us change! We were able to cobble together the correct amount so we didn't have wait another 35 minutes for change. I was not happy about this so I can't recommend the restaurant after that.


We had another late start, beginning with lunch at Al-Amir, a Syrian restaurant. Our waiter was very pleasant and attentive so that was a welcome change! We ate a variety of appetizers and some salads. It was a nice, lighter way to start the day.

The rest of the day, we stopped at St. Stephen's Dom and saw his famous right hand; toured the hospital in the rock on the Buda side, and took the cogwheel train up the Buda hills.


We wandered around the park surrounding the Szécheny baths, stopping at the Vajdahunyad Castle to see a toy festival and historical re-enactments (of what, I'm not sure). After a lunch at the restaurant in the park, we headed back to the airport and home.

Look! I have a wooden gun!

Dudes reenacting something. Investigative blogging at its finest.

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