Elizabeth Hiatt
Johannes-Kepler Universitat Linz

This weekend was absolutely amazing! We went on a trip to Budapest, and it was incredible. We left bright and early on Friday morning for the four-hour trip. I love the fact that travel options to different countries are so vast here. When we arrived in Budapest we checked into our hostel, which was surprisingly very nice! Only three people to a room. The day we got there some of us went to the Szechenyi Bath, one of the abundant bath houses in Budapest, a city know for it’s hot springs. I had never been to a spa or thermal spring before, so it was especially exciting. There were a few indoor baths that were lovely, but we spent most of our time in one of the large outdoor baths. It was freezing outside but the water was so warm. It was absolutely amazing and so relaxing.

When we got back from the bath-house we went for dinner and Palinka tasting at Szeged Restaurant. We were served traditional Hungarian food (mine started with a Goulash soup that was delicious). The Palinka (pretty much a Hungarian schnapps) was pretty good. We tried three different types, and I couldn’t really place the flavor of the first one or the third one, but the second one had a cherry taste. My favorite type, though, was one we got at a different restaurant the next night. The next morning we had breakfast at the hostel and then went on a city tour. The architecture of the city is magnificent. Our fist stop was Hero’s Square, which was constructed for the 1000th anniversary of the arrival of the Hungarian people in that area. There are statues that depict the leaders of the different Hungarian tribes.

Our next stop was to see the Parliament building, and our tour guide told us a little more about the history of Hungary, and then we went up to the Castle District, which provides an absolutely breathtaking view of the city.
Finally, we stopped even further up the hill and looked out over the city and the Danube.
After the tour, we got a little time to explore on our own, so one of the other girls and I took a tour of the Opera House. Our guide told us that despite war and various other catastrophes the Opera House survived all of these years completely intact. She said that a bomb once actually was dropped right on the building and fell onto the stage but didn’t explode! After that we went down to the river then walked across one of the bridges. We went up to Gellért Hill after that to see the St. Gellért monument. It commemorates a missionary bishop who was martyred in about the year 1000.
We had another delicious Hungarian style dinner and tried a different type of Palinka that I liked the best. It had some spice tastes like cinnamon, but I feel like there were also some apple and honey flavors in it too. All in all it was a great weekend and I can’t wait to go back sometime! But it was really busy and I’m exhausted. I start classes tomorrow and I’m looking forward to beginning the semester.