Hello from Budapest!! Today was a really eventful day! We started off at the Museum of Hungary. It was a lot smaller then I would have expected, compared to the Smithsonian or other museums in the US, but the artifacts were interesting. It was hard to figure out what everything meant because most of the captions were in Hungarian and we didn’t have a tour guide, so we made up our own stories. After the museum we went to Hero Park. This was really different. It was a park not of grass, but it was concrete tiles with monuments of past heroes. We took a picture imitating the heroes, it’s really funny! We took a short walk across a bridge to a castle. This was really surreal. It felt like we were in a movie stuck in the past. The castle was so huge and the outside had so many details on the walls.
After the castle we went to The Terror Museum. This museum used to be a site for the Communist meeting and torturing of innocent people. This was extremely disturbing seeing some of the places they would keep the prisoners and hearing what they would do to them. They said that they would only let the healthy people get executed and they wouldn’t let them have any wishes before their death and if they wrote a letter to their family, the executer would rip it up and throw it away. The Communists would hang the people and seeing the places where that actually happened was really terrifying. On a lighter note, after that we went to lunch at this really nice restaurant. It was sort of an open restaurant and the food was really good. It seems like whenever we go out they always serve soup with dinner. I don’t know if that is normal, or just the trip that we are on but I like it! Then it was time to go out on our own. They gave us an hour in this shopping area to look around and spend the rest of our florints (Hungarian currency) that we had.
After shopping we went to watch Susie play volleyball. Susie is on a Hungarian club team and she is the girlfriend of Gabor (our wonderful local Hungarian tour guide). Now this was a lot different. It seemed like an underground volleyball club. The court was really dark, the floor was ok, there were nets around the court on the outside, and not a lot of space for the fans. I didn’t think there were going to be a lot of people there, but there were and they were crazy. One of the fans brought a huge drum and was playing it when the crowd would cheer. There were probably about 150 people there but it seemed like 1000, because they were so rowdy. After sweating at the game we went to a mall. It was rather large with about five floors and a bowling ally. We got the money for dinner and went our separate ways. Ashley, Laura, Jill, and I went to a really nice restaurant that was kind of like a lounge. The food was really, really good!! I liked that we stuck to the Hungarian theme and ate Hungarian food. We sat and ate dinner for a while, but some of the other girls got to go shopping and bought some clothes.
From the mall we went on the cruise. It turned out to be a nice night so we got to go out on the Danube River and see Budapest at night. We sat upstairs on the boat and listened to a video description of what we were looking at. It was cool to see some of the places we had been the day before from the river at night. Exhausted from a long day we went home to bed! We wake up tomorrow and head to Slovenia!!