Well, now that we’re settled in Tallinn, I figured I might as well officially close the Budapest chapter of our lives through blogging. Of course. After a very sad, but fun last day of teaching, we celebrated August 20th (along with most former Soviet Union countries). August 20th is like Hungary’s Independence Day (but they have several Independence Days, due to their complicated histories with neighbors). We went around the city that day, and we even got to see Szent Istvan’s hand paraded around the city.
That night, we went over to a US Embassy location to eat ice cream and watch the fireworks. The fireworks were synchronized in three places along the river, and one of the places was right over the dramatic Parliament. It was a pretty incredible show!
Another night, we had Brian and Payal over. Payal made some incredible Indian food. It was great chatting with them one last time before both Pete and Brian’s internships were over!
We also went to the famous Szecheny Baths (Hungarians love going to their bath houses–kind of like the Estonians and their saunas). Even though I am not a fan of swimming or water in general, I still had a lot of fun. The weather was warm, so the cooler (naturally healing) water was very refreshing. I think that the novelty is the fact that you are in an architecturally stunning location while also floating in water.
One day, we were on the train, heading to Visegrad, and minutes before the train left the station, we got a call from the Estonian Embassy, telling us that they can process a visa for me! They were able to process a visa for Pete, but they weren’t able to for me, but because they got a visa for Pete, they were then able to make a “spouse” visa for me. This was a huge relief because we were about to enter Estonia with overstaying our time in Europe (you only get 90 days here), and we were already over that time. It is scary to cross borders (even though they don’t check at EU borders anymore) when you have been in the EU too long. So, we jumped off the train and got my visa sorted out. The next day (our last full day in Hungary), we headed to Visegrad, which is a castle 45 minutes North of Budapest. It is situated right on the river on a huge hill. I think the location was the best part of the castle! Such beautiful views!
To get to the castle, we crossed the river on a rafty thing connected to a boat. On the way there, we crossed the river with a lumber truck. Ya know.
And then, the next morning, at the terrible hour of 7:25, we boarded a train, never to return to Hungary again. (Well, at least not for several months. We do love Hungary and wouldn’t be opposed to returning either for a short visit or longer period.)
Nyugati Train Station:
Our route North was pretty entertaining/exhausting, so we will surely be back for a post on that (as well as life here in Tallinn). Thanks for reading!