We had a great weekend in our new hometown – nice and lazy. Europe switches to Daylight Saving Time later than the US does, so we lost an hour in the US just before we left; had a nice bit of jet lag as we switched to Central European time; and then lost another hour this weekend as we did our second “spring forward” to Central European Summer Time. So this weekend, we didn’t have any big plans to do lots of sightseeing. We’re going to be here for two years, after all – so we’re taking things slowly 🙂
On Friday, we had a great dinner with our friends, the Bowmans, at what has quickly become my favorite restaurant in Budapest, Ket Szerecsen. It has a few traditional Hungarian dishes, such as goulash soup, which Richie has embraced. It also has lots of dishes with other flavors, like Thai green curry and gorgonzola risotto. Richie and Phil both made enough yummy noises on their soup to convince me to try it, though, so next time we go there, I’ll be making my first attempt at Hungarian food. We then went to a little bar close to the Danube called the Drop Shop, which made me laugh because my employer back in the US just spent a lot of time and effort advertising our company apparel and merchandise store, which was also called the Drop Shop. So it felt like a little connection to home. As far as I know, though, my employer didn’t sell delicious wines.
On Saturday, Holly showed me around one of the markets which sells fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, as well as some souvenirs and spices. It is so great to have a friend here who already knows these things so I can avoid some of the pitfalls that I would face if I were completely on my own – like asking for just “chicken breast” and ending up with something that still has the bones and the skin 🙂
That evening, Richie and I went to see the Hunger Games. Budapest shows American movies in two ways – dubbed in Hungarian (listed as “dub”), or in English with Hungarian subtitles (listed as “sub”). If it’s been dubbed into Hungarian, there are no English subtitles or anything, so unless I magically become a pro at Hungarian in the next couple of years, we’ll be restricted to movies that are listed as “sub”. Luckily, the Hunger Games was showing in a massive number of theaters in English. Once we were seated and the lights dimmed, I almost forgot that we were in Hungary.
Today, after sleeping in late to counteract our lost hour, we did a bit of walking through our new hometown. First, we stopped in Vörösmarty Tér, a square in one of the “touristy” areas, to check out the outdoor markets that were set up. They had booths for food, like smoked sausages and potatoes (and one booth that claimed to be selling “rooster testicle stew”, which we did not try), wines, palinka, and many handmade household items. My favorite thing was these eggs that had been hollowed out, decorated, and turned into ornaments – they came in lots of vibrant colors and with all sorts of unique patterns. I think when I have a bit more time, I’ll head back and pick some out for us 🙂 [That may possibly be code for “when Richie is not with me”….]
Then, we took a tram to Margit Hid and walked across the bridge to Margit Sziget (“Margaret Island”). Our friends who had lived in Budapest before had mentioned this as a great place to take our dogs, so we wanted to check it out before bringing the puppies. It was a gorgeous day today – the temperature was in the 60s and it was very sunny – so the island and bridge were PACKED full of people, both tourists and locals. Here’s a photo from the island, looking back towards Parliament.
The island has really great running trails with spongy material for low impact – so maybe once I decide to stop being lazy, I’ll start going for runs there – at least while the weather is this lovely! There were tons of people with dogs, so we’ll definitely have to go again with ours.
We wound up the day with a trip to the fenced-in dog run in Erszebet Ter.
Although lots of dogs want to try to play with Lexie, she’s mostly just happiest sitting next to her Richie. What a silly. Winston at least tries to be sociable and howl in the other dogs’ faces.
On the house-hunting front, we found a great place and our offer was accepted! So once all of the paperwork is reviewed and signed, I’ll post some pictures and such. If all goes well, we’ll be in there by April 1st!