Thursday, May 24, 2007

Budapest and now India!

We spent a week together with Tara's family in Kesthely on the western shore of Lake Balaton in Hungary. While there we spent a day taking a dip in a thermal lake (Europe's biggest maybe? who knows) at a nearby town called Hevis. We also took a day trip to Vienna, which was a good time (we all had sausages too, if you were wondering) Outside of that we just relaxed there for the week and enjoyed our trip interlude. We've passed the 3 month mark of our trip now. Seems like a ton has happened already and we've still got so much more planned...

After Balaton, we drove with Tara's brother, Ryan, to Budapest. We stopped just outside the centre at the Statue Park. Once communism fell in Hungary, all of the great statues people loved to look at for a reminder of who their heroes are, were taken down and eventually moved to this park. It was interesting to see these big statues of once powerful people. good job for making a park out of it though, instead of just destroying them like some of the other post-commie countries. After the park we drove into the city and parked our car in Pest, near the Jewish Quarter, and walked around for a few hours. We walked around some more of the city over the next couple of days and there are many great buildings in Budapest. However not all of them are well kept, like in Vienna. So you've got a lot of grand, beautiful buildings, and a bunch with broken windows and whatever. and of course, Hungary's claim to fame, the thermal baths. we spent our final afternoon in the city swimming in both hot and cold pools in a very nice bath house, I think it was Baroque architecture... but i don't know anything about architecture, so not sure if you can trust me.

Our host in Budapest also took us to a wine festival in a small town called Etyak which was good fun too. We ate some new foods and had wines too. Deep fried goose wings. some pizza like thing called Langos, cooked in a mud oven. and a sweet doughy pastry cooked over hot coals, that was both huge and delicious!

Right now we are in Mumbai, India! Big change. We spent 14 hours or something in Amsterdam on Tuesday before flying here early Wednesday morning. We arrived last night and spent today just walking around. It is hot! although to be honest i expected hotter. Like near death heat and I'm just not feeling it. But we're sweating up a storm either way. It's a big city, something like 16 million people, so its crowded with cars and people. On our walk today we saw an incredibly poor slum and then 15 minutes later were inside one of the most expensive hotels in the city. Pretty big gap in wealth I guess. After sitting in a large field (under some trees) watching a bunch of people play pick-up cricket, we had some lunch and spent the last few hours of the day on Chowpatty Beach. not swimming because the water is gross, just chilling (in the shade).
We kind of expected it to be like Egypt with people hassling us everywhere, but so far it hasn't been like that.

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