Today is Wednesday, June 6th and I fly home to the US two weeks from today. My time here as flown by but has also crawled along very slowly, I’m sure my last weeks will be the same. I’ve been busy the last few weeks trying to squeeze in all of the things that I had been wanting to do since I’ve come here as well as trying to see and say goodbye to all my friends around the country. The last week of May was a three day weekend and (as always) this meant various festivals around Hungary. I had a tough decision to make- the wine festival in Tokaj or the beer festival in Beke. In the end we (Eve and I) decided to go to Tokaj assuming that it must be a good because every hostel, hotel and guesthouse in the area was fully booked! Lucky for us Ian in Nyiregyhaza is only about 40 minutes away. So after a Saturday night out in Nyiregyhaza, Ian, Eve, Ray and I spent a fantastic day in Tokaj. Tokaj is one of the many famous wine towns and is famous for it’s white wines, especially a super sweet dessert wine with a unique flavor thanks to the special mold found on the walls of the Tokaj cellars. As with all festivals in Hungary, the main square and street of the town was lined with booths representing each of the local cellars as well as fair food and other various things for sale (if you ever need a giant gulyas cauldron and tripod this is the place.) We bought our tasting glasses, had our first glass were just finishing up our heaping plates of fresh grilled chicken, paprikas krumpli and grilled veggies when a storm rolled it (the same storm that seems to hit this region every afternoon) Luckily we (and all the other festival goers) were able to wait out the storm under an overhang and take turns running out for a fresh glass of Tokaj wine, with just a hint of Tokaj rain. The next morning Eve and I decided to spend a few more hours at the festival before heading home and this time were invited in to one of the wine booths when the storm hit where were chatted, sipped wine and nibbled pogacsa with the wine makers. Unfortunately Eve and I had a bit too much fun and lost track of the time which meant we caught the last train back to Budapest just in time to miss our last buses and trains home- oops! However, after some wondering and searching we were able to find a hostel for the night so we could be up at dawn to catch the 5 a.m. buses home giving us enough time to quickly change our clothes and run straight to class! A small price to pay for the luxury of getting to put off saying our final goodbyes for another few hours.
The next weekend, the first of June, was the big goodbye weekend. 23 of us spent the weekend at Balatonfured- one of the many small lakeside towns along the shores of lake Balaton- the Hungarian sea. The 23 was made up mostly of the other CETP teachers but also included 2 Hungarians (Noemi- the honorary CETPer and Attila), John and Kelsey- Harpswell’s recently graduated cousin, Adam- my contribution- a friend from high school at the beginning of his own Euro trip, and Jeremy- a teacher from last year back for the summer. We had a fantastic weekend hanging out on the beach, swimming, and playing ultimate Frisbee. A wonderful way to say goodbye to a fantastic group of people in an amazing setting.
Sara is abroad again and this time it is in Hungary! I am here in Hungary (in the small town of Gyöngyös) teaching English at a primary school through CETP- the Central European Teaching Program- Follow along with my crazy adventures in teaching and traveling. Szia!