The first month of 2017 has come to a close and while I spent most of the month recovering from my trip back to the states for the holidays, I also had some pretty fun adventures. Since I teach during the week, my weekends are when I get to travel. My monthly recaps will be split up into what adventures I was able to have on the weekends!
Dallas, Texas USA,
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The last weekend of 2016/first weekend of 2017 was very busy for me. December 30th was my last day in Dallas, which was spent with friends and family before my flight to Chicago on the 31st. My New Year’s Eve was spent with two of my closest friends in Chicago before my flight back to Budapest on the 1st. While there wasn’t a whole lot of sightseeing happening during this weekend, I enjoyed spending time with friends and family before my return to Hungary.
There was one thing I did find the time to see in Chicago, which was the headquarters of International TEFL Academy. I received my certification to teach English abroad from taking their online course, so I had never been in person to the Chicago location. It was a very special experience to start off 2017 by seeing the place that gave me the opportunity to live and work abroad!
After returning back from the states I found myself ill and exhausted. I spent this weekend at home recovering from a nasty cold. Despite my cold, I enjoyed my walks to and from school, as Kecskemét looked especially beautiful during this time with the arrival of snow.
This weekend consisted of a relaxing afternoon at the famous Gellért Baths on the Buda side of Budapest (easily accessible from the Szent Gellért tér metro stop on the green M4 metro line). The baths are not quite as big as the famous Szénchenyi Baths found in City Park, but still quite nice and a popular tourist destination. Tickets to the Gellért Baths cost about $20 for the weekends (slightly less during the week), which includes a locker for your belongings. There are also other additional spa services at an additional cost if you are interested.
After a relaxing day at the spa we stopped in at the beer house and restaurant attached to the Gellért Hotel, Gellért Söröző & Brasserie. After a delicious beer and an appetizer, we made our way to Wasabi Extra near Deák Ferenc for dinner. While they have a conveyor belt you can choose your sushi from, you can also order off of the menu.
This fourth weekend of January was especially busy! Saturday began with my participation in the Women’s March in Budapest. We had enough participants to span across the entire Chain Bridge, all the way from the Pest to the Buda side of the Danube River, which was very fitting for the theme of #BuildBridgesNotWalls.
After the march I went to the nearby village of Etyek for their Winter Etyek Fesitval. I had gone to the Autumn Picnic in Etyek in September, and was very excited to return for their winter event. This small wine community offers wine festivals each season, each called the Etyek Picnic (Etyeki Piknik in Hungarian). If you are in Budapest during one of the four festivals Etyek hosts throughout the year, take the short bus ride out to Etyek for this spectacular event.
The night ended with an amazing concert at the Budapest Arena with the Harry Potter in Concert event. As a huge Harry Potter fan, it was quite the experience to be able to attend this worldwide tour here in Budapest.
At least one weekend a month I try to experience a new town in Hungary. This month was Veszprém, a beautiful town not too far north of Lake Balaton. Although the day was cold and foggy, the company of fellow Central European Teaching Program (CETP) made the trip even more worthwhile.
Looking forward to February 2017…
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Skiing at Grandvalira
(Pancake Festival in Kecskemét)
Article by Megan K. Lethbridge
February 5th, 2017