Last night after flying a roundabout route through Amsterdam I arrived in snowy Budapest in the wee hours. After a week of sunny Sicily, it was a bit of a shock to the system. Glad I brought my down jacket on this trip after all. After maneuvering on several public buses without knowing the first word of Hungarian and walking a few blocks around a train station in the dark I finally found my friend’s apartment only to learn that he was out in the cold looking for me and I was locked out in said cold. There was a bit of a miscommunication about where and when I would come in, and I missed the train he thought I was on. Oops! The unexpected joys of traveling to new places…and not knowing quite how to use my cellphone outside of Albania.
Though the cold is a switch, I’m excited to be here and catch a glimpse of Eastern Europe. A few PCV friends should arrive today and we’ll stay through new year’s.
Sicily was a warm and welcome break from Albania – wonderful food, great markets, fascinating norman/italian architecture that made me think of hours studying arch hist slides in college….and the beach. It was crazy to see people swimming in the ocean on Dec. 23rd. Though I owe the trip a bit more of a thought-out entry, some highlights included Lesley working the stick-shift fiat in and out of Palermo traffic like a pro, a day trip to Cefalu, wandering in the markets of the Ballaro by day and drinking there at outdoor bars by night, cooking delicious chicken parm and artichokes, midnight mass on Christmas Eve, people watching and sleeping in a bed with a down comforter.
Many more photos to come.
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year from Hungary!