Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Long Time, No Update

Well, my parents came to visit this weekend which was very nice. We went to Budapest and luckily, Rico came and helped us get the tickets. We stayed at a super nice hotel on the Danube across from the Royal Palace. On Saturday we walked up to castle hill and around and down and around and to Parliament and then back to the hotel and then over to Vaci Utca. It was tiring. But fun.

Randomly, we met a woman from Atlanta who was visiting her daughter's future in-laws. Did you get that? Anyway, we wanted to take a tour of Parliament, but the English tour didn't start for another 2 hours. The Hungarian woman spoke to the guard and talked us into the next tour that was starting. We thought it was a tour in Czech but it turned out it was a tour in French! So I understood what was being said and I translated a bit for my parents. It was pretty cool.

On Sunday we walked out of the hotel and there were a bunch of people lined up along the street. "What's going on?" we thought. Turns out it was the 20th Jubilee Marathon in Budapest and we just caught the start of it. How random is that!?!

We came back to Sopron that evening (after a slight problem with the train...we caught the announcement and the words "probleme" and "diagnostic"). They stayed last night as well and I got to introduce them to my English speaking friends in Sopron. Kati took us on a tour of Sopron and told us the history of the government and the churches. That was very interesting. I don't know why, but I thought Hungary had been Socialist after they were Communist, but no. They were under Communist rule until 1990. That's only 15 years ago! It explains a lot...

I also found out that Sopron had the choice of becoming part of Hungary or Austria. Sopron was the capital city of one of the Austrian counties, but voted to join Hungary instead. The Hungarians were happy, but also concerned that if the Austrians saw Sopron as valuable they would try to take it back by force. That's why Sopron was never really developed as an industrial city. They're now trying to make it more touristy, but most of the work here is service and trading...and now I know the reason why. It's all quite interesting...

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