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Published: September 17th 2007
This is the nifty gas station we stopped at. I like how it looks. there was an identical gas station on the other side of the freeway. Gas station twins!
So the town we went to was called Debrecen. It is the second biggest town in Hungary. We left Saturday morning at 8:30 and made three stops along the way. The first place we stopped was this cool looking gas station. It wasn’t an official stop but I had to mention it cause it made me giggle. The second stop however was a “lake” that is park of a national park here.
The lake was actually more like a marsh. The water was only about four feet deep and there were lots and lots of reeds growing everywhere. The guide told us that it is also a bird sanctuary but the only birds I saw looked pretty much like the seagulls from home. It was all very pretty but we stayed there much longer than necessary. I have included a variety of pictures, which will say more about the place than I can. It’s the whole, a picture is worth a thousand words, thing.
After the lake we went to another national park that was in the middle of a grassy plain. We rode out into the middle of nothingness in these large horse-drawn carriages, which was so cool. We stopped
This is the bus driver looking at a map. He was doing this frightening thing where he would look at the map, then look at the road, then back at the map, then back at the road. The strange part was we were on a highway in the middle of no where. What was he confused about? I could have driven us home!
at various places to look at different Hungarian things. The first stop was fuzzy pigs. They are an ancient cross breed or something, and they are basically pigs, with curls. They were great. The pen also had some mule-like animals too but mostly it was piglets and their moms. There were SO MANY piglets just running around like crazy. They were quite cute. After the piglets we drove by some Hungarian cows, and then we saw this great horse show. There were three horses and their trainers, and they started off by riding the horses in a giant circle and cracking their whips right in the horses’ faces as they were running. Apparently this was how they trained the horses not to fear the sound of gunshots. Then they had the horses lay down on the ground and they cracked the whips in their faces again. Then they stood on top of the horses as they were lying down, and cracked their whips. Lastly they had the horses sit. Just like you would have a dog sit, but horses. It was crazy. After this they let us come up and meet the horses, and I got to ride around in
This is the lake we went to. It was really beautiful. Especially from this angle. I love the trees and water look. Yay!
a circle on one (no whipping involved). The saddles weren’t even attached to the horse, it just sat on the horses back, and you had to hold onto the horses mane to stay on. It was really pretty awesome.
After the horses we saw a different kind of cow, and then we saw how this different kind of cow used to pull large carts. I got to pet one of these cows, it was huge! After the cows we drove by some sheep. The interesting thing about these sheep was that they didn’t tie off their tails. I only learned recently, as in June, that sheep were born with tails and that they were tied off and that’s why sheep here don’t have tails. Well apparently in Hungary they don’t tie off the tails, so these sheep were running around with these long tails. It looked really strange.
The last stop on the tour was to a hut where a woman was making black pottery. I guess black pottery is a very Hungarian thing, and it originated right around where we were. We watched this woman draw the designs onto the pottery, she took a stone and just pressed the
A river, in the lake
This is a river....through the middle of a lake. Are you confused? Me too. But isn't it pretty?
design in, once the pottery is cooked however the texture where she pressed is totally different, and kind of shiny and blacker than the rest of the pot. I didn’t get any pictures of this unfortunately because it was a tiny room and I felt strange taking a picture of this random woman who was sitting there working. I will keep and eye out for black pottery and maybe get a picture for you later on.
After the tour ended we went to Debrecen for the night. Because I have been kind of sick I stayed in for the night. I swam some laps in the hotel pool, which was a whole 3 and a half feet deep! It felt wonderful! I didn’t realize how much I missed water being in this land locked country. I need to make a trip to the baths here in Budapest to help with this. The next morning we walked around the city a little but since it was Sunday everything was closed. However there was a Leonardo show at the nearby museum where they had different depictions of his work. We didn’t go in, but right out front that had this giant horse.
This is actually in the middle of a "lake" you would never be able to tell huh? It looks like little house on the praire.
I guess the story is that Leonardo built the cast for this horse, but it had never been successfully made until now. I’m not sure if this is really the case or whether there was a different reason it hadn’t been made up until now, but I guess this was a really big deal to have it here in Debrecen. It was really neat; it was just a giant horse, but very very pretty. I would totally put it in my backyard if I had one big enough. Or, if I had lots and lots of land, I would put it a ways off in the distance so if you saw it from the house it would just look like a normal horse. Some day J
We left Debrecen at 2:00 and drove back to Budapest. On the way we stopped briefly at this little place that had these little buildings set up to demonstrate how people used to live in Hungary a long time ago. They also had this puppy that was chained up by a well. She was soooooo cute and we almost stole her. We didn’t in the end, but we can always go back. We could
Here are some reeds in the lake. This place is really pretty, but can you tell why it grew old fast?
name her Semmi Baj, cause it sounds funny….it means “No problem”.
Today I went to the doctor for a variety of ailments and hopefully I will now heal and become whole again. I actually think I coughed up part of my lung in Debrecen so I may never be FULLY whole again, just mostly. Enough to pretend at least. It’s a good thing I’m in another country right now cause chances are I am contagious and you could all have a cough/eye infection if I were at home right now. Just a little something to be thankful for, hmm?
As a random side note, September 17th is a big day here in Hungary because I guess last year it came out that the current government was elected based on a bunch of lies or something. I expect I will be learning some more about this, but all I know right now is that people are pissed off, and there was a demonstration downtown this afternoon. Yay!
Tomorrow we are going to the zoo here in Budapest, so I will try and get some pictures. And of course this weekend I am off to Munich for a little weekend get away.
Horse drawn carriage
Here are some carriages like the ones we went in on our tour.
I will be meeting one of my roommates from last year, Elaine, and another friend of ours, Marni, who will be coming from Paris for the weekend. It should be tons and tons of fun.
That’s all for the moment. I’m sending happy thoughts back home to you all on this historic day (well actually it’s only historic here in Hungary, and only one year old…..whatever). Feel free to e-mail me or post comments. I do read them.
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