Sunday, March 9, 2008

When in Gyula, dont do what the Gyuli do

So the next thing that we did was go to the thermal baths which was nice because everyone was thoroughly moistened after the downpour. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the baths in Gyula but to be honest, they looked like the Hajdúszobúszlo baths only with a less bluish tinge. However that is not to say that they weren't still of a brownish hue.

Our large group enjoyed migrating from one bath to the next, starting in the coldest and ending in the hottest. It was funny because all the girls stayed on one side of the pool while the boys caused rucus on the other side, acting like 13 year olds. The funniest moment was when we all sat next to this old man who had clearly been enjoying that particular pool for at least an hour. He was making a thermal water fountain with his hands over and over again. We all admired this feat and tried to imitate his technique to no avail. The man was a pro.

After being in the thermal baths for two hours, when our legs felt leaden and our fingers were like dried cranberries, we decided it was time to go. The rain ceased long enough for us to make it to the restaurant and then proceeded to come back. Once at the restaurant, we sat at two tables. Our table was the quiet one and the other table throughout the entire dinner played a memorization game involving a rather large list of random animals. Our tactic in participating was to yell out "bear" at random times. After about 30 minutes of doing this, we lost interest and expanded our category to the most unique animals we could think of like "quetzal" and "anteater." This succeeded in entertaining us for the rest of the night.

As for the restaurant itself, I have seen better ones. This was definitely one aimed at people like us. I scanned the menu for the weirdest combination of ingredients. After the 10th "porkchops with vegetables" option, I was beginning to lose hope, when suddenly, my eyes fell upon what could only be called touristy. Oh yes, I ordered a Gyula pizza. With the Gyuli sausage and a typical Hungarian touch of egg, how could I resist? Nagyon finom volt!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gyula part 1

So I dont know if you can see but Gyula is that small yellow dot in the bottom right corner of Hungary. By bus, it took about two and a half hours but in the end, it was worth it. Gyula is known for its kolbász, 100 year-old pastry shop, called the "One Hundred Years Cukrászda," thermal baths, and for its castle. I experienced 3 out of 4 of these so I am content.

I was invited by Marketa, my Czech friend in my Hungarian class to accompany her with Holly. Holly and I decided to go with them but we didnt quite know what to expect. When we arrived at the bus station, there were 18 other Erasmus (something like Rotary only with colleges) students from all over the world. It was so much fun even though we didn't know anyone.

The first place we went to was the castle which we learned was over 1000 years old!
This is the hook they hung people on! There was also a wheel they used to break the bones by twisting but some things are best not caught on camera.

Yes, the Gyuli were quite violent with their medieval technology. Believe it or not, posing for the picture with my head in that wooden block was quite painful and several onlookers were quite worried about the crushing rate of the block on my neck.