THE DUNAHARASZTI JOURNAL
On Sunday 10th of May we finally travelled to Hungary, Dunaharaszti. We took a flight from Oulu to Helsinki and after one our waiting to Budapest. At Budapest airport we had a surprise – we were tested not to carry with us the H1N1 virus. Nobody had fever despite of the exciting trip and we were able to meet our Hungarian hosts. After hugs and greetings we were taken to the host families and had a free evening. The weather in Dunaharaszti was very pleasant. The temperature was plus 27 Celsius and it was almost too much for us after the Finnish winter.
Monday, 11th May
After a long Sunday, the late Monday wake-up was just perfect. I woke up at something like 8 o’clock for sunshine and bird song. I went downstairs to eat breakfast and drink coffee, but then it was already time to go to school.
When we arrived at the school, it looked magnificent; a big building, with large yard and study iron gates. We went inside to wait for the others to come and during that we chatted a little with other Hungarian students. Then the others came too and we went upstairs for a lesson where everyone told something about themselves in English. There we met and saw the whole group for the first time: Austrian and Slovenian students with their hosts.
After this little presentation we went to watch sports lessons where Hungarian students played volleyball. Then we had lunch in schools cafeteria – which was little, but the food was good!
Next there was the main introduction, where the visiting groups told about themselves and showed pictures/videos from the place where they live.
Then there was the main event of the day - rowing & picnic. We walked trough Dunaharaszti to some kind of park, where we had the picnic, we also left there to row with canoes. After the rowing trip we ate delicious gulash and dessert and spent time with each other. We left there maybe something like 5 o’clock to fresh up in our new homes.
The evening was “free program” and we decided with the Hungarian students to go to some kind of restaurant (or bar), where we played pool and other games, it was a lot of fun.
Tuesday, 12th of May
We woke up at 8 o'clock. White bread with honey and extra strong coffee for breakfast. I think it was strong because our family didn't have a coffee machine and the coffee was prepared in a different way. After breakfast we had to hurry to school because our day program was to travel to a beautiful town of Szentendre.
A bus picked us from school at 9 am and the bus trip to the town took about 2 hours. First we visited the Skanzen open air museum where our group learned about Hungarian architecture and way of life from the 18th century to the first half of the 20th century. I don't know if it was the museum or simply the warmer climate but Finns got tired quite soon and we were the first group which went back to the bus.
After museum we had time to go shopping in Szentendre. It was a great place for good bargains and most of our group found their souveniers there. The evening we spent with our families.
Wednesday, 13th of May
I woke up at 8 o’clock and ate breakfast. We left home with my host. Together we went to the market place. There we spent about an hour and then we went in the library, to checkout a photo show. The photos were taken in Austria during the visit the other group made in February. After that we went to eat in to the school. We all, including Austrian and Slovenian students and their hosts, went into the bus stop to wait for a bus. By bus we went to Budapest. There we went in a cable car near an amusement park. We spend about 2 hours there and then we went into McDonalds. After that we walked to the bus station and took a bus back to Dunaharszti. When we got back home we had free time with the host family.
Thursday, 14th of May
We woke up at seven o’clock in the morning. My Hungarian friend’s mother took us to school. After that we took a bus to Budapest. It was raining almost all day.
We had a little free time in Budapest before our sightseeing boat left. At 11 o’clock we were watching buildings on the side of the Danube. At the same time we heard a commentary in Finnish from our headsets. Because of the weather we didn’t visit Margaret Island. At the end of the boat trip we got delicious cocktails - without alcohol, of course. Then we went to eat at Mc Donald’s and hung around in Budapest just watching theses expensive brand stores.
At 15:00 o’clock we went to the Zoo by underground. There we saw elephants giraffes, lions, tigers, zebras, camels, crocodiles and a huge gorilla. We walked trough the kings square and we saw a sand clock in which the sand goes trough the clock in one year. Then we went to the Galopp Major (horse farm) by bus to have dinner which was delicious including the dessert. It was the farewell evening for Austrian and Slovenian students. We didn’t ride horses because it was so cold.
Friday, 15th of May
I woke up 8 o´clock in the morning. We had breakfast and then we went to school. I went to school with my host student Erika. There was a bus which was waiting for us. We went in Esztergom where we visited the cathedral. The cathedral was very big and beautiful. In the cathedral we were able to go in the cupola of the cathedral. It was a nice experience. And we went into the crypt too. We took lots of photos.
After that we went in the restaurant and we had lunch. The food was good.
Next we went to Visegrád. We visited the castle ruins. And again we took lots of photos.
We spent about two hours in the castle ruins. Then we went in a kind of park by foot. There Anette and Valtteri tried on the apparatus called Summerbob. It was a kind of rollercoaster.
And after all that we went back to Dunaharaszti. There we went in a bar called Két Duna. There we played billiards. The playing was nice. And when it was almost 11 o´clock we went back to Erika’s house. The day was very nice and we liked the cathedral and the castle ruinsw but the day was hard too. So when I went home I went straight to sleep. Friday was one of my favourite days in Hungary.
Saturday, 16th of May
On Saturday we had no special program with the group. Everybody spent the time with their host families, went shopping, sight seeing, rested etc. We had a good opportunity to rest and prepare for the trip home. Everybody longed for home but had a feeling that there would have been much more to see and experience. And the warm weather was very nice – we could imagine what it would be like at home again.
Sunday, 17th of May
So it was time to say good-bye! We were taken to the airport by our host families and at the airport we had big hugs, a little crying and many assurances that we will come again some day. And of course we welcomed our friends to visit our country, village and homes. At least we will meet in February, 2010 with some of our hosts when we have the closing seminar of the project in Ii.
Finnair took us safely to Helsinki and to Oulu and our parents and friends were there at the airport to meet us, and again we had hugs and a little crying…we were happy.