I am going to start this week’s blog with a brief geography lesson. As not many people know about Hungary (I was once asked if it was in Africa) but also because I spent the last week in the ‘Hungary sea.’ So Hungary does not actually have natural beaches because it is actually landlocked and while this doesn’t seem like a big deal but when you live close to the fabulous ‘Barry island’ then you actually miss the thought of playing in the sand, swimming in the sea etc.
What Hungary does have however is lake Balaton, which in my opinion is a beach on steroids and is actually a lot more fun. The lake is picturesque with fun activities, amazing shops and awesome things to do.
it is almost a tradition in Hungary for families to visit this lake and so it can become very busy. The lake was so much fun but the only thing I did not enjoy about it was the fact that you had to pay to enter the water which is to me is not right.
During this week I stayed in my friend Petra’s Holliday home which was only ten minutes from the lake and while going to the ‘beach’ is not normally my type of fun I really enjoyed the days we spent swimming in and chilling by the lake. It is a shame that one of the days I became very ill and spent the entire day in bed but I this was just due to over-exposure to the sun as it was 36 degrees Celsius the first day we were there.
In all honesty, my favourite part of the entire week was playing cards with Petra and her family. They introduced me to a new form of Rummey that involved fifteen cards which I will definitely be bringing back to the UK. Even though , Petra’s family struggles with English they were still incredibly accommodating and friendly, especially during these card games. I would consider this week to be a role reversal from the camps. The majority of my host family only spoke Hungarian with the neighbours and other local people conversing in Hungarian only which meant I had to learn quickly if I wanted to know what was going on. It was time for my immersion into a foreign language, and instead the participants being immersed into the English language, it was me being immersed into the Hungarian language which I think really improved my language knowledge. I feel shows the benefits of language immersion and allowed to experience how the participants felt during the camps.
The end of the week was the saddest for me as it was time for me to fly home. Again the experience of flying was incredibly empowering and again I checked into the lounge but this time it was the platinum lounge in Budapest airport. This lounge knocked spots of the one in Heathrow airport as it had a kind of Posh hotel breakfast bar feel with ample seating, plugs and refreshments. Also to start with there were very few people in the lounge which made for a very relaxing few moments. However, this lounge was different as it did not offer full meals like the Heathrow lounge and so if you are interested in booking then you should take this into consideration.
In conclusion, my last week in Hungary was spent relaxing by the ‘sea’ while being exposed to true Hungarian language use and culture. I cannot wait to visit again as overall I have had so much fun. I will be writing a big blog that will give a general overview of my five weeks in Hungary so keep a lookout for that!