Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Best of Hungary (by students from IES Julio Caro Baroja - GETXO)

Trip to Budapest:
The student exchange to Budapest was really exciting, surprising and educational. We learnt a lot about Hungarian culture and about the city of Budapest.
We first saw our partners in the airport, where they were waiting for us with their families. They took us home, and after dinner we went sightseeing.
On Sunday morning we went bowling together. Afterwards we went into the city centre to discover the most important landmarks in Budapest. The Hungarian students had prepared information for us about each landmark. We walked across the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, and then visited the Castle District, in Buda. The view was amazing because we could see the other half of the city (Pest). Whilst we were in the Castle District we had a treasure hunt. We also had the opportunity to see the Danube by night.
Monday was our first day at the school. The Hungarian students showed us a video they had prepared about the city, and afterwards we went to a few lessons (Spanish, English and Chemistry). These lessons were really interesting because we were able to take part in some Chemistry experiments, as well as exchange information about our country (Basque Country). In the evening we had a concert with a Hungarian folk band. They played some traditional Hungarian music and taught us how to dance. We had dinner at the school. Each family had prepared some traditional Hungarian food, which was very delicious and also very different from the cuisine in Spain.
On Tuesday we visited Eger, a town over two hours away from Budapest. It is an old town that has a lot of history. We visited the castle and learnt about the invasion of the Turks. We also visited a college to take part in some Physics experiments and to use the camera obscura.

Best of Hungary 

On Wednesday morning we met outside the Opera House and then went to Heroes’ Square. In addition, we saw the Turkish baths and visited the Millennium Castle. We had the opportunity to try some typical Hungarian food such as Langos and Salted Pretzels. In the afternoon we returned to school to work on our projects.
On Thursday morning we visited the House of Terror Museum. It turned out to be a very educational and shocking experience. It was hard for us to learn about how Hungary has suffered in recent times (Nazi occupation and Communist dictatorship). Thursday was also presentation day. We invited students from English classes in the school to see our presentations. They were very interested in learning about our culture. In the evening we went to Aquaworld, a water park on the outskirts of Budapest. We all had a really good time together.
On Friday we were taken to the Parliament building. We were given a guided tour and learnt lots about the history of Hungary (monarchy and transition to a republic). The interior was incredible because of its Neo-Gothic style. In the evening we had a farewell party, where we played games and danced together. Our host families prepared some more food for us to try – especially traditional Hungarian desserts! After the party we spent some time together (without teachers!) before we had to leave on the Saturday.
Saying goodbye to our host families was very difficult. We were very emotional when we parted ways at the airport. However, we are really looking forward to seeing our partners again in March!

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