Péter and I set out from Montpellier, stopping in Paris for a quick 5 days of friend- and sight-seeing. To make a long story incredibly short, and not in violation of something legal, we were robbed of everything the night before our departure. Thanks to the tremendous support of my dear friends in the area, and my parents abroad, Péter's and my excellent teamwork, and the helpful people at our respective consulates, we were able to leave for Hungary 2 days later. Talk about beating the odds, and being very, very lucky for many reasons...
By some freak miracle, I happened to have a small Samsung Galaxy-Y, (a terrible, terrible smart phone,) hidden away in my bag, so the I was able to capture some of the wonderful things we did.
After our 20 hour bus trip, stopping at every rest area in Germany and Austria, we took another bus from Budapest, down to the countryside, near the south of Lake Balatón, where Péter's parents live. We spent about 6 days there, making it just in time for the grape harvest at their family's vineyard, and where I met a whole host of lovely, kind family members, ate delicious gulyas, and drank homemade pálinka.
Side note, the food we ate in Hungary was incredible. Péter's mom is a fantastic cook. She made us a smoked meat and sour cabbage stew that I still have dreams about EVEN THOUGH I STOPPED EATING MEAT AROUND THE NEW YEAR. Another highlight was homemade walnut pálinka... Oh. My. Sweet. Mother.
The next 6 days, we spent in Budapest, staying with Péter's uncle and his small Yorkie, Bubi. We also ate delicious food, and drank lots of pálinka there. We stayed mostly in Pest, walked along the Danube, saw Péter's old friends and took a trip to Buda.
One night, we went to the 10th anniversary of one of Péter's old bands, Orkestra Bohemika, a 10 person, gypsy party music group, whose show at a hip, divey bar called the Golya, was raucous, packed, and so much fun.
By the end of our time there, I'd even picked up enough Hungarian to talk to the cashier in a bakery in Budapest, order pastries and coffee, and tell her that those people outside were my boyfriend and his parents, and that they lived near Lake Balatón.
What a beautiful and mysterious country. I can't wait to go back. This time, though, I won't go by 20-hour bus ride. My neck and shoulders are still paying the price...
This blog is Part 6 of 9 about my year in France. Check out the other chapters here!