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Réka Sensei's trip to Hungary!

When you think of the EU, most people in Japan think of the Germany, France, Italy, maybe even Finland or Sweden. Fewer people think of the many countries in east, but it is a very  peaceful and beautiful part of the EU .

I am biased, but the best country in the east of the EU is Hungary: because both my parents are from this lovely little country and they live there again now. I had not been able to travel home for 6 years, but I finally managed to do so last Christmas holiday!

There were so many people I wanted to see again and things I wanted to do!

I could finally hug my family and old friends. I was so happy!

I also got to see the many changes that have happened since I was last there in 2017. The city center has been through a lot of renovations and upgrades. The city has become more bicycle-, and pedestrian-friendly, so it was really fun and easy to walk about and find everything I wanted.

The Christmas Market in front of the magnificent St. István Basilica was simply gorgeous. I sadly did not buy anything there, though, because everything as far too expensive, even compared to Japanese prices. I was really shocked. It was always more expensive than usual shops, of course, but the inflation since the pandemic is insane. So, if you visit Hungary one day, buy souvenirs at the local supermarkets or the small stalls just outside the Christmas Market area on Deák Ferenc Square!

We then shared a famous chimney cake and had fun walking about the city while chatting and eating. I also went to Lehel Market where I did some shopping for clothes, too.

I saw the beautiful Hungarian Parliament building on banks of the Danube River, the stunning Vajdahunyad Castle, and the amazing Szécsényi Thermal Baths. Like Japanese people, Hungarians also love natural hot baths and will often go there as part of physical therapy.

I could visit the local markets and make some of the traditional foods of the season with my family, including kocsonya (a chilled, jellied pork-broth soup), apple pie, fried pork culets, roast pork, coconut rolls, sweets breads, homemade pizza, and, of course, lentil soup! Hungarians eat lentil soup to become rich in the new year, just like Japanese people eat kurikinton in osechi ryori. The lentil beans looks like money.

Even though the flight as very long, it was really wonderful to be able to finally visit home. I hope to go more often from now and I think everyone should not only visit Berlin and Paris, but Budapest, too! It is a very different culture, but one that is also worth experiencing and sharing.

What new words did you find in this article?

Tell us about how your holiday went and if you would also like to visit Hungary one day!





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