Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend at Lake Balaton!

*Just a warning, English is sounding really weird right now, so please excuse any horrible grammar*

On Friday morning, we left to spend the weekend at the lake (also called the "Hungarian Sea"). We stayed at the Telekom Hotel, which is basically a T-mobile hotel. The hotel is in Balatonkenese, which is in the upper right hand corner:

The drive took about three hours, and we went to a small camp site before going to our hotel. My host dad's parents have a trailer there and I'm not sure if they live there or if it's just for the summer. Anyway, there were a lot of people swimming and just lounging around. The bathing suit styles are... interesting. The guys wear cute little speedos regardless of age or size and the girls wear basically what we wear, but the bottoms are shaped differently. Needless to say, it took some getting used to.

After I was introduced to my "host grandparents," we all went swimming in the lake! The water was actually really nice and pretty warm. From where we were, we could see the cities along the coast. It was probably one of the most breathtaking sights I've ever seen. We had lunch from a little booth on the camp site, and I got a hamburger. I'm not quite sure what the meat actually was, and I'm not sure I want to know. It was pretty good though. We swam a little bit more after lunch, and then left the camp site to go to our hotel.

The hotel was right on the lake and huge! It had tennis courts, docks, a mini golf course, a playground, a wellness center, and a conference center with a small bowling alley in it. Our room was on the second floor, and we had two rooms that connected to each other. On Friday night, we ate dinner at the hotel and then went to the room. I don't really remember the rest of the day, but I don't think we did anything exciting.

Saturday morning we had breakfast at the hotel. After, we all went to the wellness center. The wellness center had multiple saunas, a swimming pool, and a jacuzzi. Anna, Dori and I swam for a bit, and then went in a vapor sauna with my host parents. Then, we all decided to do the Finnish sauna! For those of you that don't know, Finnish sauna involves sitting in a normal sauna first, and then immediately after you get out, getting into freezing cold water. It sounds horrible but it's amazing. I definitely recommend it!

In the late afternoon, we played a round of mini golf. The course was so much harder than any one I've played on before. It was only 12 holes and I had 70 strokes... definitely not indicative of my mini golfing skills. After dinner, we went bowling with some of Dani's coworkers that were also at the hotel. There were only two lanes, but it was just like bowling at home. When we went outside to walk back to our room, it was raining a bit!

The rain continued all night and Sunday was quite windy and cold. We went back to the wellness center for a bit in the morning, and then in the afternoon went back to the camp site. We all went on an adventure to Tihany (see map)! Along the way, we stopped at the "Balatoni Bob." It's just a random, small amusement park in the hills and the main attraction is a bobsled type track! We only went on once, but it was so fun. As we were driving to Tihany, we were all really quiet in the car and listened to Adele. The combination of the music and the view just made me appreciate where I was and what I was doing. If visiting Tihany to look out over the Balaton isn't on your list of things to see before you die, you seriously need to revise your list.

When we got to Tihany, we went to the top of a hill where a really famous church was. From the top you could see almost all of the lake and beyond it. The view was seriously breathtaking and I loved it. I didn't have my camera, but my host mom took pictures and I'll get them soon. Anyway, we walked around the little shops for a bit and then headed back to the hotel. Anna and I watched Titanic in Hungarian!!! We also had a little pillow fight. Over this weekend, I've gotten so much closer to the whole family and I love it. Anna and Dori and I act like real sisters :).

Monday morning was still a bit windy but not as cold as Sunday. After breakfast, Dani, Dori, and I each went on a little canoe/kayak type thing and paddled around the lake. It was probably one of the best moments of my entire life... I can't even describe how amazing the view was and how peaceful it was! After, Dori and I went swimming for a bit but it was pretty cold. We checked out and then went to the camp site again to see my host grandparents before heading back home. I taught Anna how to play speed and how to shuffle cards and do the bridge after. I won every game of speed, but I think with practice she'll easily beat me. After we left the camp site, we headed for home. We stopped along the way, so we didn't get home until about 7.

Once we got home, I uploaded pictures and then we had dinner. After, Anna and I sat in her room and looked around on Facebook and at some of my pictures from before I came to Hungary. It's 11 PM now so I'm about to go to sleep, but I've had a really amazing weekend! I'm so glad I'm here and everyday I love it more and more :).

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