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Austria & Hungary (March 23, 2002)

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After Italy, we went to Austria (just as a note, there are not any kangaroos in Austria). Austria is sort of like Germany, but it isn't. Everybody here is friendly, and it is very fun. The apartment we are staying in is very interesting: first of all, it is underground (like a basement). Second, we have sinks in our rooms, but no bathroom; the toilet and shower are down the hall. Third, the shower is coin-operated: stick a coin in the slot and you get five minutes of hot water, making it very difficult to shower.

On our first night there, we had dinner at an Austrian restaurant. Joss and I ordered the "Buttered apple dumplings in a fruit sauce" and ended up with something completely different.

We went on a walking tour of Salzburg, the city we are staying in. The city is split in half by the Salzach River, and there are lots of bridges. Dad said that the tour would begin at the sixth bridge. That didn't sound too bad. Wrong! After almost an hour and a half, we reached the sixth bridge. I was exhausted.

On the tour we saw an old gravesite (in Austria people rent gravesites, and every ten years, rent bills come out. If your descendants don't care enough to keep you in your grave, the government kicks you out and sticks another person in), a big church whose dome was bombed in Word War II, part of the water system that brings water in from Berchtesgaden, and Mozart's birth house, which unfortunately was closed.

Next, we went to Hungary. Joss and I kept making jokes on how we were "Hungry in Hungary." We stayed in the town of Budapest, the capital. The city is also split in half by a river, this one being the Danube. Budapest used to be two towns: Buda and Pest (pronounced Pesht). They are now one city and seven bridges connect the two halves, each one different. Our apartment is near the Elizabeth Bridge.

For dinner we all had Hungarian Goulash, a soup with beef, potatoes, carrots and other vegetables. It was so filling that I didn't have enough room to finish my pasta. We started our visit in Budapest with a bus tour. I put on "Bobby shows" for Joss during the bus rides, and we looked around when it stopped.

Next we did a walking tour of the Buda side of Budapest. We saw some of the things that we had seen on the previous tour, and some other things; these included a big monument of a person holding an olive branch (to symbolize peace), a monument where citizens rolled a Christian priest down a hill into the Danube in a barrel, Hero's Square and a large park.


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