Monday, February 12, 2007

Tent Camp New Place

This is the name of the Hungarian city where we tried to sneak into Slovakia. Ok so it wasn't quite that dramatic, but that is verbatim the translation of the name of the city: Sátoraljaújhely. First though, the main destination of our journey was the town of Sarospatak (Muddy Creek).

This is where a really famous Hungarian prince led numerous wars of rebellion against the Habsburg Empire - translation - huge castle. The castle in fact was really cool, and you can see some of the pictures in the links. Sadly, the castle did enjoy a lovely view of a very muddy river. It was more brown than anything else. Who builds a caslte with that kind of view?

Well we got to the castle at about 10:30 and it seemed that we were the only ones there. After we hopped over some fences and just missed falling in the mud laden creek, we got inside and asked to see the tower. After a short 30 minute tour in Hungarian with like 50 people that came out of nowhere, we saw the tower. I guess I should explain who we is. Elaine and I were the only ones brave enought to catch the 6 am train. It was a nice sleepy ride without interruption.

The tower on top of the castle was really sweet and had a fine view of the mud and the shanties

around the walls. Here's Elaine enjoying the view.

Constantly during the tour Elaine was trying to get us kicked out of the castle. Sneaking up hidden stairways and touching 300 year old decorations - much to the dismay of the guide.

Well we finally got down and wanted to see the "sub rosa" room which is apparently where the term in secret comes from. A bunch of over zealous guys signed a piece of paper to conspire against the Habsburgs. The Habsburgs laughed and hanged them all. At least they are rememebered for their use of latin. To visit this room though we had to dawn the most bizarre shoe covers.

We saw the room and we decided to get lunch in town. We went into a very nice, cheap restaurant. In the midst of trying to order from the menu, some amazing looking food walked past our table. The waiter noticed our eyes and we simply said yes. Turns out we judged well. When Elaine got dessert they even brought her a sparkler in her ice cream. I was thinking this was just to tease us foreigners, but it was funny nonetheless.

After this we caught a train to our new found favorite city: Tent Camp New Place. Here there wasn't much to see. We got off the train and saw this beautiful looking church. Huge tower and nice decorations and everything else. The inside was a dump. It looked like what Tom Hanks moved into in "Money Pit" and now the cellar was being used to store wine. I wonder what God had to say about that.

So it was Saturday afternoon and absolutely everything in this town was closed. Store after store had closed signs and there was absolutly nothing to do. We did stop at the supermarket though and stuffed ourselves with chocolate.

So being on the Slovak border as it was, we tried to walk in. Bad idea. In broken Slovak, Hungarian, and English they communicated to us that Elaine was jo (good) to go because she had an Irish passport which is in the EU. My stupid American passport however was nem jo ( not good) and we had to walk 4 km down the road to get in. I thought about just making a run for it, but I probably would have got shot. There wasn't anything really to see on the Slovak side, but we just wanted to get stamps.

This is the second time i have been refused entry into Slovakia. The first time was with our entire group, and I forgot my passport in Budapest. They wouldn't let me get in with a copy, so I think the country as a whole hates me. Maybe next time I try to go to Bratislava they will let me in.

The train ride back was pretty uneventful except for like the 20 over aged hikers that smelled like ass. I have no idea what the stench was, but we had to move. The rest of the way smelled of the chocolate we had left over.

I rounded out my weekend with some fine Irish cuisine. A different Irish lad had used my freezer when his broke down and as a reward he left 5 Irish steaks for us. So I boiled up some potatoes and friend myself a wonderful steak with onions. I felt almost like I was in teh motherland. My roomate Szabi keeps telling me he is going to deep fat fry one of the steaks. There is no way I'm letting him ruin such a good piece of meat. There might be some bloodshed.

Well that's about all I have to report. Hopefully this week provides some interesting Budapest moments. More pictures and additions to come.


Eric(K) said...

Dan is so not cool!!!!!!

im-azn said...

Dan, that baseball cap is like 10,000 years old.

greg said...

debaters are always cool