Entry 8 – February 7, 2010

This weekend was ESN’s Freshman Camp. We all got on a big bus and went for a two hour drive out to Eger. This town is famous for a number of things, primarily for it’s castle which was able to fend off a strong Turkish invasion, but also for it’s wine brewery.

Upon arrival in Eger, we went for lunch in a local restaurant. We had a starter of soup, followed by some breaded chicken with fries, rice, and coleslaw, and completed with some dessert crêpes. We then went on a tour of the famous castle where a small handful of Hungarians managed to hold off thousands of Turkish invaders. There was a crazy weapon there that was basically a barrel filled with some form of explosive, whatever the defenders had on hand, and then it also had a bunch of metal pipes sticking out of it. Each pipe was a gun, so as this flaming barrel was rolling down the hill, it would heat up the guns until they fired and then ultimately the device would explode. It was pretty cool.

Next we went back to the restaurant. Supper was more rice and chicken. Dessert was a very tasty pastry filled with cottage cheese and raisins and dusted with icing sugar. It was probably my favorite piece of food from the entire weekend.

Following dinner, we went to a local school dorm where we were to spend the night in order to drop off our things. From there we were off to the wine brewery for a wine tasting. I don’t drink, but I figured I might as well make the most of the evening and at least taste these famous wines.

The evening started with a tour of the wine cellar. It was a very neat little dungeon type place. However, we eventually noticed that the walls were slightly furry. The whole place was COVERED in all sorts of mould. The ceiling was dripping with slime too and it nearly got on me. I walked through most of that tour with my scarf wrapped around my face.

The wine tasting took place in a very large hall above the cellar. Most of the students there weren’t so much interested in the wine tasting experience as they were in drinking lots of wine, so it was kind of loud while the lady was speaking, but I heard enough to understand the basics. I tasted all five wines, but I didn’t really like any of them. The American gals sitting next to me were more than happy to finish my samples, though. The break and cheese offered to us were very good, so I was still pleased with the whole outing.

Returning to the dorm, the ESN leaders had a party planned out. I went for a little while, but it wasn’t really my thing. They had loud music, some very cheap wine, some flashing lights, and some bread with raw onion on it. I had a piece of the onion bread, stood around for a bit, then went back to my room to play SET with Matt for a little before going to bed.

Today I slept in until about 10:30 and got packed up. We went back to the same restaurant we were at the previous day and had a lunch of soup, beef on fries, coleslaw, and chocolate cake, and then we were off to a thermal spa. The spa started indoors in fairly warm water, but that pool had a little plastic door thing that led to a huge outdoor pool. It was lightly snowing outside, so the warm water gave off steam that mixed with the snow and it looked quite beautiful against the backdrop of snowy trees. Shortly I was informed of a second pool that was significantly warmer but required a short walk (about 20 seconds) in the open air to get there. It was smaller, but most of out group was there and the water was very nice, so I stayed there for a bit.

Apparently my tolerance to warm water doesn’t last very long, plus the air smelled like sulfur from the mineral water, so I was soon back inside. Matt and I started playing SET again and then a few of the American girls joined us. All but one of them knew SET already, and we had thought it was a very rare game, so it was neat to have other people to play with. It gets a little more exciting with more than two players.

After everyone was done at the spa, we got back on the bus to go back home to Budapest. We stopped at a Tesco to get some snacks and I bought some more Pöttyös, this time ones with a strawberry filling. I can’t understand why these things aren’t well liked by everyone.

Once we got back to our flat, we made some grilled cheese sandwiches with some left over chicken and broccoli and then called it a night.

Here is a photodump of all the pictures from Eger.

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