Will, Outbound to Hungary

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Szia everyone! The last few weeks have been absolutely fantastic! On September 16th I went to a language camp for the week at Lake Balaton, which is the largest lake in Central Europe. It's very pretty, and the water is a beautiful shade of turquoise. It was also very fun to meet the other exchange students for the first time! I made lots of new friends and I'm excited to see them again soon. I also got to practice my Spanish a little bit since many of the exchange students are from Mexico, Argentina, and Chile. Right after language camp my host family took me to Prague, which is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe in my opinion, with it's stunning architecture and great landscape. The leaves were changing at the time and my host sister and I rented a pedal boat on the river which was a nice break from the bustling city. We also went to the Laval Tennis Cup, and saw some of the most famous players (like Rafael Nadal). On Sunday it was my birthday, and I ate chocolate cake for breakfast, in our beautiful hotel which was originally a palace built in 1620, so it's older than the United States by over 150 years! That day we went to Karlovy Vary which is a picturesque town on the border with Germany a couple hours from Prague. It has lots of old baths and fountains with very hot water coming out creating billowing clouds of steam. You can actually drink the water straight from the fountains but I wasn't a huge fan of the hot, metallic taste. We went out to lunch at a traditional Czech place and then we went back to Prague and met some friends from Szombathely for dinner. The restaurant was also very interesting, it was railway themed with all the drinks coming on a train to the table. Overall it was a very fun birthday! The next day we went home but we made it a bit of a road trip, stopping in famous Cesky Krumlov, which is known for its picturesque castle. It was really beautiful to walk along the old streets. One nice thing I found about the Czech Republic (and Europe in general) is that lots of streets are actually pedestrian only or at least have ample sidewalk space, which is very nice when there are lots of tourists! Overall just on that weekend, I was in four countries: Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Austria! I went back to school Tuesday (after missing six days) which I was a little sad about, but it was nice to see all my friends again! On Friday I actually went to a nightclub for the first time. It was for a party that was like the Hungarian equivalent of homecoming. It was so much fun, and I danced and talked to many new people (in Hungarian, of course). Today we went to Austria again to go to a festival, and we walked around and ate some very good chicken for lunch. Next weekend I'm going to Vienna with the other exchange students, and I'm really excited! It will probably be the subject of my next blog post. Ok, it's very late here and I'm going to sleep now. Jó éjszakát!