Day dreaming in the Hungarian Countryside
While living abroad, there are just some days that you do not expect to happen. Some days are boring, some are full of excitement, and others are just magical. That was this day in Hungary. We awoke early in the morning and prepared for a long day of work in a small village. Neither my teammate nor I put make up on or even dressed nicely that day. Looking back I wish we had at least brought a change of clothes!
We piled in the car and drove a while until we finally arrived in a small village near Lake Balaton. It was a small homestead we would be working on that day. She and I grabbed a bucket and began cleaning. At one point she and I were scrubbing the old wooden floors that had a hundred years wear on them. A lot can happen in a hundred years. A lot did happen in Hungary. Yet this little house, this little village seemed untouched by the outside world. It was almost like we stepped into another time. As we scrubbed away at the floor we heard a “clop clop clop” coming from outside. Curious, we jumped up and peaked out the old broken windows just in time to watch an elderly man ride by with his horse and buggy on the way to the market. It felt as if time stood still.
Later in the day the owners of the homestead invited us to lunch in their orchard. After a hot morning of scrubbing floors, we were excited to sit in the shade of the apple trees and feel the breeze on our skin. Our sweet hosts uncovered the feast they had prepared for us and our jaws dropped. Hungarian goulash, fresh bread, and other delicious smells filled our noses.
As we sat looking around and enjoying each other’s company, we looked up to the east and saw an old castle sitting beautifully on the hill, overlooking the lake. If there was ever a time to pinch myself, that was the time. We had just scrubbed the floors of a hundred year old home, walked through an orchard, ate a feast under the shade of the trees, listened to the birds chirping, and then lo and behold a castle was just sitting there on the hill. It seriously couldn’t get much better than that. I felt like I was living a dream. God was just too good to give us a day like that after so many hard days.
After relaxing and enjoying our meal, our supervisor asked if we wanted to tour the castle. Of course we said yes, so off we went, sweaty and sticky from our day of work, to this castle. At this point I was slightly regretting not bringing a change of clothes, my camera, or make up. We were looking rough. I had baggy gym shorts and a big long sleeve shirt on- it wasn’t pretty. Not that life is all about being pretty, but when you are visiting a European castle, you kinda feel the need to look at least somewhat put together. I was living a magical day and here I was looking awful. But it’s all good, we still had an amazing time.
At the castle there was a small gelato shop, so naturally we stopped for a little sweet treat. Afterwards we began our ascent to the castle. When we got to the top, the view was spectacular. It was a clear day so we could see far off in the distance. The castle overlooked Lake Balaton and the countryside below. Back when the castle was built, it was set on the top of the hill to protect against invaders. Sadly, a lightning storm had brought about the end of the castle. Only ruins remained. Though it was only ruins, the history it represented was incredible and we were grateful to have experienced such a beautiful scene from Hungarian history.
Overall, the day seemed like a dream. Living in another country can be like that sometimes. I’m thankful for each moment we had, even though I was a mess the entire time!