So far, BreAnna and I have made two trips to the market. One was with our group of main campus students. The second was just us.
Trip One: A short bus trip from Keleti Pályaudvar (Keleti train station) planted us in front of the Great Market Hall. Wish I could have stood there, gawking like a tourist, but we had to hustle after our guide. For me, this was a return trip. In high school I had a chance to be invited to a Global Youth Leadership Conference during which we visited Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. When we were in Budapest, we visited the Great Market Hall. Now, over 5 years later, I recognized the Hall enough to remember where the bathrooms were located. I recognized the layout, saw the restaurant where my friends and I ate, and went looking for the massive candles balanced on tables outside of food stands.
This time, we wound along the hall, up the stairs and back towards the building’s front, all the while gargling the Hungarian words for fruits and vegetables. After the short tour, we were released to blubber the Hungarian words on our own to stand owners who generally knew enough English to make us feel useless. BreAnna, Kaitlin and I wandered to the ATM, which promptly refused my card, twice. I still had a few Forints with me and wasn’t planning to shop just yet, so I was fine. We twined between stands, skimming past potatoes, eggplants, onions, bananas, cheeses, meat, oranges, and grapes. Then, deciding that food shopping on empty stomachs was not a good idea, we trooped upstairs to locate some grub. And lets just say, that was some of the best grub ever. Sweets just naturally draw people, particularly tourists, and we found ourselves cemented in front of a stand selling pancakes and langos. A langos is a large circle of fried dough that is topped with jam, cheese, meat, and/or vegetables. BreAnna chose one with cranberry jam. The pancakes were more like crepes, being made on a circular frying platform. I watched my pancake being cooked and flipped, then got to see the woman add crushed walnuts, Nutella, rum flavored raisins, and vanilla cream. Then, it was rolled into a crepe and chocolate syrup was drizzled on top while gobs of whipped cream decorated the ends. Rich and delicious.
Since our bellies were full of sugary glory, we decided on a walk along the street across from the Great Market Hall. We explored several shops and saw the famous Hungarian trick boxes (I brought back one for my sister, Cyci, on my previous trip). BreAnna located a gift for her nephew in one of the shops, and we all headed home for the evening.
Trip Two: This was a short trip. We were looking for fruit and Hungarian paprika. Both were located immediately, and after a little leg work to compare prices, we were able to purchase bananas, clementines, and the paprika. On top of the food, I was able to acquire a few photos. The one above is the outside of the Great Market Hall, and the one to the left is of the inside.