Viszontlátásra Budapest!
On Sunday we packed up our things and took the road to Budapest. Everyone was happy to know that we now do not have to work with plaster again.  After a 3 hour trip and a lot of asking for the right directions, we finally arrived in Budapest. The city made quite an interesting impression while we were driving through it; we could see that it is a totally other culture compared to ours in Germany. Very old buildings rise up into the sky, and many people were running through the streets. When we arrived at Hotel Csaszar everyone ran up into their new rooms and we were very surprised at the huge beds. After a short time organizing ourselves in the rooms, we hit the road to a sightseeing tour around this amazing city. We walked to the Parliament, the famous Matthias Church and the Basilica. After the tour, our class had time to explore the city on our own.

The second day started with a rally, or as Mr. Brightman would say, “The Amazing Race”. We were split up in teams and had to handle 5 big challenges.  These were about visiting different places and to take funny pictures, which counted as evidence. The groups had many different choices where to go and had to find their way on their own.  Among others, our team (NNNC) also visited the House of Terror, the Matthias Church, Grand Market Hall and the Palace of Miracles. While we were visiting these places, we took many funny pictures and got in contact with the Hungarian people. We also saw very different places which gave us a little insight into the city. At 3:00, we all met up at the meeting point, and our teams showed which places they visited.  After a little bit of free time we got on a little boat tour on the Donau , where we reflected a little bit on the day and had a lot of fun taking pictures of the impressive Parliament. One and a half hours later, the boat tour was about to finish, and Mr Brightman and Ms Boos announced the winners of the rally. We got off the boot and split up in smaller groups for dinner.   

The third day, and also our last full day in Budapest, we went in one of the famous thermal baths of the city, Szechenyi . We spent two hours there laying in the sun and swimming in the pools.  At 12:30, we met outside and drove to the American International School of Budapest.

When we arrived at the school after 40 minutes driving through Budapest, we ate lunch in the school cafeteria and met the student council who gave us a very cool tour around the school campus. We were all very impressed by it and became a little bit jealous. After showing us all the buildings, we had a little time to ask the students some questions about the Diploma Programme. All of us enjoyed the stay at the campus, but at 3:30, we left again to the city. After arriving at the city, we had some free time to go shopping or chill out in restaurants.

In the evening, we met again as a group and had our final dinner together in a very nice restaurant with our Budapest contact from Habitat for Humanity.  It was a very nice finish to our trip to Hungary.

By Carolin Dosch & Vivien Jahn

More pictures will be added upon our return.  In the meantime, see the Amazing Race post below for several slideshows of our adventures!

On 30th May, the 10th graders were divided into three teams and participated in the first-ever SIS Amazing Race in Budapest, Hungary.  It was a fierce day-long competition that was not decided until the very end.  The rules of the contest were as follows:

  1. You must stay with your team for the duration of today’s Amazing Race.  Working with any other team or leaving your team to hang out with another team will disqualify your team from the Amazing Race.  It will also mean forfeiting free time on Tuesday.
  2. You must prove successful visitation and/or participation in one activity from each category with photographic evidence of your group at the site and, when possible, documented evidence like a ticket stub, receipt or other proof.
  3. You have from 10.00-15.00 to complete the Amazing Race.  Meeting Point:  Vorosmarty Ter.

First Place = 20 points; Second Place = 10 points; Third Place = 5 points

(This ended up being a point of contention because two teams interpreted this as meaning they would receive 20 points for the first place they visited, 10 points for the second place they visited, etc., while the other team interpreted it correctly that the first team to finish would receive 20 points, etc.  Since two teams interpreted it incorrectly and challenged themselves to visit more than the bare minimum expected, the judges rewarded them accordingly.  Oh the fun of language learning!)

Category 1:  Religious Experience (20 points)
  • Dohany Synagogue:  Astoria (Red Line) or Deak ter (all lines)
  • Kerepesi Cemetery:  Keleti (Red Line)  Picture of Blaha Lujza’s grave required!  Maps available at entrance.
  • Matthias Church:  Moszkva tér, then bus no. 10; or Deák tér, then bus 16; or Funicular: From Clark Ádám tér to Castle Hill.  (10 bonus points if you use the funicular!)
Category 2:  Soviet Budapest (20 points)
  • Avenue of Youth Statue Park:  Nepstadion (Red Line)
  • Corvin Cinema Memorial, Corvin Köz 1:  Ferenc körut (Blue Line)
  • House of Terror, Andrassy utca 60:  Oktogon (Yellow Line)
Category 3:  Culture (20 points)
  • Parliament Tour:  Kossuth ter (Free for EU passport holders with passport as evidence.) 
  • Palace of Miracles Museum:  Moszkva tér (Red line), behind Mammut Mall
  • Children’s Railroad  (train run completely by young people):  To get to the Széchenyi-hegy terminus, take the same no. 56 tram from Moszkva tér two stations to the railroad (fogaskereku vasút) station (the railroad station is called Városmajor, and it is across the street from the Hotel Budapest, on Szilágyi Erzsébet fasor in Buda). One-way travel time on the railway is 45 minutes.

Category 4:  View of Budapest (20 points)
  • Danube Promenade between Elizabeth Bridge and Chain Bridge in Pest
  • Top of Gellert Hill
  • St. Stephen’s Basilica Observation Deck:  Arany János u. (Blue line) or Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út (Yellow line)

Category 5:  Food (20 points)
  • You must try one of the following foods:  Zsiroskenyer, Szekelykaposzta, Langos, Bundaskenyer, or Hortobágyi palacsinta. (5 bonus points for each extra food you try!)
  • Grand Market Hall (also called Central Market Hall) may be your best bet to find these foods near the Liberty Bridge in Pest.
Bonus Category:  Funnies (1 point for each picture)
  • Pictures of anything funny in Budapest:  souvenir, sign, statue, couple, man, woman, food, outfit, dog, etc.
The students also had a pre-race quiz based on the walking tour the day before and a final quiz at the end with riddles about each teacher at school that required students to discover the identity of 10 featured teachers.

Pictures tell the story much better, so check out each team's Amazing Race from last to first...

4th Place -- Fr. Boos & Mr. Brightman (144 points)

3rd Place -- Clarissa, Vivien, Julian & Carolin (157 points)

2nd Place -- Linda, Julia, Sara & Martin (158 points)
(More pictures will be added later due to technical difficulties.)

1st Place -- Pia, David, Marcel & Sophie (165 points)

Highlights from the SIS Amazing Race Budapest 2011

Winners of the Budapest Tour Quiz:  Julia, Linda, Sara & Martin 16/20 points

Winners of the Funniest Pictures Bonus Category:  Clarissa, Vivien, Julian & Carolin 14 points

Winners of the Teacher Quiz:  Pia, David, Marcel & Sara 16 points

First Team to the Meeting Point:  Clarissa, Vivien, Julian & Carolin