A Travellerspoint blog

April 2019

Update on blog: The new chapter

Luton

Edit from April 2019: Although I am writing this now in April, I am dating this entry to this January so that it sets the scene for the upcoming entries which will be about events which happened from January onwards.

This is the first entry of the new chapter of this blog.

All 261 entries previous to this one were originally posted on the Travelpod travel blogging site, which closed down in July 2017. The vast majority of entries were written between May 2013 and August 2015, while I was teaching and travelling abroad and at the actual times I experienced the events I wrote about; only a very small amount of entries I wrote up later, using to help me emails I'd written and photos I'd taken at the original time.

From my return in 2015 until January this year I taught EFL continuously in the UK and also went on some trips abroad (Argentina & Uruguay, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Luxembourg, Italy & Vatican City, Poland, Belgium and Georgia) and within the UK (Scotland, Cornwall, Rochester, Oxford, London, Manchester, Chester, Liverpool, the Peak District, Leicester, Brighton and Birmingham).

In January this year I started a new teaching job, still teaching EFL but within state schools in mainland Europe. Before I left the UK I decided to resurrect my Teaching & Travelling Abroad blog, this time on the new platform of Travellerspoint, to include my upcoming trip and any other future working trips abroad I may do.

As in part one of this blog, I won't post any names or similarly identifying information about schools, teachers or students.

So here goes!

Posted by 3Traveller 03:59 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged united_kingdom english_teaching Comments (0)

Welcome back to the UK

London Luton Airport and St Albans


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The two-and-a-half-hour flight was uneventful, though because I was next to the window and the weather was good I got some great views of the countries we passed over. We didn't go as high as some flights I've taken before. At one point we flew over a huge offshore wind farm - rows and rows of wind turbines off the coast of the Netherlands.

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Shadows were lengthening by the time we got to Luton Airport. Dave, Emma and Mark were there to meet me and take me to St Albans. Seven months since I was last on British soil - it felt strange to be back, but wonderful to see everyone.

Posted by 3Traveller 01:02 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged united_kingdom airport sisters dave st_albans Comments (0)

Goulash, chicken paprikash and a new case

Budapest


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After checking out at 10 I walked down the road to a shopping mall to buy a new big case. I had thought of just wrapping my case in black tape as a temporary measure just to get all my stuff home, but then I thought I might as well just buy a new case, firstly because it would almost certainly be much cheaper than in the UK, and secondly because I thought, what if the case somehow splits open while being moved about by baggage handlers? I'm glad I did buy a new one, because although it doesn't have any outer pockets and isn't quite as wide as my old one, it was only the equivalent of £20 and looked quite strongly built. I got it in a half-price deal.

Once I had bought my new case and returned to the hostel with it, I had to transfer all my stuff from the old into the new. This took absolutely ages because I had a bit less space than before and I was also worried about going over 32kg. I had to rearrange everything, jettison some things I could afford to leave behind, and take out and carry my copper jug, coat and reversible jacket.

By the time I'd finished that, there was no time to go out to anywhere apart from a restaurant for lunch. I found one right next to St Stephen's Basilica that offered a special two courses and 'syrup' deal. The syrup turned out to be a glass of carbonated drink made from elderflower cordial (there were other flavours available, but I wanted to try the elderflower one the most!). It was delicious! For my first course I chose goulash and for the second I had chicken paprikash - chicken in a lovely paprika-laced creamy sauce with vegetables. It also came with a very strange type of pasta mixed with egg - unusual, but tasty!

Only ten minutes after I arrived back at the hostel my shuttle to the airport arrived. The airport was easy to navigate, but it was quite busy and I didn't get time to look round any of the duty free shops which was a shame. I've very rarely actually bought anything from duty free shops, but I still love looking round them, especially the more nationality-themed sections.

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I was carrying my copper jug wrapped up in my coat and reversible jacket; I was afraid that Wizzair might have a problem with it and say it counted as hand luggage (and therefore charge me extra), but nobody said anything. Here we go - my last flight of this long adventure abroad...

Posted by 3Traveller 06:21 Archived in Hungary Tagged budapest airport basilica hostel hungary unesco_world_heritage_site hungarian_cuisine Comments (0)

UNESCO World Heritage Site: Castle Hill explorations

Budapest


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Yesterday I relaxed all day, following the cricket - the first day of the 4th Ashes Test. I couldn't stop grinning at Stuard Broad's heroics! After another excellent performance by England today, we almost certain to win this match and therefore the series.

Today I went back to Castle Hill (via the metro for the first time; it was easy to use), but I didn't visit as many places as I'd intended to because I woke up later than expected. I didn't get much sleep last night because I couldn't get to sleep to begin with, and had only managed to doze off when the other two girls in my dorm got back at about 3 am, which woke me up. They were a bit inconsiderate actually, talking to each other for ages and loudly moving their stuff around. It was past 4 o'clock by the time they eventually got into bed and stopped talking and I didn't fall back asleep for a long time afterwards. Then at 8 o'clock they got up, waking me up in the process, packed their stuff and left. I dozed off again and didn't wake up properly until about 10!

Anyway, the first place I went to on the hill was the church of St Matthias. This has a very distinctively coloured and patterned roof, and is also very colourful inside. It was originally build at the end of the 14th century, restored in the 19th and renovated in the 20th after damage from WWII. It contains the tomb of the 12th century king Béla III - the only royal tomb to survive the Ottoman period in Hungary, apparently.

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After that I walked around the Fisherman's Bastion next door. This is a terrace shaped a bit like a battlement, with seven small towers representing the seven Magyar tribes that entered the Carpathian Basin in the late 9th century. Photogenically made from white stone, it was built at the beginning of the 20th century. Although my camera batteries were nearly dead by now, I managed to get out a few of the bastion itself and the wonderful panoramic views of the Budapest, the Danube and the hills beyond. I also caught a small changing of the guard ceremony.

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I was incredibly hot and sweaty by now, so the first thing I did after visiting the post office was go underground! I visited the Labyrinth, which is an extensive series of tunnels within Castle Hill. These tunnels have been used for various purposes for hundreds of years - wine storage, prison, torture chambers and as a major production centre for stonecutting and carving. Apparently Vlad Tepes, who became known as Vlad the Impaler (and whose birthplace I visited in Sighisoara), was imprisoned here for a period of 10 - 14 years. When released he set out on the monstrous acts of cruelty he is known for today.

It was already late afternoon by the time I left the Labyrinth, so I took the funicular down and then walked back to the hostel via Spar. I'm going to go out for lunch tomorrow instead of having a sandwich like I've done most days in Budapest so far - I'm going to make sure to have goulash!

It looks like I will have to go case-buying in the morning, unfortunately. The gaping split in my case is so major it cannot be fixed. I wrapped it in black tape for now, but I don't think I can trust that to remain in place over the flight. I might as well get a new case here, where it's likely to be cheaper than if I try to get the old case back and then buy a new one in the UK.

Posted by 3Traveller 04:41 Archived in Hungary Tagged budapest hostel hungary funicular fortifications changing_of_the_guard unesco_world_heritage_site Comments (0)

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