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Flowers in Window Boxes

As we walk through the neighborhoods, we see that many houses have window boxes full of flowers. The favored flowers are ‘Spider Geraniums’.  We see them in apartments, small homes, large homes and high-rise condos. The Hungarian people seem to love their flowers.Window Boxes in Szombathely

When driving from Szombathely to Budapest, we went through one village (Páli) where almost all of the homes along the main road had window boxes.  Two of these homes had large arrays of flowers.  These are shown below.Village Houses with Large Arrays of Flowers

A Night at the Museum

The Young Adults had a movie night where they watched ‘Night at the Museum’ (in Hungarian with English subtitles). The following week, we took all of the activeYoung Adults young adults, plus one investigator, to a special event being sponsored by the town of Szombathely. Szombathely was allowing people to buy one ticket and go to all of their museums from 6 pm to midnight.Szombathely Museum

In one museum, they allowed patrons to try on some of the old, old clothes that had been worn 100 or more years ago. Sister Bailey could not decide which looked best.Sister Bailey Deciding

For us, the highlight of the evening was Original Christian Symbolin the basement of one of the museums. The curator spoke English, and he explained to us that Szombathely had been a favorite place for the Romans. In and around this area, they have found many, many artifacts. The image on the right shows the original Christian symbol.

Image from Szombathely - Before 100 ADFrom what they had found, Christianity was introduced into this area about 150 AD – possibly within 100 years after Jesus was crucified and resurrected. The curator also showed us this Roman monument (on the left) that was erected in Szombathely prior to 100 AD. The obvious Roman influence in this area of Hungary is one reason why they have so many archaeologists involved in ensuring that the ruins are found and and not destroyed.

 

 

Walking Around the Lake in Szombathely

One of Sister Bailey’s favorite walks is to go around the lake in Szombathely.  WeSwans drive our car a few minutes to the lake, and then walk around the lake on a dirt path.  There are actually two lakes, one is used for fishing and one is used for boating (rowing or paddling).  The ‘boating’ lake has three swans, and a small island for having a picnic.

We like to watch the fishermen, who each have two poles and two lines in the water.  They usually are visiting with each other, while watching their lines for bites.  We have watched a couple of fish being reeled in – they were about 10-12 inches long.Szombathely Lake

Dinner on Castle Hill

While in Budapest, we had the opportunity to go to dinner with President and Sister Baughman and Elder and Sister Bagozzi.  We walked a short distance from the Mission Home to catch a bus, and then after a brief bus ride we were at Castle Hill.  The mission home is only about a 15-20 minute walk up to the Castle Hill area (we walked home after eating).Eating on Castle Hill

We found a restaurant that had a beautiful view of the Danube River, a good menu, and special music.Eating on Castle Hill

After eating we took a leisurely tour of the Castle and other old buildings that were on Castle Hill.  Shown below are three of Hungary’s best Lady Missionaries.Lady Missionaries on Castle Hill

Castle Hill, the Danube, and Szentendren

President and Sister Baughman invited all of the senior missionaries to Budapest for two days of meetings and fun.  We all stayed overnight either at the Mission Home or in a nearby hotel.  Mission HomeWe had meetings for most of the first day.  At 4 pm, we all got on a train and rode to a nice ‘all you can eat’ Hungarian restaurant.  We returned to the Mission HomeNight View from Castle Hill for more discussions, and then about 8 pm we all (except Brenda, who was not feeling well) rode a bus up to Castle Hill, which is only about 15 minutes from the Mission Home in Buda.

Castle Hill is where Budapest was originally founded.  The castle at night is shown at the top of the page for this section of the website; the castle during the day can be seen behind the women (and men) in the following pictures.  The foundations of the castleSenior Women Missionaries-May2011 were first laid in 1243 after Mongol tribes invaded Hungary.  The original castle eventually was expanded to be one of the greatest palaces in Europe.  Unfortunately, that palace was almost completely demolished in 1686.  In 1714, aSenior Men Missionaries new palace was built, but was destroyed in 1810 by a fire.  Restoration of the elegant 1700’s Buda Castle began fifty years ago, which is primarily what we see today.  The large palace has 203 rooms.  Currently, on Castle Hill there are many restaurants and small shops, plus the castle, a beautiful cathedral, and other ancient buildings.  We spent a couple of hours on this warm spring night exploring the buildings, taking pictures, and enjoying the view of Budapest and the Danube River.Boat on Danube to SzentendrenThe next day, we boarded a boat and sailed up the Danube to a small town named Szentendren.  We enjoyed looking in the shops.  Several of the sisters purchased skirts.  Shopping in SzentendrenWe toured the local Serbian Orthodox Church, where we visited with a large, friendly priest (Rapheal) and an Priest-Nun Serbian Orthodox Churchaverage-sized nun.

 

Boating Through the Cave

Monday is our new preparation day, which better matches when the Elders have their ‘p-day’.  Elders Nikolov (Bulgaria) and Müller (Switzerland), who are serving in Zalaegerszeg found a place about 1½ hour south of Szombathely that had a cave you could go through with boats.

Going into the Cave

This sounded exciting, so we took two of the Szombathely Elders and one member in our small car, and had the other two Elders go by train.  Bob and Brenda in the BoatThe Zalaegerszeg Elders also went by train, and brought two investigators with them.  All ten of us met in the small Hungarian town of Tapalca.

The boats cost 1,000 forints (about $5) each.  We paid our money, and then walked down a long staircase to the mouth of the cave.  One part of the cave you explored by foot; and another part required using the boats.  After exploring for a while, we climbed into the boats, and paddled through the cave.  Elders in a BoatSome of the openings were so low that the boat just barely made it through.  In some areas, there was not enough room to paddle, and we had to push forward with our hands against the side of the cave.

After our cave experience, we walked to a small lake in the middle of town, where we ate sandwiches that we had brought, visited, and took many pictures of the beautiful area.

Relaxing by the Lake

 

Sümeg Castle

The Sümeg Castle was built in the late 13th century (the Hungarian king lived in it in 1240), and further expanded in the 15th century.  The castle can be easily seen as you drive into the small town.Sümeg Castle on the Mountain Top

The old section of the small town at the bottom of the ‘mountain’ has cobble stone streets that are very bumpy.  We were able to walk up to the castle.  The castle serves as the background for several ‘knight’s tournaments’ during the summer months.  Here we see a view of the town from the castle.View from Sümeg Castle in Spring

 

Nádasdy Castle in Sarvár

This castle is located in a small town of about 16,000 people on the banks of the River Rába.  The castle played a significant role in the progress of Hungarian culture in the 16th and 17th centuries.  Sarvár CastleFor example, the first Hungarian book (The New Testament) was published here in 1541. The knight’s hall of the castle is decorated with impressive scenes from the Old Testament. Like many Hungarian towns, Sárvár has a large spa with famous medicinal water.

When visiting the Sárvár Castle, Sister Bailey saw the following two paintings hanging on the wall.  They are of the Hungarian military in about 1778.  Do you see anything interesting, unique or unusual about the paintings?

Hungarians Army - 1778Hungarian Army in Charleston

 

 

Szigligeti Castle

We have the responsibility of checking on the cleanliness of the apartments for seven sets of Elders in our part of Hungary.  On Tuesday, we drove for about 2½ hours (toward Budapest) over to Székesféhervár and Veszprém to check-out the apartments of four sets of Elders.  Brenda found them all to be ‘clean and tidy’.

On the way home, we drove down by the largest lake in Hungary, Lake Balaton.  It was a cold, wet and windy day, and soSzigligeti Castle - Hilltop there were few people on or near the lake.  During the summer, Lake Balaton is a major tourist area, and attracts people from Hungary and many surrounding countries.  This was our first visit to the lake.

Just as we were preparing to turn north and head for home, we saw a sign (in Hungarian) suggesting that a castle (vár) was nearby.  We searched, and finally found the castle on the top of a nearby mountain, and decided to quickly go the top and see what it was like.

Szig Castle - BrendaThe Szigligeti Castle was first built in the 1200s, and used for protection into the 1600s.  The ruins were well preserved.  We drove as far up as we could, and then walked the last 400 yards up a stone walkway to the castle.

We were alone.  It was late in the day, and threatening to rain again.  After we reached the castle, it started to rain hard and the wind increased.  We found shelter in the castle’s chapel, which fortunately, was accessible.  In about thirty minutes, the rain eased a bit, and we ran for the car.

On the way out of the village, we noted something very unusual – many of the houses in the village had thatched roofs.Thatched Roof House

 

Hunting Tower and Fortress

Hunting TowerAs you drive through Hungary, you see many hunting towers in the fields where crops are growing.  They use these towers to hunt deer and wild boar.  Usually, they have a group of men and boys that chase the animals through the many forests toward the towers, where one or more men wait with guns.

The wild boar is hunted year around, and some of them weigh as much as 400 pounds. As we drive around Hungary, we have seen herds of both kinds of deer (one kind is small like the white tail on the east coast of the U.S., and the other is large like the mule deer in Utah), and many pheasants.  We have not encountered any of the wild boars yet – but maybe we will see one as we walk in the forest one of these days.  There is a business near Wild Boar in Hungaryour apartment where hunters drop off the wild boars that they have killed.  We have watched them unload the large animals. We were served wild boar to eat in a stew at one of the member’s homes.  We found it very good.

We found this large fortress after driving into one of the forests when returning from Zalaegerszeg one evening.  They used these fortresses around their villages for protection before they started building castles in Hungary.

© Copyright 2011 Our Hungarian Mission - By Bob and Brenda
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