Posts Tagged ‘Christmas market’

Ice Skating in City Park

Though Sunday was gloomy, it didn’t stop us from spending almost the whole day outside. After Statue Park, we went to City Park to go ice skating. We did pretty well–no injuries, or even falls–and I even spun around a few times. And it was great to be skating outside by the park’s castle. I wish I could still ice skate like I did when I was a kid, though.

Ice skating in City Park Budapest

Ice skating in City Park Budapest

Check out the rest of our ice skating photos on Evan’s site.

After ice skating, we went to the small Christmas market in the park for more kurtos kalacs. It wasn’t quite as delicious as it was in Szentendre, but it was still good. And while we were getting our sugar fix, we realized that they were playing possibly less-than-appropriate Christmas songs for all the kids at the market–they were playing South Park’s “Christmas Time in Hell.” We guessed that they didn’t understand the lyrics. Check them out (from MetroLyrics):

Day Trip to Szentendre

Szentendre Christmas Market

Saturday, Evan and I took a short day trip to Szentendre, a town about 20 minutes outside of Budapest that’s known for being a cute, touristy artist colony on the bank of the Danube. After parking, we just started wandering into the small town, and we heard music and some pretty awful singing coming from the town square. We decided to skip the first part of the show and go to the Margit Kovacs Ceramics Museum, which had a nice collection of the artist’s work.

Once we were done with the museum, we went back out to the main square and found a group of schoolkids performing a cute little song and dance. We lost interest by the time a group of older students started dancing, and decided to check out the music box museum, which ended up being really interesting.

The small museum, tucked away in the back of a souvenir shop, was quite delightful. They had a host of old music-playing gadgets, including orchestrations, a clockwork bird, old gramophones and other sound machines. We even got to hear a number of them and got to turn the cranks ourselves on a few. Some dated back 200 years yet sounded remarkably good. Others didn’t sound as great because the humidity was low.

Szentendre Christmas Market kurtos kolacs

Next we went on to the Christmas market, which wasn’t crowded and had some interesting foods and crafts. We tried out kurtos kolacs, which is essentially fire-roasted coil of dough cooked on a wooden dowel and rolled in sugar, and found our new favorite Hungarian treat. Look at me just drooling over it. It was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, and it stayed hot the whole time we were eating it (which really wasn’t very long).

Szentendre Christmas Market kurtos kolacs

Also, in the Christmas market, there were many people walking around with their children and handing out homemade baked goods on trays. We got some cheese bread, which was good, and the whole thing just seemed like a really nice tradition. I believe it was the festival of St. Nicholas.

We tried to take a look at some more museums and churches in Szentendre, but they weren’t open very late, but I did manage to take a great photo of a boat on the Danube before I left.

Boat on Danube

Check out the rest of our Szentendre photos on Evan’s site.

Rathaus Christmas Market

Rathaus Christmas Market, Vienna

As the sun was setting over Vienna, we made our way over to the Rathaus, where we found the biggest Christmas market in the city. This is quite a distinction because at this time of year there are Christmas markets in every open, available space. And if the space is too small for a full market, there’s at least a “Punsch” stand.

As you can see from the photo, this place was packed! There were booths selling all sorts of Christmas ornaments, gifts and food. We indulged in a chocolate-covered waffle, which was pretty hard to eat standing up, and got two cups of punsch–hot, alcoholic fruit drinks–which we ended up mostly pouring out since neither flavor tasted very good. We were hoping for cider. Still, we did get souvenir mugs.

The Rathaus itself was also dolled up in Christmas finery, with themed, ornamented trees. And the buildings windows were turned into a giant advent calendar, with each day being presented, oddly enough, by a corporate sponsor.

I haven’t been in a place that crowded in a long time.

Rathaus Christmas Market, ViennaRathaus Christmas Market, Vienna

A Puzzling Problem

At the Rathaus Christmas market in Vienna, Evan and I stopped by a puzzle booth. We played around with a few of the toys, and he asked the woman at the booth to give him something REALLY difficult. She sold him a three-piece wooden pyramid puzzle.

Well, I took it apart and put it back together twice by keeping the blocks all really close, and then when I took it apart and moved the blocks further away, trying to note where they all were, I couldn’t put them back together! So now we have a broken puzzle. I’m sure we’ll get it back together, but it’s quite frustrating to try to solve it–it only has three pieces. And I feel bad that I took it apart before Evan had a chance to play with it first.

If you’ve solved the three-piece Stewart Coffin pyramid, let us know.

Stewart Coffin 3-Piece Pyramid Puzzle

Update: Problem solved. That was quick.