News and Trivia

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Friday - October 21st

Friday the 22nd was the last day in Zalaegerszeg.

It started as usual, but we had only three lessons in the school, because the students were to go to the cinema to see a film commemorating the 1956 revolution of the Hungarians against the USSR-troops.

The Icelandic team didn't go with them. They were very busy because they had to finalise their work on the web.

They got their final lunch at 10.45 at the cantine in the school.

Before saying good bye to the school they wrote some words about their staying in Hungary into the guestbook of the school and they signed it.

The teams were free in the afternoon but they decided to meet each other in the evening. Some went shopping for souvenirs for their parents and friends.

In the evening the two teams met in one of the clubs in Zalaegerszeg called Mama Afrika.

They enjoyed themselves as usual.

After the meeting everybody went home to do the packing. They couldn't forget that the following morning they would have to say good bye to their hostparents.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday the 14th October

The day 14th of October started with the 50th anniversary celebration, which took part in the schools gym. Besides present and former teachers and students of the school, the minister of education , the mayor of Zalaegerszeg and the former headmaster Flórián Dudás also participated in the celebration. They delivered speeches from which we got to know a lot about our school's past. Former students like Edit Kovács, who is a diplomat, Levente Bella, a singer, and Zsolt Homonnay, an actor, talked about the role of this school in their life.

Present students introduced the old ages fashion, entertained us with music, songs, dance and drama. It was a beautiful celebration, however the Icelandic group didn't understand most of it, but they liked the dancing and the chorus performance.
After the anniversary there was the concert of Levente Bella which was very good. After that the Hungarian and the Icelandic group went for a lunch, where we had gyros or a gigantic pizza that no one could finish.
After this really nice lunch we went shopping. Some of us bought something while others nothing. We split up into two groups, girls and boys. The girls bought much more than the boys. After the shopping most of us went home for a supper others to the McDonald's and we met again at 7 o'clock in the evening.
We went to Mama Africa for a drink. There we all had a good time. We were talking and teaching each other to say something in Icelandic and Hungarian, which was very funny so we laughed a lot.
It remained a memorable day for everyone.

By Viki & Hrói

Sunday, 16th of October - Kustánszeg

Our Sunday was a very special Sunday. In the morning the two groups traveled to Kustánszeg (the village Dani lives in) and prepared to explore the surroundings. The guys started with some Hungarian Pálinka and some Kuglóf.

After that we made a little trip to a neighboring village (Parasza) and there the owner of the local inn demonstrated how to make an original sugar cake (which was very delicious).

Our next stop was at the home of a very nice lady who made "perec" for the whole group. Everybody loved it and "Piri mama" (the old lady) showed us how she made them.

In the meantime András' and Daniel's mother were cooking a two course dinner for the whole group. That was one of the most delicious dinner we have ever had. But before that we visited an old house (common at the beginning of the 20th century) where we could learn some things about the lifestyle of the people who lived at that time.

Our last stop before supper was at a group of statues that showed people of different ages and jobs. That was nice too but then the most important part was coming: The dinner. We think everybody enjoyed it (the chicken legs were especially good) and we all had a good time.

Siggi & Dani

20th october

20th October

This day we got up early because Birna had to make herself pretty (or at least she tried to) and Nóra had to eat breakfast, so you can see this day was nothing out of ordinary.
When we arrived to school we saw some tired faces, but soon these faces became angry!
They had their reasons because there was some misunderstanding about our small bus :)

After a while the 18 of us were leaving in a bus for 50 and of course we made ourselves as comfortable as we could. We have to admit that this wasn't one of the hardest things that we've done during the recent days.

Then we arrived to Kis-Balaton. We all liked it and the Icelanders weren't familiar with some of the bird species. We also saw some water buffalos, horses and grey cattle, and took some nice pictures of them. When we weren't walking around in the nature, we could get information about the area in the Kis-Balaton house. We had a guide outside and inside the building and gained some knowledge on the history of the place.

Our next stop was Hévíz where representatives from the city council led us to the museum of Hévíz. There we saw some exhibitions on very various topics, more or less we enjoyed it. Then came the obligatory speeches which we enjoyed veeeeery much. Never mind, the 'pogácsa' was delicious, wasn't it Emil? :D

After we got our free tickets we went to the bath where we almost thought that we would turn into ice cubes (in our heated changing rooms). Fortunately we got into the water in time and swam for a while. This bath is said to be very healthy and because of that, it is popular. It is one of the biggest tourists attraction in Hungary. We liked the bath, but before we knew, we were wearing our clothes again and trying to shop. Some of us bought some nice things but the others were saving their money for the next day or eating ice cream.

When we were heading towards the bus it started raining for the first time since the Icelanders arrived.

Soon we were home eating a nice meal after this long day.

Birna & Nóra

Monday the 10th and Tuesday the 11th October

- After 4 hours of traveling we had been standing in front of the timetable waiting for you?
- After 6 hours of driving and 4 hours flight we finally arrived in Budapest, and while we were checking our bags you were waiting for us at the other side in the airport.
- And finally we saw you coming out from the departure lounge.
- When we came out from the departure lounge we saw you smiling to us. However, we were so tired that we couldn?t return it?
- And the first meeting? ?Hello. How was your flight??
- And I said- ?Hello. It was very good, thanks.?
This was our first conversation. The next time we were talking to each other was some hours later. We had many questions and were curious about each other but nobody asked anything.

And the series of programs began that evening. We visited the Citadel and saw the beautiful lights of Budapest. Then we were looking for a small snack bar in the middle of the city, where we could taste some new food. Afterwards we traveled to the accommodation, which for the first time seemed to be only a pub, but when we went upstairs, we found out that it was a quite nice guesthouse, as well? And during this really strange night we felt like being in prison? However we started to get to know with each other and our mood was also getting better.

The next day started at 7 o?clock, but the Icelandic time was only 5 o?clock then. After the beautiful breakfast, we had standing on the street we were standing in the queue in front of the building of Hungarian parliament. We had a guide here and he was talking about many interesting things about the building, the judiciary system of historic times in Hungary and today?s sessions.

However, it was only the beginning! After that we went to see a beautiful and huge basilica (its height was 96m from the floor to the dome), which doesn?t exist on Iceland.Then we visited the e-Twinning program?s office, where the representatives were waiting for us with a little present J They were very happy to see us (both group) together because we are the first ones who can visit the partner country.

After this long day behind us, each and everyone of us were very hungry, so we were heading for some food. And suddenly...
We found a Mc Donald?s... J

But unfortunately every day has to be finished...We left the hole city behind us and we were really looking forward to the continue...

Emil & Virág®

Wednesday - 19th October

We woke up at around 6:00 as usual and got ready for the day. Iza's father drove us to school and there we met the others at 7:30. The Icelanders went to the library and the Hungarian students started their lessons.

While the Hungarians were studying hard, the Icelandic group went with the principal of Kölcsey and the two Hungarian teachers, Katalin and Laci, to the Town Hall to meet the mayor of Zalaegerszeg. The mayor, Gyimesi Endre, told us about Hungary and Zalaegerszeg, and he welcomed us with drinks and gifts. Every student got a bag with lovely things inside and Tjörvi and Hjördís received books about Hungary.

We weren't the only ones who got gifts because we gave Gyimesi Endre a book about Iceland and a bottle of the Icelandic alcohol, Brennivín. There were some journalists there and some people from ZTV, the local TV-station. There were taking so many pictures of us during the meeting that most of us felt like we were famous. ZTV took an interview with Tjörvi, which was broadcasted in the evening.

After that lovely meeting we went back to school. There we ate lunch in the cafeteria. After the lunch the whole group went to 2 museums the Village Museum and the Oil Industry Museum.

Both of the museums were at the same place so we didn't need to walk very much, which was fine. The museums were very interesting, but it was obvious that we were very tired.

At 4 o'clock we returned to school and then the partners went their own ways. We (Iza & Valdís) went to Zala Plaza were we had pizza. Iza's friend, Ramóna joined us there and then at 17:40 we took the bus home to Egervár. Our evening was quiet and we went early to bed. We knew that the upcoming Thursday would be busier.

Izabella & Valdís

Tuesday 18th October

Tuesday 18th October

We arrived at the school at 07:45am and the Hungarians had to go to lessons and the Icelandic students, or most of them went shopping and were also prepairing their projects for the Icelandic afternoon.

The Icelandic/English afternoon started at 2:30pm and at first the Hungarian students could get to know something about Iceland, they saw some pictures from Iceland, they learned something about Icelandic myths and also something about Icelandic music. The Icelandic students also showed them a film which was taken in Höfn and then the Hungarians students got a quiz about Iceland and the Icelandic students got a quiz about Hungary. The winner who was the Icelandic group and 12.b 1 got a cake.

Then the students had to answer a few questions about some films, actors and directors, they had to recognize some pictures from films and of actors. The team who won was the Icelandic one and they got another cake and some cinema tickets, but all the Icelandic students gave them to their partners as a present.

After this competition the Hungarian and the Icelandic group met at Robinson and ate together, we were chatting and laughing together. Everyone went home early ;)

Sædís & Dóri .. :D

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Thursday, 13th of October, 2005

We woke around half past six in the morning and got ready and walked to the bus stop where we took the bus to the school around 7:20.
We spent the first part of the day in the library and some students visited classes including, German geograpy with Laci, English and a Biology lesson with Katalin. Some students even went to the top of the roof to learn something about a weather station situated at the top of the school.
Shortly after 12 o'clock we took a bus at the coach station that took us to Keszthely. We walked along a street called Sétáló utca or 'Walking street' to Festetics Castle.

In the castle we saw several exhibitions. First we saw different rooms in the castle including a huge library, wooden staircases and other rooms with rare and beautiful furniture, then we saw exhibitions on arms and Islamic art. After that we went to another wing of the palace to see two other exhibitions on trophies (stuffed animals) and relics of different religions from all over the world. The last exhibition was on coaches and it was situated in the old stables.
In between the exhibitions we took a look at the beautiful garden which was divided into two parts. The English garden with huge trees and a pond with a bridge over it, and the French garden with its designed formations, paths, flowers and the fountain.
After the visit to the castle we walked down to the shores of Lake Balaton and enjoyed the nice view you can see on the picture on the left.
On the way to the lake, some of the students had lángos (lángos is a some kind of a flat pasta with cheese and sour cream on the top), although some of the Hungarian students didnt think this was the typical lángos.
After enjoying the view over the lake we walked to the coach station in Keszthely and after an hour on a crowded bus we arrived in Zalaegerszeg around 7 o'clock..
After we arrived everyone went to their partner's houses and had dinner and then spent the rest of their evening at home.

Elvar and Zsófi

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

October 12th - Wednesday

12/10 Wednesday, our 3rd day

The day of the 'Firsts'

We woke up together in the matraz (we are sleeping together ;)) at 6:45 and our mother cooked our breakfast, which was virsli with mustard and roll. Then we walked down the stairs to catch the bus, which took us to school. There we met the others in 13.b and at 8 o´clock we started our tour with our special guides Laci Spaci. All the 800 students were staring at the 'foreigners' and that´s why Sara taught Mimi how to say 'Hvað ertu að glápa?', and Mimi to Sara 'Ne nézz!?'.

Laci showed us all the school, even the roof! The Icelanders met the Principal who greeted them. That day she was very well-dressed. In the meantime the Hungarians had their very interesting classes. Then at 11:45 we had our first lunch together at school and tried the strangest thing: The pink gabbage salad. In the morning Kati taught the 'jó-' words like 'jó napot', 'jó estét' and of course 'köszönöm', which we could use during the 'Discover Zalaegerszeg' program which started at 2. The Icelanders formed 3 groups of 4 and got a map of the town with 7 stages. Some people say that a 'certain group' got lost but we don´t actually know which one...

They also say that somebody, who should have been waiting for the first group to arrive was just having a very delicious cappuccino, in Plaza. Luckily during the competition noone had to use the Hungarian emergency number because no one of the Hungarians could exactly remember it. This competition was very good for the 'strangers from the small island', to be able to find McDonalds :) Everybody did very well and some groups better than the others. The boys were rushing into Plaza to Mimi first, ten the group of Sara with a big smile and then finally the group of two teachers and two students. The last team took the first place and got the 'Cherry Queen' as a prize.

Then we were discussing for a long time how to organize our first evening. We decided to 'keep it simple' /e-twinning/ and be at 7 at Plaza again. So we came home and guess what? We had dinner. It was spaghetti which Sara really liked. Again we didn´t miss the bus and arrived to Plaze on time where the others were giving pizza, but we were full of our mother´s food. After a while we went down to Joy Café to have some hot chocolate which was actually chocolate-soup and it took a long time to drink it. Of course the others were having all kinds of drinks, we mean... soups ;)

We started to study each others languages, starting with the basic words... now we can say very useful words like 'haldaj' (the oil of the fish) or 'hörkukvendi' (though woman). Then we sat in the circle and we had the idea of playing 'whispering the words'. Only two words had arrived: 'Klósettseta' and 'frystikista' but not any Hungarian one. Then we suddenly saw that Hjördís and Kati were getting tired so we all decided to go home just to let them have their beauty sleep.
Again the two of us were lying on the matraz which by the way sounds like walking on the snow when we move.

Saría and Mimike :)

Saturday - 15th October

We woke up at 7:00 after a fantastic Friday night with the teams. We usually wake up at 5:30 but this time we got to sleep a little bit longer. We knew that this would be a long day so we took some sandwiches and drinks with us. We had our usual breakfast, Corn Flakes, milk, toast and more. We had to be ready by 7:45 to catch the bus. We arrived at about 8:30 at the Plaza with the teams waiting for the bus. This would probably be the longest day of them all beacuse we were going to visit many places.

Our first stop was at the Szigliget castle which had a view of the Witness Hills and Lake Balaton. The Szigliget castle was fantastic and we took many pictues there. We had to climb some steps but I think everybody survived when we got to the top. The view was breathtaking and as we said earlier the teams took many pictures, especially Tjörvi. At the top of the castle Katalin talked a little bit about the Witness Hills and Lake Balaton which was quite interesting beacuse we got to find out many things that we didn't know about Lake Balaton and why the Witness Hills were called Witness Hills.

Our next stop was at Badacsony, the highest hill of the Witness Hills. We decided to walk up the hill which was quite difficult for most of the members of the teams and we think Hjördís had a tough time getting up. But at the top we had a fantastic view of Lake Balaton and the surrounding environment. On the way down we got a little bit lost but we found our way back down and back to the bus. Inside the bus Katalin told us about insects called ticks which suck blood and can cause infections and some diseases, she said that they could be in our hair and on our feet so everybody was really scared and started to look for little black insects in their hair and on their feet.

Our next and final stop was at the Sümeg Castle. The castle was on top of a hill so we had to walk again but this time it was only short so people didn't complain so much. After we had checked out the castle we went down and watched a so-called Medieval Tournament which was great!.. and later on we were invited to have dinner in an underground dining room. We won't forget to mention that the Icelandic Team wore their traditional woolen pullovers at the time of the Medieval Tournament. After the long day the bus drove us back home and we took it easy, watched a movie and then we decided to go to bed...

Kata & Denis

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

We're here!

We have arrived safely in Hungary. We had a very nice day yesterday in Budapest, visited the parliament and the Basilica and had a burger at MacDonalds before going to Zalaegerszeg. We stopped on the way on the Balaton shore.

At the moment we are listening to a young lady, a former student of Kölcsey Ferenc Gimnázium, telling us about her work as a diplomat in former Yugoslavia. A splendid role model for our students.

The full story of our journey so far will come later.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Countdown - 3 more days...

There is a tradion at Kölcsey and in most Hungarian high schools . We call it 'GÓLYBÁL', which would be 'stark ball' in English. In fact, nothing to do with birds. Gólyabál is a happy event held in autumn and organised for the new students of the school. We have about 150 new schoolmates, in Year 7 and Year 9, altogether in five classes.

Tomorrow they will have to carry out the tasks that are designed for them - by older students... Just an example: they will have to wear gowns and slippers during the breaks. Then in the afternoon they will perform a little presentation, do a quiz, and - hope to - win a nice cake as winners. Kata from our Water and Fire team is making it with, probably in this very moment. Dani will be the conductor of the afternoon program. From 6 to10pm there is a ball with sandwiches and refreshments. Iza, Mimi, Virág, Zsófi and Andris will be busy like everyone in 13.B, raising money for class before their graduation in May '06.

I plan to put some photos on this great blog. Too bad you cannot join us tomorrow, but good news you can, a few days later.

Happy packing! Make sure you have a pair of shoes for the outings and a pair for town walk or school (Hungarians also like to wear slippers when at home). You'll be walking on lakeshores, in medieval ruins and in a Baroque castle. Among others, you will take a tour to a small village and to the building of the Hungarian Parliament. And don't forget about your swimsuit! Oh, and your camera may also come in handy, and the cord for downloading on a laptop, if your camera does not have a large memory. In our class trip to Scotland in spring, people downloaded their pictures onto the school's laptop we carried with us so there was room for taking new ones on the following day.


hello Tjörvi ok I tried to create a blog I hope it works....

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Autumn is already here in Iceland

Reading Kati's last post I realized that autumn isn't really there in Hungary yet. Well, I may not know a lot about the seasons over there, so maybe the people in Hungary are already talking about autumn, but at least the trees are still green.

Here in Hornafjörður autumn came early this year. Toggi, my son, and I saw ice on puddles already early in September on the way to our daily morning swim. Well, that's not really unusual, but in the northern part of the country they've already had considerable snow.

Luckily we don't have much snow here in the south-east during winter but even so the mountains are becoming white almost down to the ground. Only a few days ago the mountains you see in the picture on the right were snow free.

These pictures were taken a couple of days ago in my front yard. It was quite windy that day and a lot of the leaves have now been blown off the trees. Those which still remain are almost all brown, yellow and red.

Most of the migrating birds have left by now, the last of the geese and swans will probably be gone when we get back. Winter's just round the corner it seems.

Time to start thinking of Christmas ;-)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Countdown - 5 more days...

It's 8 pm, I've just got back to Zalaszentgrót after a long day at school. We had a meeting with the Kölcsey Team and the parents, and talked about your visit and the next two weeks. You better know everyone is looking forward to your arrival.

I used the projector to show the Water and Fire website to the parents, and we looked at the News and Trivia part of it, which everyone liked.

You must have been working hard in the past weeks to prepare for this event, and now you all deserve something different from the everyday struggle at school...
But don't think you'll be just hanging around all day while in Hungary! We'll do our best to keep you busy, and you will even be asked to tell us about Iceland (on your second Tuesday, in the aula of the school). Then there will be a little quiz for the teams of the classes at Kölcsey about Iceland. We have some Qs for them, but you can add some to them, too. And please bring some Icelandic music with you so that we can listen to it in the school.

This is the first time I'm using this message board. It seems rather exciting, and I hope we can exchange messages and ideas before and after your visit to Hungary. And Denis, you are right, it is not forbidden to be hungry for Hungary!

Monday, October 03, 2005


Yesterday we had a fundraiser at FAS to raise money for our trip to Hungary. We held a bingo with nice prizes donated to us by local companies.

Hjördí­s made the dough. Nine or ten batches of it. Two full buckets, see the white one on the picture. Woke up bright and early, "die fleizige Hjördí­s".

At half past one Emil, Birna and Valdí­s started the frying. We got permission to work in the cafeteria and soon the whole school smelled of freshly baked waffles. Four big trays, 100+ waffles. We didn't count.

Auri and Chiharu also got up with the rooster and made 111 patties filled with meat and potatoes to give to us to sell at the bingo. Auri is our English and Spanish teacher, a Shri Lankan lady, and Chiharu is a student who came to us from Japan. Both attracted by handsome Icelandic men, I presume ;-)

In the meanwhile Siggi and Elvar were preparing for the bingo. They were the hosts and took their job very seriously.

Of course they did it pretty much like professionals. Well, perhaps not like seasoned bingo hosts, shouting "A flea in heaven 37" or "Two fat ladies 88" like they do in the UK bingo halls or "down under", but nobody ever asked them to repeat a number that I heard.

We borrowed the bingo equipment from the local Kiwanis club, thanks to them!

Well, to make a long story short, the bingo was a big success. We came a long way raising the money we needed and our guests went away happy.

Even those who didn't win any prizes. No wonder, the waffles were much better than ordinary waffles and the patties...


Maybe we'll make some waffles and patties for you Hungarians when you visit us next year :-)