Hello From Pecs, Hungary

Elnézést (excuse me)... what time is the train to Budapest?

I normally consider myself fairly adept at most computer/media-related things, but starting this blog has vexed me for almost two weeks.  I signed up for a wordpress account, but I couldn’t for the LIFE of me figure out how to actually start blogging.  So I asked James (my 13 year old son), for help and he handed my laptop back to me 2 minutes later and said, “Here you go.”  Apparently I had skipped a critical step in the sign-up process (the step that said, “Create your blog now.”   This could signal a changing of the guard in the family IT department.  Grandmother, if you’re reading this, you may soon have a new IT manager.  Also, there is an email subscription button at the bottom of this page — enter your email and you’ll be notified when I post something new.

So this is my first blog post ever.  And it’s coming to you from our apartment in Pécs, Hungary.  We live on Jokai Utca (pronounced UT-zah), less than a block away from Jokai Ter (ter is the Hungarian word for square) which connects to the main city square, Szechenyi Ter, about a block away.  Like much of Europe, I suppose, it’s all about the square.

This is what you all should know first:  Pécs (pronounced “Paytch”) is a hidden gem of a city.  The city center is beautiful, the food is terrific and inexpensive, and the people have been very, very kind to us.  We’ve also spent 5 days in Budapest, which everyone had told us would be a spectacular city.  They didn’t overstate this.

I hope to use this blog mostly for photos and brief comments (I think that’s what a blog post is).  If you just want to see photographs from our trip, without comment or any real organization, you can go to my first Pecs web gallery here.  (http://homepage.mac.com/patster66/Pecs_1_Hungary2010/).  I’ll add more galleries soon, including Budapest.

Here are a few pix to get us started.  Click on the image to see a high-res version.

Our apartment is on the second and third floor of this antique shop. It's rarely open and the one time Margaret went in, the shopkeeper told her that he was closed and ushered her out. He has NO idea what sort of business he's lost! We've heard from many people (including Hungarians), that Hungarian shopkeepers have a poor sense of "Customer Service." That said, we've had many wonderful encounters in shops.

Diningroom Table

This is the dining room, where we all do our laptop work. We get free WiFi from someone across the street.

This is a view of Szechenyi Ter, which is the main square in the city center about a two minute walk from our apartment. This photo was taken from the mosque.

And this is the mosque, which has a wild history. The Ottoman-Turks built it around 1545 after they captured Pecs. They built it on the site of a 13th Century church. When the Turks were kicked out, the Jesuits converted it into a Catholic Church. Today it mixes Catholic and Muslim traditions, though I don't think much Muslim activity takes place there. Note the cross on top of the Turkish crescent moon on the roof.

This is a shot of the ceiling on the Muslim side of the Mosque/Church.

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About patster66

I'm visiting Pécs, Hungary with my wife and son for the Fall 2010 semester. My wife, Margaret McMullan, received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and do research at the University of Pécs. My 13 year old son is attending a semi-bilingual school here called the ANK where I am teaching English Language and Drama to 4th - 8th graders 2 days a week.
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6 Responses to Hello From Pecs, Hungary

  1. Rob says:

    Pat,
    These photos are great, and I’m so glad you’re putting together a blog. We’ll live vicariously through you guys for the next few months.
    Rob

  2. Dale says:

    Great pics Pat. We look forward to future posts.
    Dale and Becky

  3. jilljamison says:

    I concur with Rob. Looking at your apartment photo I went “Aww.” AND, thanks for writing this. I even just looked up Magyar. I am more educated now.

  4. bernie says:

    BEAUTIFUL PICS I AM TRYING TO LOCATE SOME INFORMATION ON MY ANCESTRY I AM 74 MY FATHER ALWAYS TOLD ME MY GRANDFATHER CAME FROM A PLACE CALLED THE TOWN OF THE 5 CHURCHES I RECENTLY FOUND THAT PECS IS THE PLACE OF 5 CHURCHES ANY REPLY WOULD BE APPRECIATED BERNIE

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