THE INVISIBLE EXHIBITION
The whole visit took place in completely dark rooms. We entered the first room. Total absence of light. The guide was giving us instructions, for example, use the hand in a certain way, and try not to hit anyone with your fingertips. Following the instructions, we started with a room … a room where the sounds were multiple and things to discover as well.
With hands, we were discovering what surrounded us. As an example, we could feel statues, refrigerators, pots and other objects. As we move to other compartments, the objects were diversifying. The last room was the room where we can all rest a little after 40 walking minutes. It was strange when the light come back onto our eyes as we exit the exhibition, but it was very pleasant.
Entering this “world” was incredibly unexpected. It was one the best experiences, no doubt.
During this exchange programme we had many goods experiences, but one of them touched me a lot: the Blind Exhibition. In this experience we, Portuguese group, had the opportunity to “see” like the blind persons…
At the beginning, we entered in a forest and a garden. We can say that everything was a little frightening because we didn’t see anything, nothing at all. Then we went from the forest and a garden to the interior of a house.In my mind, out of touching things, I created images trying to figure how it was.
The next step was a car park, with cars, bikes, merchant and others things. How we could proceed to the next step?! With the voice of our guide, I can confirm that at that moment all the other senses were a little better. Then we enter a kind of Statues Park. There was Buddha… among others statues… on another “room” there was a kitchen: a fridge, a toaster, everything…
But the funny thing of all this was the procedure when the brain tries to create images without seeing…
Finally, it came the funniest part … It was when we entered a bar, where, if we wanted, we could ask for something to drink. The guide put us in a few coaches, and in my mind as much as I avoided it, I couldn’t stopped creating the scenario of that space. One part of me said to turn off the brain-image-processor and the other just wanted to create the scenario.
Then we were sent to the exit and the guide told us that the light would affect us a little bit. So we had to open and close the eyes wide. When I came out I felt like … I can’t explain, but I knew that if for any reason I would become blind, I couldn’t get on very well with it.
After “we recover” the guide showed us the games, the computer, the scales, the kitchen tools and the typewriter in Braille.
I can assure you that it was one of the best experiences of my life, “seeing” as the blind “see” is really an unforgettable experience. I already had respect for the blind people, but now I have a lot more of admiration for them.
JEWISH THEME – MOVIE (FATELESS), JEWISH QUARTER AND SYNAGOGUES
Fateless- We saw this film at the Hungarian school, Bokay János, in Budapest. It is an amazingly well made, well performed motion picture about a very difficult subject. The direction and cinematography were excellent. The leading character was a boy aged only 12 when the film was shot, yet he delivers a mature, sensitive and deeply emotional performance. The film is long but very compelling and speaks loudly about man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. The message is even more disturbing when told through the eyes of a young teenager who is caught up in the atrocities of the Nazis and their Hungarian allies.
Jewish Quarter – The area gave us a feeling of complete authenticity and in many sections virtually nothing has changed since the closing days of the Second World War. Here and there we have seen closed and abandoned synagogues, while several streets still had open Jewish grocers and religious supply shops. The Jewish community seems to be drifting back to this section of the city. This area was very interesting!
Synagogue – A remarkable building with an unusual style for a synagogue, but definitely worthing a visit. The garden and the museum are a must seen; the tourist guides and the museum staff are extremely helpful and well prepared for any questions. They are efficient and friendly as well. The admission is reasonable and the ability to have an English language tour by a very good guide made the experience even better. The beauty of the inside of the restored synagogue is fabulous. The grounds are equally impressive with the cemetery and victims memorial gardens.
João Cristo & João Veloso
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY THEME – HUNGARIAN INVENTIONS EXHIBITION, PHYSICS CLASS AND PALACE OF WONDERS
We are going to talk about one of the themes that were included on the Hungarian programme: Exhibition of Hungarian inventions and the Physics class in the Palace of wonders. Of course this great theme is about Hungarian science, and we can say that we were really surprised when we realised the importance of the Hungarian pioneers that entered discreetly in the Science History.
On the first day of the programme (Monday) we started our cultural tour in Budapest, visiting an exhibition about the last Hungarian invents, there we could see all kind of pioneer invents from the holographic programmes to new metal materials to wind energy devices and even new innovator toys.
Then we can say that we started to be surprised with some of the hidden secrets of the Hungarian science, but the really surprise came next, on the other science day… It was the on 4th day (Thursday) and it was another science day, we a had a science “class” with an Hungarian scientist that showed us some experiences with dry ice and vitamin C, and also showed us a video that really surprised us all, it was about some of the most well known Hungarian invents around the world, like the famous Rubik’s cube, binoculars, gasified water, helicopter propeller, and many more… Here we could see the Hungarian presence all over the world with their inventions. The rest of the morning in the science museum was also really interesting we could see all kind of science things and experience them, like the mind reaction tests; we can say that was a morning playing with science. After all we stayed amazed with the rich Hungarian science invents.
Hungary is a great country in science history and all of the science interested people in the world should consider visit Budapest on that issue too.
Diogo Cardoso & João Pedro Pires
Aquaworld is located on the northern outskirts of Budapest, at the Pest abutment of Megyeri Bridge, along the M0 ring, in a green area, yet close to the town centre. It has an outdoor car park with a capacity of more than 1000, easily accessible via the Aquaworld exit of the new Budapest M0 ring.
This Aqua park was really nice, it was smaller than the ones we have in Portugal, but that’s natural considering that it was an indoor park.
It had several slides, for me one of the best was the black hole, one wave-pool, one high jump and many Jacuzzis where the water was really hot. Although there were one or two outside-slides, they were closed due to the cold weather that I felt myself.
On the slides we could use a float, a double-float or anything. Most of the water-slides required floats, but they were really funny and nice, you could go with your friends in groups or have a ride alone.
The high jump was my favorite just because it was a 2meter jump and I could dive head in or do flips. When I hit water I just wanted to go deeper and deeper until I got to the bottom.
Although I’m an adrenalin junkie I loved the Jacuzzis. The hot, bubbly water left my body very relaxed, I just wanted to stay inside the warm water and let my body relax.
The wave-pool was, as the whole park, really nice. At a right schedule the waves started to appear and some of them where huge. There were two big plastic balls that we could get inside and “try” to walk on water, we didn’t had the chance, but a kid that was also in the park tried it and we saw him falling down over and over again like a drunk guy! It was really funny.
At leaving time we were all satisfied with the experience and we felt sad about leaving. We were stuffed and some of us fell asleep in the bus home! Overall it’s was really cool and we had a wonderful time.
SLEDGING ON BUDA HILLS
On Wednesday, we went to the Buda Mountains to do sledge downhill on the snow. We think that it was the coldest day on the whole week, but we had a lot of fun and we also played with snowballs! This exchange team was unbeatable and anything could ever defeat us!
Although it was really cold, everybody was having a good time and all of the Portuguese just disappeared for a while from the eyes of their partners because they found one really nice slope which the only way to stop was to roll aside to the snow!
We went all the way down (it took like 20minutes) and then we needed to come back (like 40 minutes).
The coldness was beaten by the laughs and by the happiness of all of us!
It was really nice and we loved it!
PROJECT WORKS AT SCHOOL
On Friday, we stayed at school doing some projects. The first project was related with our exchange partner, about his/her family and about how you felt that week, and it was individual work. The second project was related with Hungarian inventions and we needed to address some questions about its importance and about how it works.
The first project was done very fast, although here and there was a problem with some partner photos but we had some brilliant and lovely projects.
All the projects were lovely and emotional, and some people were trying to hold some tears when the saw what his/her partner had written.
It was a really exciting experience!
Joana Fialho & João Fustiga
FAMILY DAY AND FAREWELL PARTY
The day started early, like usual. Nevertheless, this day was a little different from the others: we didn’t have a scheduled official programme, everything depended on the choice of our “family”. For us, the meeting was at 9:30 o’clock, at the central train station, that would take us to our surprise destiny. After one hour, we were out of Budapest. Our destiny was the Marzipan Museum, one museum with pieces made with marzipan and chocolate. Delicious! In this museum, we could see pieces like:
- 160 cm long building of the Hungarian Parliament;
- The portraits of Hungarian historical celebrities;
- Artistic wedding cakes;
- Replicas of famous paintings made of marzipan and food colouring;
- The 2 meter high Michael Jackson statue made of white chocolate;
- Legendary Walt Disney cartoons’ carachters.
After this time spent looking at chocolate, we were really hungry. So, we went to have lunch with our partners, and after that we walked a little through the streets and bought some gifts to bring to Portugal.
Unfortunately, it was our last night in Budapest, and of course we had to spend this together with the all group. We had a Farewell Party in a Billiard Saloon, where we can play billiard, of course, and the most important thing: talk and laugh with our friends. In spite of being the last one, it was a very funny night.
Ana Margarida & Fábio