Eurotrip, Keszthely 25 October 2013

Today we are in Keszthely, one of many towns on the edge of Lake Balaton, the largest fresh-water lake in Europe. They’ve got party towns, spa towns and more cultural towns spread out all around the lake, and we’re in one of the latter. There’s a giant thermal lake about 4km away, and we’re going to rent bikes and ride by the lake.

The journey was very easy considering we had to navigate Budapest bus station with no English help – but it’s a good, well-signposted modern station. The bus had WiFi and a airplane-like video display showing where you were, how far you’d gone and how long until your destination. A quick drive through 200k or so of flat farming country and we were there.

We’re staying in a B&B type place run by people with almost no English, but who are probably the friendliest people we’ve met on the trip – lots of claps on the shoulder and hugs. We’re communicating by saying random words in English, German and Hungarian. I think it’s working, although I may have accidentally agreed to marry their daughter. Who knows?

We visited the local palace, which was mildly interesting but no more. Highlights were the library (we would say that, I know, but it was quite impressive) and (bizarrely) a collection of 19th century horse-drawn coaches on the grounds – short on infomation, but it had some lovely old vehicles. We then strolled by the lake for a while, before heading back to town for dinner (steak for me and fried fish for Rhonda, both served in big portions with lots of potatoes) followed by a Drunken Monk (a kind of bread pudding with a fried outside surrounding a centre containing marmalade and a LOT of wine….).

Oh, we also discovered that Hungary has a bakery item that is exactly like a Lamington….I wonder if NZ borrowed it from Hungarian immigrants? (OK, Wikipedia claims the Aussies invented it – so how did this random Hungarian cafe come to be selling them?)

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About simonchamberlain

New Zealand librarian and music fan, living in London.
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