Eurotrip – Keszthely, 26 October 2013

I forgot to mention yesterday my general impression of Keszthely. It’s a pretty decent small town – most people seem to live in houses or in small apartment blocks, the houses are varied and quite interesting to look at, there’s not a lot of graffiti or decay. That said, we’re probably in the nice/touristy bit of town.

The lakefront is interesting. There’s the actual lakefront itself – grassy area with benches leading to the lakeside, loads of old guys fishing, people walking etc, a small pier. Then there’s an artificial beach, a rather sad collection of sand that they apparently charge people for access to. Then walking one way, you’re quickly forced away from the lake, and they have a sports field and various other things on the shore, blocking access. Walking the other way you come to a strange old hotel. The whole town is low-rise – I’m talking 2 or 3 story buildings max. Then you get this 10-story hotel squatting right on the shore. Except it doesn’t even look good – it looks more like a communist-era office block, just there, blocking off the shore both physically and psychologically.

Get up close and it’s like something out of a Ballard novel where the protagonist finds himself going slowly insane in an out of control world, holed up alone in an abandoned hotel with vines growing along the bridge to the shore.

Anyway.

Today was a spa day. We headed up to Lake Heviz, which is apparently the second-largest thermal lake in the world. The lake has a spa attached, so you can pay just to swim in the lake, or add in massages and saunas. Naturally we went for the combined sauna/lake option…and were pleased to see one of the better saunas we’ve been in – clean, with lots of space, lots of sauna options (steam, chill, Finnish, etc) and decent instructions – down to the point of telling us that we could/should wear our bathing suits in most rooms, but should be naked in the Finnish room. We ran through several cycle of sauna – shower – cold pool – relax on sunbed, then headed to the lake.

The lake complex was really built up – changing rooms and chill out rooms and restaurants extending out over the water, with multiple ladders leading down. Nearly everyone was using rubber ring floatation devices – we couldn’t work out where to get them from so we went without, somewhat stupidly. It would have been much easier to float in the warm water among the water lilies and drift into a mental haze, but we spent our time treading water or hanging on to the side. Still relaxing though. It helped that the high today was 25 celsius, so we were nicely warm among the autumn leaves.

Other notable fact for today: I biked up to the lake. Nothing special in that, but I literally haven’t ridden a bike since I was about 14, so it felt like an accomplishment (even if I did nearly crash every time I tried to pass someone on the narrow path…)

Came home, found the Man Utd game on the TV, was sad that United were losing. Saw two late goals and was happy. Went to dinner at the same place as yesterday, where the waiter has really mastered the art of watching football rather than his customers. Home now, drinking a Beer. Capitalisation intended, that’s the name of the brand….

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About simonchamberlain

New Zealand librarian and music fan, living in London.
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