Eurotrip – Pecs, 29 October 2013

On one of the few days when we haven’t planned to get up at any particular time we are woken before 7 by shouting children in the street. Sod’s law. We still manage to take our time getting anywhere, although I do send off a job application so it’s not like I wasted time.

Today is hot – I mean actually properly hot. Clear blue sky, t-shirt weather. I’m surprised more people aren’t here – there are few tourists around, even though this seems like a perfect time to visit.

Anyway, today is our art day. We visit three galleries: two dedicated to specific artists and the Modern Hungarian Art Collection. The first two are the Victor Vasareley Museum (dedicated to the founder of op art – e.g. art that contains optical illusions such as images that appear to be in 3-D) and the Tividar Csontvary Kosztka (Csontvary) Museum, dedicated to a self-taught 19th-century Hungarian painter, who had heard a voice telling him he would be a greater painter than Raphael, so immediately started on a 20-year plan to achieve this goal. Sadly, he died penniless and alone, but much of his work was actually really good. Both galleries are a good size -we get round them in little over an hour each, without hurrying.

The Modern Gallery is strange. We are literally the only visitors. Whenever we finish a section, one of two attendants would appear out of nowhere and direct us to the next section (so this involved shepherding us downstairs or upstairs at particular times). Like they don’t want you to experience the collection in any way other than chronologically. It’s a decent enough collection – I don’t think I was familiar with any of the artists, and while there’s nothing earth-shattering here, there are some good examples of familiar 20th century styles such as vorticism and cubism. Some of the work produced under Communism was interesting – very abstract, but I found myself wondering whether some of it might be symbolically referring to Communism.

In between we order the menu of the day from a restaurant with no idea of what it actually is, the menu being in Hungarian and the waitress having limited English – Rhonda ends up with a potato/scrambled egg/chorizo dish that looks great if you like scrambled egg, and I come away with chicken and rice. For dinner we eat rolls with cheese and salami.

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About simonchamberlain

New Zealand librarian and music fan, living in London.
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