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Lake Balaton

View Adventure before Dementia on cjpolley's travel map.

The local TI claim this as the largest lake in Europe, well excluding Russia and Scandinavia and the man made lakes in Holland, so the biggest natural, freshwater lake in central Europe!
We woke the first morning by the lake whilst people were moving on as we recouped with a lay in and a French couple had to move their hose so we could get to the showers. On campsites it really easy to start a conversation with people and they enquired as to our journey, after a few minutes we had found out that they had driven to China, hired a motorhome in both New Zealand and south America and had this great Web site with all their journeys on; just when you think you're doing something a bit adventurous by going to Serbia! They were really
sweet and they have a summer house in one of our favourite French seaside towns and we got an invite, brilliant.
We spent 3 nights at this site and rode our bikes into the tiny village and along the shoreline and decided that this was a very quiet section of the lake, that's us never satisfied with hectic places one minute and slow the next. We did venture into a small bar and couple of times for a lunchtime beer, well for £1 a pint it's rude not to, but also into a lovely restaurant. We only eat out when there is something different on the menu or things we don't cook, octopus comes to mind; steaks in France on a €12 menu or pescados mixta in Spain. Here Jacqui had turkey breast stuffed with plums with a timbal of rice with ground almonds with a white sage sauce! Makes mine sound a bit ordinary but I'm glad I didn't go for the bigger appetite dishes, I had pork fillet with mushroom, bacon and liver sauce.
So after 4 nights in Hungary we had learnt: (phonetically of course)
Kosonom, thank you
Egy visit, same again
Flutch, wine and soda that even the chaps drink
Sör, beer
and Jacqui found Elado that she thought was ice cream and it means for sale.
So that's the important parts of a 5000 year old language sorted then!
We moved around to the bottom corner of the lake to a place called Keszthely and stayed in a boring site the first night but it had a pool. Walking into the town we found a marketplace that lead into an enormous town square, which was holding an international folk festival that evening.
We went along at 7 and found the food stalls had bits of pig, mostly in sausages with grilled veg and spuds, Jacqui drank fletch and me beer. The singing and dancing was great, full of energy and a bit of competition with the groups coming from Armenia, Bulgaria and Croatia as well as local troupes. We left around 11:30 and they were still going strong.
We were leaving the boring site and a chap saw me back from a tight spot, turns out he was British, the first we had seen since way back in mid Austria. We gave them our email and told them where we were moving to, a small site just round the corner, run by Hungarians but popular with the Germans.
At this point I must add that Ronnie Barker is never far from our thoughts, LO is the easy way to greet everybody and since we have be here, every time one of us mentions Hungarian, Grenville comes to mind.
The little site provided us with shelter the next day from thunderstorms that lasted on and off all day so the bike ride was postponed until Monday, we had decided to stay until then so we could take an evening boat cruise. There were only 11 people on board but it was quite a pleasant way to spend an hour or so. The commentary was in English and we learnt about trade on this lake and the fact that has an average depth of just 3m and for this reason not only has a summer temperature of 25 °C but freezes over most winters.
Cooking and eating in these temperatures is becoming an issue as neither of us wants large meals or to stand and cook over a hot stove, lots of liquids then!
Next day we head towards the south of the country and a city called Pécs.

Posted by cjpolley 12:23 Archived in Hungary

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