We had to get up at 8 a.m. We had a great breakfast, which was included in our room rate. We could choose anything we wanted, cold, or hot meal. At 9 a.m. we left the place to discover Dr. Anna and David’s homeland; Hungary. First we visited the town, we have stayed in. It’s name was Sopron.
“Sopron is one of the charming medieval citiesmin Hungary. It is located along the Austrian-Hungarian border at the foot of the Alps, 220 Kilometers away from Budapest, 60 Kilometers away from Vienna. Exploring the backstreets and courtyards of the inner town is like a step back in time. There are a lot of attractions in this city: quiet little streets of the historical city center, unique buildings and monuments. Citizens of Sopron are very famous for their hospitality and loyalty to their city.”
From Sopron, we started our way to the east. Our next stop was Fertorakos. This area is part of the World inheritage since 2001. This area has major historical sites.
The rock quarry: This area was covered by the Miocene inland sea, warm, shallow water full with Mollusks. This environment produced coarse coarse grained fossiliferous limestone (grainstone). The rocks from here had been quarried since the Roman time. Parts of Viena was built from here and famous buildings throughout Hungary. Today it is well known that this rock is not durable in Hungary’s climate, so the quarry became abundant. The quarry today houses a theatre in the huge wholes the workers left behind. The theatre has fantastic acoustics and the surroundings are similar to ancient Egyptian churches.
“There is also a monument and a series of interpretive signs along the former Iron Curtain here in Fertorakos that draw thousands of visitors each year. It was at this remote border crossing that Hungary allowed hundreds of East Germans to flee west in August 1989, setting in motion a series of events that culminated in the collapse of the Berlin Wall three months later. But even before that day, the Hungarian portion of the frontier was more open than that of its harder-line Communist neighbors”. Laszlo Karpati, director of the Hungarian park.
Our next point of interest was Nagycenk.
Istvan Szechenyi (1791-1860) (“The greatest Hungarian”) used to live in this palace. He was the founder of the Hungarian Science academy, the builder of the Chain Bridge, one of the most important reform politician of Hungary.
We also visited the mausoleum, where Istvan Szecheny is buried. At the entrance a sign reminded us:
We have been like you
You are going to be like us
DIRT and Ashes
That afternoon We had gotten a lot of rain, so dr. Anna thought visiting the Balaton was not going to be fun, but we did it anyways.
(Lonely Planet) (http://balaton.hotelonlinehungary.com/)
“The lake itself is the largest natural lake in Europe, stretching for almost 80km and varying in width from 14km to 1.5km (at the point where it's almost cut in two by the Tihany peninsula). With an average depth of only three meters, it warms up quickly and maintains a pleasant temperature from May to October. In winter the lake often freezes over (the ice growing as thick as 25cm) and horse-drawn carts can be seen driving across. Though its history is hardly writ large, the region was first settled in the Iron Age, and has been a wine-growing center since Roman times. During the sixteenth century, it formed the front line between Turkish and Habsburg-ruled Hungary, with an Ottoman fleet based at Siófok and an Austrian one at Balatonfüred. Spas and villas appeared from 1765 onwards, but catered largely to the wealthy until the Communists began promoting holidays for the masses after World War II. During the Sixties, footloose youths started flocking to the Balcsi (Balaton's familiar nickname), while the Seventies and Eighties witnessed a boom in private holiday homes and room letting, fuelled by an influx of tourists from Germany and Austria.” (http://balaton.hotelonlinehungary.com/)
Baloton, around Gyenesdias, as we saw it
Baloton, as we saw it
On our second night we had the nicest bad and breakfast ever, with our own party room, so we had to get to know each other a little bit better. We did not go to sleep till two in the morning, some of us even later.
David and Jamie with our bad and breakfast owners