Headed for Kanijza, Serbia
Trip Start Apr 23, 2012
23Trip End May 30, 2012
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The coffeehouse - "kavehaz & bar" - known as Muvesz, was an elegant cafe with chandeliers, high vaulted ceilings and dessert display cases on both sides of the door. AND, finally, a wonderful pastry, a flaky chocolate croissant and a mochiotto and an americano. It was my first real European experience of what I thought was kafe - coffee
Onto the train from Budapest to Szeged. Nice train ride with inner city and countryside, rolling through relative flat agriculturally-rich land once we left the city of Budapest. An easy 2:30 ride to Szeged, passing many small villages with large plots behind their houses growing gardens and mini vineyards. In Szeged, we are met with a wonderful family of 3 who picked us up at the train station. Very hot arriving in Szeged. The sign our driver carried...Yoga, Kanjiza :)
Driving from the small town, there were many people riding bikes along paths and the road, including old men on bicycles of all shapes and sizes. We quickly met farmland, lots of young seasoned fields having just been planted, and some flowering rapeseed. Then it was through two border crossings, one to leave Hungary and one to enter Serbia (two more stamps in the passport!) Contrasting styles at these checkpoints....Hungary, a more police-dressed young woman asked a bunch of questions and passed around the car looking for anything to pull us over ... perhaps; Serbia, a flash of the passport to scan in the computer and review then a stamp of entrance and we were on our way. Leaving Hungary, the buildings were fairly old structures, and the Serbia entrance was very modern.
It was not a far drive to this small town of Kanjiza, home to 14,000 with the surrounding population making 30,000. Factories, including brick and tile, employ individuals from Kanjiza (Kanizsa). The primary language of this region is Hungarian, Magyar. Discussion and understanding about our "contract for a driver back to Budapest" is challenging
After we settled into our hotel (our plan was to stay just one night) and then we were off to find a place to stay with a kitchen and private bath. Here they are referred to as Pensions. After meeting with Isabella, who has Pension Bella, we discovered that all rooms in this small town are taken and most people made reservations well in advance. We were told that advanced reservations weren't necessary, that we would find rooms for rent called SOBE just by walking down the street. Yes, it's true, we saw the signs, but we didn't know how they were rated or if they had private baths or a kitchen. Luckily, Isabella was a blessing. She called a few places and when we left her we knew that by the following day we would either have a nice place in the home of a friend of hers or, if this was not "free" then Isabella offered us her daughter's room. A sweet blessing and offering.......frog :)) (Frog=Laurie's ally and we saw many of them.)
Hungry we search for food. "Balkan it's good food." Pizza and beer and smoking all around. They have not caught on to no smoking in eating establishments. But okay, it is different here. Then, a stroll back to the center of town for a free concert and festival. Turns out it's a holiday as May 6 is national elections. They vote for a party that then votes for leaders. "It is considered the easiest way to make money - be a politician and steal from others," one person explains.
We stroll through an amazing small town festival with a live band, wonderful voices and lots of kids and families dancing around
Sleep well my friends.
Shawn & Laurie