Balaton bound

Trip Start Apr 17, 2010
1
9
46
Trip End Aug 24, 2010


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Where I stayed
Fured camping

Flag of Hungary  , Veszprém,
Friday, April 30, 2010

We left Obuda and Kuelker rowing club after a leisurely breakfast and packing together of stuff. Got the bus and train to Deli Station behind the Buda district of Budapest and caught a train to Balatonfuered on Lake Balaton. Gyoezoe in Esztergom had told us that it was going to be 30 degrees on 30th April so we thought that Balaton was the perfect destination for a bit of sun and swimming. Unfortunately I'd managed to catch a cold on the canoe at some point during the trip and was feeling a bit under the weather.

Arrived into Balatonfuered after the tourist information had closed (again) but had a few options of where to stay. In the travel guide the campsite was listed as being extortionately expensive so we initially went to a few room agencies to see if we could get a room somewhere for cheaper, but we preferred in the end to try the camping. As it was off season and we didn't have a car we managed to get a camping spot next to where everyone empties their chemical toilets for a bargain price, so we stayed there. Again the campsite wasn't really fully going yet, despite it nearly being the 1st May, which everywhere else seemed to have been gearing up to. Most of the lights weren't switched on at night, most of the toilet blocks weren't open, the swimming pool was full of dirty water and so on and so forth.

On the first evening we just walked around the campsite, as it was already fairly late once we'd got there, and then cooked dinner by the side of the lake. There was an amazing red moon.

The next morning (1st May, woo hoo) we did some washing in the launderette on site, which thankfully was open and lazed about in the sun (or I did, Martin was working!) for a bit. In the afternoon we decided to wander into Balatonfuered itself (as the campsite was about 2 km outside it along the lake) to see what festivities were underway for 1st May. They had a big stage in the centre of the town with folk dancing on it, which was pretty impressive, lots of boot slapping and high pitched cries and singing, very entertaining! The folk dancers were followed by very racy 'Acrodancers' who wore sexy costumes and jumped about a lot, also very impressive gymnastics! But that that was pretty much it - oh an animator got loads of little children up on stage and sang children's songs in Hungarian with them, but that wasn't so interesting! After a ice cream (or two) we headed back to the campsite for dinner. We cooked and ate dinner down at the lakeside and could see some fireworks over the other side of the lake.

On 2nd May we hired some bikes from the campsite and went for a ride around the Tihany Peninsula, along the lake from Balatonfuered and then up into the hills above the lake where there are a lot of vineyards. It was a really nice ride through picturesque little villages, very rural, quite run down in parts, but nice to see, and nice to feel a bit further off the beaten track. In one of the villages, I think it was Pecsely, we saw a man ploughing a field with a horse and plough. I felt it was a bit rude to take a picture, even though it was quite a sight!

Our plan had been to find somewhere to do a wine tasting but we only found somewhere on the way back into Balatonfuered, and they needed a bit of convincing to let us do a wine tasting, as they seemed to be more set up as a restaurant. After a couple of small glasses of local wine we headed back into Balatonfuered and back to the campsite. We went out for dinner at a restaurant in Balatonfuered, which wasn't that great. Back at the campsite we got talking to the group of young Polish people who we'd already seen and heard having a big party on the campsite the night before. They invited us for a drink (they were already pretty merry themselves) and were very interested in where we were from and telling us about Poland. They were all part of a folk dance troupe from Poznan in Poland and were disappointed to hear that they'd missed some Hungarian folk dancing in town the day before. They insisted that we come to Poznan for their annual folk dancing festival in August (which might actually just fit in with our plans) and one of them offered us his house in the Eastern lakes of Poland to stay at when we are there. A very friendly bunch of people, although their home brewed vodka mixed with water and sprite didn't quite agree with me (or it was the food at the restaurant, which is quite possible) and I felt quite ill later on in the evening.

On the morning of 3rd May we read and wrote in the campsite in the morning before packing up and heading for a bus to Kecskemet at 14.10. The bus ride to Kecskemet was extremely long and hot and sweaty.... not particularly enjoyable, but it got us there.
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