During the dog days of summer I invited myself to lake Balaton and my friend was nice enough to go with it. She picked me up from the train station at Balatonfüred after an astonishingly long and badly planned trip from my side. Really, I should have just taken the bus to get there.
Upon arriving finally in Tihany it was too late for doing much besides going for dinner. Since Hungary is not really famous for its light cuisine I needed to go for a walk later. Tihany is quite the place to be on the Balaton. It has a long and well-know history and is also bound to the Austria through our common past. After WWI the former Austrian Emperor Karl I. tried to reclaim his Hungarian throne twice and the second time he was an involuntary guest at Tihany Abbey for five days. After that he was handed over to the English and that was that.
The next morning started with rain, a welcome change from all the heat. Still, that wasn’t what I had booked for the Balaton. I wanted to go swimming and get a tan.
The stars and Sylvia had a different program in mind and we started with a tour of said abbey. I think Sylvia said it’s the oldest one in Hungary, plus it holds the grave of Andras of Hungary (that’s the part of the abbey that is from 1055). He is the only Hungarian king who rests at the place where he has been interred. That’s an achievement! The abbey inside is beautiful and the attached museum helps to while away an hour. Once outside the sun was out and so were temperatures.
That called for a stop to fuel up before a lazy afternoon at the beach. After a cold rose wine I was ready to sleep in the shade and relax.
In the evening we left the small peninsula and drove to Balatonfüred which was the first spa in Hungary. Everybody who was anybody had a house here. And that’s exactly how this little gem looks. Beautiful houses around the water front make for an entertaining walk. We stopped to taste the mineral water (super healthy, tastes disgusting)
and walked all the way to the waterfront. While I was there the FINA World Championships happened, so a section of the Balatonfüred beach was closed off. Still, enough left to see though.
Dinner at the waterfront tasted so good, it must be all the fresh air that got my appetite going again. A free concert was happening when we left and the party was in full swing. Not for us though, we had dessert at a friend’s place.
Sunday started without rain, just a lot of heat. What better place to cool down than in cave? The Lóczy cave in Balatonfüred offers temperatures around 12 degree, so you better bring a jacket. The cave has very interesting stone formations, it all looks like pressed logs. I think it came from it all being a sea 250 million years ago. Or maybe just read up on it.
The peninsula of Tihany offers besides the Balaton all around two other lakes. The bigger one is called the “inland lake” and is a nature reserve, with lots of animals, plants and other things. I liked best that you could see gophers everywhere, putting their head out and checking the scenery. When we stopped in front of a hole a loud beeping sound came instantly and after that every couple of seconds. So long until we moved far enough from the hole for the gopher to feel safe again.
After one last lunch in Tihany with view on the Balaton we drove together to Budapest and took the train from there. The Balaton region is not only a recreation paradise but also offers a lot of variety if you decide to spend more time here. I for one will definitely be back, hopefully with another invitation. Yours, Pollybert
PS: a big thank you to Sylvia for being such a great photographer and not minding to share!