Monday, July 16, 2012

Balaton - sunshine, "sea" and sewing

I just spent a few days at Lake Balaton - the "Hungarian sea". It's a huge lake in the middle of the country. It was so nice to get away from the city for a little while. I think I hadn't left Budapest in more than EIGHT months. It seems ridiculously unbelievable to see it written down, it seems like I must be forgetting some trip but maybe it really is true.... 

I made a new bikini for wearing at the lake.  It's my own design and pattern.

I also made the board shorts. I started them in the morning of the trip day after finishing up the bikini. So of course I didn't have enough time to finish them before running to catch my train in the afternoon. I spent most of the train ride hand sewing. And sweating. It was HOT. Something like 35 degrees. 

The 70 year old man opposite me told me he has a sewing machine (!!) and uses it to alter his clothes and make curtains. He seemed quite impressed that I was travelling with so much sewing gear (needles, thread, proper fabric scissors, multiple projects) and confided that he always has on him a set of tools and a measuring tape and other handy things. We ended up talking for the whole trip. He was really interesting, he travelled a lot around Europe when he was younger. He said he really had trouble learning German but he picked up Spanish really easily. He said everyone has a language which is easy for them to learn, you just have to find out which one it is. It's an interesting theory.

I was travelling with my very good friend Tom. We arrived in Balatonboglár and realised neither of us knew the name of the place where we were staying. Or the address. Or the phone number. Haha. We both thought the other one knew all the info. But we managed!  In my head I thought Boglár was a tiny little village with maybe just the hostel, a shop and a bar. It is actually a proper little town though! 

Some friends have opened a cool party hostel in a castle-like mansion. The building used to be a hotel, it even has a huge jacuzzi and sauna!! 

The first night there we were chatting with the lovely cafe owner in the square out the front and he told us about a wine and jazz festival which was on just up the hill. There was thunder and lightning and it was raining and chaotic and we slipped in for free! And then I got wine bought for me because I'm a foreigner. Then I met the festival organiser and he gave us food and wine too!  People were so amazingly nice and friendly there. I tried zsíros kenyer for the first time ever. It basically translates as "fatty bread". Bread covered in lard and sprinkled with salt and onions. I always thought it sounded too disgusting to taste. That is how I managed to live here for more than six years without trying this Hungarian speciality/delicacy/poor people food.  IT'S FLIPPING DELICIOUS! I should have tried it years ago!

The weather was perfect for swimming the next day.

Lángos for lunch - deep fried Hungarian goodness!

That night we had a barbecue at the hostel. Mmmmmm. It only took around 5 hours to cook.... :) But so tasty. Europeans have funny barbecues... with charcoal... and holes in the grill thingy that the food can fall through onto the coals... I was very surprised at how they do it here. 

The last day was freeeeeeezing. Had breakfast down by the water. Then went swimming anyway.

I didn't take enough photos there!! Kicking myself now. It was an oh so lovely holiday.


  1. Oh that's awesome-also you're very fit! Also, lard=yum. That's like-an unwritten law of biology (unwritten because all the scientists are doing multiple repeats..). For whatever reason, it looks cold there.. Possibly because it's cold here..

  2. Firstly, your new beach style outfit is gorgeous... And your story about our habits and favourite food is very funny. :-))

  3. Love reading about your adventure Jodi! You have so much fun trying out many new things! Exciting!!!

  4. It looks cold because it was cold :) The first day was HOT HOT HOT. But the last day... Brrrrrr. The heat wave ended. Huge temperature drop.
    I have become a lard fan. Never thought I would.

  5. Thanks Nóra. I love Hungarian food - it's one of the main reasons I moved here.


Leave me a comment. Comments make me happy!