Greetings from Veszprem, Hungary

Ten thousand a night! Call me Mr One Percent! Fortunately for me and my banker, the exchange rate is 221 Forint to the Dollar. Our room here has a bathroom larger than our room at the hostel in Ljubljana! How often do you get to carry around 10,000 bills?

Taking a break in Western Hungary. We stayed dry all day.

Taking a break in Western Hungary. We stayed dry all day.

Today was a transit day. Murska Sobota to Veszprem. We stopped for lunch in the lakeside town of Keszthely. And I did something I haven’t done in years.

Western Hungary is a vast area of rolling fields and woods, pretty in the sunshine and it certainly looks like a productive farming area. Big fields of corn and barley interspersed with thick wooded areas. Some of those woods looked like paper tree farms. There were lots of them in Slovenia.

Once into Hungary we followed Route 75 into Keszthely for lunch, then Route 71 out of Keszthely to Veszprem. Both roads are major thoroughfares so there is plenty of traffic and too much truck traffic so the road condition really varies. There has been some heavy rain recently, so there are some short stretches of mud and dirt, too. Today we passed our first highway officer sitting on the side of the road. Shortly after, a motorcycle cop passed us going the other way. These are the first enforcement guys we have seen this entire trip. In both cases nearly every driver coming toward us was flashing their lights.

No stops at the border, of course, but the unused customs buildings definitely had that Communist Block look to them. And they have deteriorated now that they are unused. We rolled across the broken pavement and went on our way.

I would be surprised if roses weren’t the official flower here. Seems like every house and public area has lots of them. Many homes have a garden and some are very elaborate. In most of the gardens there is a row of tall wooden poles along one side. Sometimes two sides, but not often. Maybe for tomatoes? We have not seen hops since we crossed the border, but we did see large fields of some bush-like crop we hadn’t seen before. Very thick. I don’t believe you could walk through it.

We spotted an Irish Pub this evening so we ate there. I had Pork Medallions with fried sliced apple on a layer of candied prunes. Imagine warm jam. Very sweet. The apple was sliced in quarter inch thickness and coated with a corn meal and flour mixture and deep fried. Yummy. Debb has chicken breast in white sauce with chives and someĀ other spice. Her potatoes were little balls of mashed potatoes. Think small marbles. Also good.

There are some notable differences between here and Western Europe. Nowhere in Slovenia or Hungary has there been a slot for our room key to enable the electricity. No signs not to put paper in the toilet. The hot water is hot! Scalding hot. Tipping is normal here, about 10% according to our fellow Irish Pub diners. I have not bought gas in Hungary yet, but I think it will be expensive. A quick look at a sign indicated 400+ per liter. That’s in the $9 per gallon range. Slovenia was much cheaper than Italy.

I left my jacket in the hotel last night. I sent them an email asking them to look and to send it to Mototouring in Milan if they found it. Their reply:

Dear Sir,
we find your jacket and we will send you.

We’re off to Budapest in the morning.