By the Balaton... Taking it to another level with... lavender!

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Europe » Hungary » Central Transdanubia » Tihany
August 28th 2016
Published: December 31st 2016
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Even though Lake Balaton is a very popular holiday place among locals, surprisingly there is actually no direct train connection to get there... Or we simply couldn’t find one... And since the last part of our journey included taking a bus from Balatonfured to Tihany (which is under 10km, but no schedule to be found online anywhere!), we just opted for a bus to Tihany all the way from Budapest in the end. At this stage we were trying to take trains rather than buses, simply because it was easy to keep Millie entertained on the train... But since there actually was a direct connection by bus to Tihany... problem solved! The bus was leaving a bit early in the morning but at least we didn’t need to change anywhere on the way. The journey went very smooth and we’ve actually noticed that entertaining Millie on a bus wasn’t a problem either. She’s just such a great traveller! 😊

As we were getting close to Tihany I got a bit of a dilemma which stop would be the closest to our accommodation. The stop marked as tourist information sounded central and therefore the most logical choice... Well not really it would seem... My google map was working for once and that stop was actually located in the middle of nowhere! I wasn’t even sure why it was called tourist information as there was none in sight. Since it was uphill to the village from here, we were quite happy to have stayed on the bus and after closely monitoring the map we got out in the centre of the village. Then a bit of circling around as no street names anywhere but soon after we got to our guesthouse.

From the first sight Tihany looked like a lovely and peaceful place. It was a beautiful sunny day, if only a bit too hot for me – as I said before my body feels the best in a very limited range of temperatures, and anything over 30C is definitely something it struggles to cope with. Hot or not, we waited a while for our room, freshened up a bit and soon after were ready to explore the town. Since it was time to feed Millie, we started our adventure in Tihany with looking for a place to eat of course. Straight away we’ve noticed the prices were slightly higher here – not really a surprise though since it looked like tourism was the main source of income here. It clearly wasn’t lunch time yet, as there were hardly any people around sitting in the restaurants... I looked at a few menus and was slightly shocked to see one of them was charging extra percentage for the service – written in a small print at the bottom of the menu of course! Since then I was keeping an eye on the little remarks like that – if there’s one thing I absolutely don’t like are these sneaky little charges...

After lunch I had to take care of some business... It looked like my ‘little problem’ with bladder wouldn’t solve itself on its own as I hoped it would, so decided to look for a doctor after all. Thankfully Tihany had an English speaking doctor and soon after and 10,000fl for the doctor and 2,300fl for the antibiotics poorer (around 40EUR), I was ready to explore again... We decided to check out the Balaton Lake first. We took the same road we came with on the bus and let me tell you it sure did seem much shorter when sitting on the air-conned bus rather than walking in the full sun and over 30C heat with no shade whatsoever. To be honest I probably would’ve complained a bit less about the heat, but it was really hard to see Millie struggling with it also – she was at least partially covered in the pram, still poor little thing was sweating so bad that I just couldn’t stop stressing... It obviously caused a bit of tension here and there, making the walk not as pleasant as it could’ve been... Oops! Are there any good distressing courses or remedies somewhere as I would happily participate? 😉

Once we got to the shore of the lake it got much more pleasant straight away. Not only we found a little shop with some super cold water and beers – check! but there were some trees and therefore some highly needed shade all around as well. Not many people though... Was it really the high season? I guess it was coming to an end slowly... I was surprised to see there were no real beaches anywhere on the shores. A concrete shore didn’t look exactly too appealing,
Lunch time!Lunch time!Lunch time!

Nice to see not only in Poland we eat fruit soups :)
but it didn’t seem to bother anyone around as hardly anyone was sitting on the shore – why sitting in the heat if you can be cooling yourself off in the lovely clear water? We didn’t really come there to have a swim but rather to walk around. We followed the road by the shore and soon after came by some yacht club with a private beach – a grass beach if I may add... not exactly a beach, but better than concrete I guess... Anyone could come in – if they paid the entrance of course! There were hardly any empty places left around though... So that’s where the people were hiding! On a second thought, I think I’d prefer the empty concrete beach instead... It looked like some people decided to skip the entrance fee as a few metres past the club we saw some clothes and towels but no people in sight... Sneaky! 😉

After that we went back to the centre, through a shortcut this time, climbing gazillion stairs with a pram not fun! We decided to check out the touristy street – can’t really call it anything else, as it was mostly souvenirs all around and places to eat. Still a nice place to hang out and have a beer or two... We even found a cheap place with pizzas – dinner sorted then! As for the souvenirs, there were a couple of things that were present all around on sale here – little pots and mugs with some folk designs and all sorts of things made of lavender! Really lavender was the thing! Soap, all sorts of other smellies, candles... and even drinks! Lavender latte anyone? Or maybe lavender beer??? Maybe some other day... I found out later that they actually have a lavender festival here in June as well.

We were lucky to have come by the Tihany abbey just in time for the golden hour... Beautiful colours all around, incredible view of the Balaton Lake, some pretty decent ice creams... What else could you need? From there we walked to the Echo Hill – apparently Tihany became quite famous because of it since the 18th century... Once the village started expanding and more and more buildings popping around the echo got weaker and weaker though... Still you can come across many people standing on the spot by the girl’s statue and calling out all sorts of things waiting for an echo sound... We thought we would give it a try as well... I volunteered Grant of course. 😉 Since he wasn’t sure what to shout out, I suggested ‘will you marry me’, but for some strange reason it only turned into laughter... 😉 Ok, it was supposed to be only a two-syllable phrase... All forgiven... This time!

The next morning we went for breakfast early as we were planning to have a walk around the inner lake before it got too hot. I just love having breakfast included in the accommodation – well, maybe it’s not always great, but sometimes it can be surprisingly good... And so it was this time as well! We could choose either a cold or warm breakfast – cold being a plate full of hams, cheese and all sorts of other goodies with some very generous portion of different kinds of breads and the warm one – eggs of course whatever style... we went for the omelette... Wow! That omelette must have been made from 5 eggs or so – gigantic portion! Add to it some good cup of coffee and a glass of juice – a very good start to a day for sure!

Our plans for walking around the inner lake before it got too hot didn’t really work out as around 9 o’clock it felt like 30C already... Maybe a shorter walk around the lake then... Despite the heat we had a really nice walk, not only because we could admire the panorama of the village from the other side of the lake, but also because we saw a few Hungarian animals... Starting with a snake! Yep, just because we don’t have any in Poland (except vipers of course), it doesn’t mean the rest of Europe doesn’t have them... Think I might have forgotten about that... As I googled later on, there are quite a few types of snakes in Hungary actually, none of them super deadly though... Pheeeew.... I did freak out a bit when we saw one though. It was swimming in the lake actually and as it was trying to get out on the wharf, a fisherman almost stepped on it – I doubt he even saw it, but it gave me freight for sure! Next we came across a farm with Hungarian Grey Cattle. As we came closer to inspect these big horned cows we’ve noticed a sign advising that in 2003 European sousliks were reintroduced here as well and apparently were breeding quite successfully since then. I thought no chance seeing any of these for sure! Well... I shouldn’t have given up on these little creatures so soon, as there was one sticking out his head right under the sign! How about that! And as we found out soon enough, they were all around... Wherever you looked there was one! We could’ve taken our walk a bit further and go around the second lake as well, but the heat was getting quite unbearable and since there was nowhere to hide from the sun a short walk would just have to do...

Next freshening up a bit and straight to the touristy street again... Was it time for a snack already? We weren’t exactly too hungry, but it was lunch time for Millie anyway, so I decided to give ‘langos’ another try... I would like to say I changed my mind about it, but sadly I didn’t. It was slightly less greasy than the one I had in Budapest, but it was still missing on flavour. Deep fried dough with half a kilo of cheese not my kind of thing, it turned out... Next we went to sit by the Balaton again. We met a group of older Polish people staring at some spot in the water – it turned out they were as fascinated about seeing snakes around here as I was... Maybe it’s just the Polish thing... 😉 Then we just wandered around the centre and ended up going to the same place for a pizza for dinner again. And not sure what possessed me but I actually decided to give the lavender beer a try as well? Seeing that I’m actually not a big fan of lavender at all, why would I think at that moment that lavender beer would actually taste nice is beyond me... I took half a sip and knew it was a big mistake... It was clear now – anything to do with lavender was definitely a big no-no for me!

Besides the lavender beer, we really loved everything about Tihany... Almost every building looked like a museum, lots of wooden folk sculptures all around, really quiet and not many people around and you could walk anywhere in no time at all. Our kind of place... It was time to get back to the busy world again and check out another country. Hungary has certainly been much more than we thought it was going to be and I would love to come back here some day again and explore different parts of this country as well. As for now, we were heading to Austria. Next stop: Vienna!

Additional photos below
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3rd January 2017
Walking around Tihany

Adventure of travel
Love these moments in time.
5th January 2017
Walking around Tihany

Adventure of travel
So do I! :)
9th January 2017

Lavender Beer???
Love my Lavender and love my beer just do not put the two together, who thought that would work??? Sort of could understand giving it a try and glad you did as a warning to others. No fan of walking around in the sun when the temperature gets over 25 and will always seek out the shade of a bar.
19th January 2017

Lavender Beer???
Exactly my thoughts... Some things just should not be mixed together! EVER! At least I know I won't be drinking any concoctions like this anymore... Shade of a bar in a heat always welcome!

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