Blogs from Northern Great Plain, Hungary, Europe


Europe » Hungary » Northern Great Plain » Debrecen October 20th 2013

Darcy and I suck at traveling together. We always get these great ideas and then we assume that the person who has the idea knows what's going on. This is why we missed our bus to Serbia, and had an interesting time getting to Debrecen this weekend. Background: Debrecen is the second biggest city in Hungary. It's also home to a really big university. It's near the Romanian border, about a 3 hour train ride from Budapest. A few people from CETP live in/near Debrecen, so Darcy and I decided to visit them. It sounds easy. Go to the train station. Buy a ticket to Debrecen. Get on the train. Get off at Debrecen. On the way home repeat but for Budapest. Then you have to remember that it's Darcy and me doing this, so naturally ... read more
Building downtown
Calvinist Church
Church with tree

We would now actually like to wake one morning and find it is raining to cool the atmosphere down as the heat at 35C+ is sapping the energy a bit.However,the forecast suggests that is not going to happen today or the next couple of days if the forecast for the places we have booked to go to are correct. We had worked out the road we would take to the border with Hungary but all that got blown apart when we discovered that the town we thought we were heading for wasn't the actual town where the apartment was that we had reserved.It was all very easy to make the mistake though when you see just how unpronounceable and yet similar the names of the towns were.And one just north of Debrecan and the other just ... read more
Goodbye Romania !

Europe » Hungary » Northern Great Plain » Debrecen February 16th 2011

I thought getting to Romania from Debrecen would be easy. The reality would differ from my thoughts substantially. The first major problem was that I don't speak Hungarian, the second was that none of the train station staff including the information centre's staff spoke English, the third was that even though the countries are right next to each other, the connectivity leaves something to be desired and the fourth was that I had missed one of the two connections already. Anyway, I went for a walk around Debrecen to collect my thoughts and to plan a course of action. To be honest I had been quite naive and had expected travelling through Hungary to be as easy as it is for an English speaker in places like Germany, Czech, Poland and Slovakia. Well it's not and ... read more

Europe » Hungary » Northern Great Plain » Nyírbátor July 16th 2010

Arriving at the border, we were bothered for our passports while on the platform (so, Romania hasn't quite got the hang of being in the EU yet, then) and shepherded onto an "overgrown bus, meet shed" style osobáček which took us to Debrecen. Jitka's correspondance with her friends in Liberec revealed that while we were running away from storms in the deep south, the Czech Republic was suffering from a rather epic heatwave - something we had now caught up with here. We decided that since the temperature had skyrocketed so much, for our two nights in Hungary, we should sleep outside and seek places with lakes and rivers. The first thing we needed to do was go and get a sleeping bag for me, which I needed. This was all we saw of Debrecen, the ... read more
Elizabeth Bathory's bathroom
The lake in Levelek
Where we slept

Europe » Hungary » Northern Great Plain August 23rd 2009

The next morning Gabe tells us that last night was Józsi’s birthday, though he hadn’t known until he had arrived at the bar, and Józsi celebrated by getting piss-drunk and trying to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. Had I known it was his birthday, I would have joined them. However there is a bright side – dreading trying to fit our inexpensive tent into our luggage, we decide to gift it to Józsi, as it was he who originally suggested we buy one in the U.S. as they tend to be much more expensive in Hungary. We spend our final day packing, cleaning and searching for a way to safely transport our horse-bows, settling finally on thick cardboard tubing, plastic pipe caps and zip ties – all purchased at the large Home Depot-clone hardware store – ... read more

Europe » Hungary » Northern Great Plain August 16th 2009

It is after noon when my eyes finally open and I am able to pry myself from the bed. Kristen is in the kitchen and tells me that Gabe has begun excavating in the garage. About twenty years ago Gabe’s brother had dug out a nearly six-foot-deep hole in the garage in order to more easily work beneath the cars he was fixing. The last time Gabe was here he decided to do some digging of his own in the hole and found pottery fragments, which he brought home and we took to be ancient. While we are far from being archaeologists, we both have degrees in history and the field has been a mutual hobby of ours for a very long time, so our assessment is not entirely naïve. I join him and we spend ... read more
Bagi Manor Windmill
Bagi Manor Windmill
Kristen and I

Europe » Hungary » Northern Great Plain August 15th 2009

In the morning we awake to a nearly cloudless day and Gabe, Kristen and I drive to Jozsi’s house to practice with the horsebows. Just as we feel we are beginning to get a handle on shooting and aiming, Jozsi shows us just how much farther still we need to go by firing his arrow into the target from four times our distance. Regardless, we are finding that the horsebow requires less effort to shoot than English longbows, as they are both easier to pull back and to aim. Noon approaches and the sun begins to bake our backs. We will be attending Anikó and Krisztián’s wedding this afternoon, and so, not wanting to become too sweaty before changing into our formal attire, we retreat to back to the house to prepare for the day. Klara ... read more
Making the kill
Horsebow practice
Waiting for the bride

Europe » Hungary » Northern Great Plain August 12th 2009

After finally falling into an exhausted sleep, jetlag ensures that I awake every hour, on the hour, throughout the night. Additionally, not growing up on a farm, I innocently had the impression that roosters crowed at sunrise. However, by three in the morning the village is a steady crescendo of roosters calling and claiming their territory. While I had seen living so close to one’s food source as charming and attractive yesterday, the idea is now far less appealing. Soon joining this chorus is, naturally, every dog in every yard. After stumbling out of bed at the first sign of daylight, we shower and have a cold cut breakfast. Jozsi pulls in the driveway early to go to Szolnok and look at a horse bow dealer. I am disappointed to find that our borrowed car is ... read more
Kengyel totem
Kengyel center
Kengyel center

Europe » Hungary » Northern Great Plain August 11th 2009

The Republic of Hungary - former member of the Soviet Bloc, current member of the European Union. A little more than twenty years ago, as American citizens, we would not have been allowed in this country. Likewise, Hungarians could not leave. The Warsaw Pact of 1955, which created economic and military alliances with the Soviet Union, raised the Iron Curtain in Europe, dividing it into two distinct and antagonistic entities. Immigration and media in the Eastern European countries were severely restricted. However, while the western NATO states flourished, the cooperating Bloc countries stagnated and floundered. In 1987, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the reform ideas of perestroika, and in 1988 Hungary, always the most liberal of Bloc members, officially eliminated all travel restrictions, even removing its border fence with Austria, effectively revealing the many crack... read more
The car
Kengyel street

Europe » Hungary » Northern Great Plain July 4th 2008

Tag 12 bis 16 ca. 4.000 km von Galway Wir sitzen gerade in einem e-Cafe in der Altstadt von Sibiu (Hermannstadt) in Siebenbuergen in Rumaenien. Unsere naechste Station nach Dresden war jedoch erst einmal Brno (Bruenn) in der Tschechei. Auf einem netten Zeltplatz nahe der Stadt an einem See (Muecken!) gelegen hatten wir campiert. Am darauffolgenden Tag besichtigten wir die Innenstadt von Brno, welche sehr sehenswert ist. Viele barocke Gebaeude aus dem spaeten Mittelalter und sehr nette Leute. Auf dem Markt haben wir uns dann noch mit frischen Obst eingedeckt und sind weitergefahren. Die Fahrt fuehrte uns durch Bratislava (Pressburg) die Hauptstadt der Slowakei. Recht schnell waren wir dann auch schon in Ungarn, wo wir dirkekt nach Budapest gefahren sind. Da haben wir dann die naechsten 3 Naechte auf einem netten kleinen Zeltplatz in der Stadt ... read more
Old City Hall, Brno
Budapest at the Danube, Hungary
St.Stephen's Cathedral, Budapest

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