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Published: June 27th 2011
Days 38 27th June Bekoice – Eger
We were late off the starting blocks today as Il P had to do some minor adjustments to the oil levels in the lorry – thanks to invaluable assistance from ‘back home’ (thanks Simon) it wasn’t too onerous a job but it needed a very large Allen Key so we would have to do some shopping …
Trebbie The Trabant stood quietly waiting for us. Was it my imagination or was she winking at the lorry as if to say “see, it’s my turn today, I’m just as extraordinary as you are”? And, yes, I would agree Trebbie is, indeed, extraordinary. It was like stepping back 30 odd years and after the lorry it was a case of not only stepping back but stepping down…….we are used to climbing up into Big Bess and dominating the road, we are used to seeing over the hedges and fences and straight into the windows of peoples’ lives. Not today. Today we were low, very low.
The roads in Hungary are shocking, the holes are huge and I can assure you that every bump shuddered through Trebbie’s flimsy chasis vibrating up through the leather
seats and through our (post-ride aching) bodies. Il Piloto’s skills were once more put to the test as he served to avoid the larger potholes but Trebbie took it all in her stride and safely conveyed us through the Hungarian countryside with a gentle purring sound and a slight whiff of petrol (that’s inside and outside the car!). We soon noticed that something was a little different about our journey and after the third, or was it the fourth, car cut us up we realised what it was – no respect. Poor old Trebbie was clearly deemed to be the lowest of the low, a hark back to the days of communism. For us, used to Big Bess, this was a shock. Normally everyone steers clear of us as we process down the road!
We had a great day out in Trebbie. Firstly we wound our way up the valley to Szilvasvarad. Once the estate of a pro-Fascist bigwig, then a communist workers’ resort it is now another Lippizaner Stud Farm and also the site of the annual International Coach Driving Championships. The ‘big house’ is now a hotel and the whole village is pretty ‘horsey’. The Lippizaners are
certainly stunning animals and seeing them driving coaches was a great bonus.
Secondly, after leaving the Lippizaners behind we drove towards Eger with the quest for the LARGE Allen key. Guess what, on the outskirts of the town there was a Tesco Superstore followed by an Obi (the Hungarian equivalent of B&Q) – it was home from home (ahhhhhhhh). But, let joy abound…..they had the necessary tool to save us from an awkward trip to a garage. Now that we had the Allen key we could try and find the promised ‘gorgeous Baroque town’, and so we did.
Eger does indeed have a pretty little centre. It is the market town, the Shrewsbury if you like, of the area and, like Shrewsbury, has a little castle and some gorgeous buildings. However, unlike Shrewsbury, it has the largest Cathedral you can imagine for a simple market town. It was huge and only built some 150 years ago, I think they must have had airs of pretention and, with the outside of the building, they succeeded. But inside unfortunately they failed, their frescoes could not rival those of Florence, Venice or even Pisa, their paintings were wishy washy and lacked
gravitas. Nevertheless the organ was playing and it was a cool interlude from the afternoon sun.
We jogged home in Trebbie and reluctantly gave her back to Anita. I wonder whether next year’s trip should be Europe in a Trabant?
P.S. The lorry oil issue is fixed – tomorrow we head to Slovakia….
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