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Visegrad, Hungary

Written on: Thursday July 10th, 2008

A journal entry from: Europe

Since our last posting we feel like we have been travelling again. Bosnia, Croatria and Hungary in such a short period of time. After leaving Sarajevo we drove through the Moslem part of Bosnia stopping in the towns of Travnic and Jajce. The damage from the 1992-95 war is still evident but these people are making every effort to get back and catch up. These two towns were interesting to see as the before examples of so many remodelled towns we have see across Europe. Jajce has applied for UNESCO status and I hope it achieves it as it has such a wealth of ancient buildings in the Turkish style. When they mange to clear all the land mines it will be a fabulous hiking region as the surrounding mountains are beautiful. The biking was good although we felt it wise to stay on pavement most of the time.

Then it was back to Croatia to the Pliviske National Park which is a UNESCO world heritage site. I m sure we have never been anywhere where the nature is so pristine and so beautiful. The park comprises a number of lakes on different levels linked by rivers and cascading waterfalls. The water is crystal clear and aqua blue. As there is no fishing allowed they are teeming with a vast number of trout. There are busloads of visitors but if you get out the hiking boots and walk a bit it is easy to avoid most of the crowds.

From there we experienced the opposite. Nature at its worst or Lake Balaton, the largest lake in southern Europe and the so called Hungarian seaside. We camped in a giant campground full of northern Europeans, mostly Danes. It had a least 5 restaurants, waterslides, a swimming pool, bars , discos etc. Tourism at its worst. The only redeeming factor of Lake Balaton is that it is ringed with bike trails so we were able to escape the crowds and experience a little of the nature that remains. It is a relief to move on to the Danube bend just out of Budapest. Here we are in a small campsite with about 4 other campers. Hopefully the rest of our Hungarian experience will be more like this.

 

From Sharon B. on Jul 11th, 2008

Whoa, bring on the exotic! I DID do the Grouse Grind today in 70 mins. I'd even have been glad to be rolling around in that fiberglass ball - in Hungary. Thanks for keeping our lives exciting! Ray is setting up shop in Calgary: buying computers, blackberry, lumber, etc. (life N.A. style) and...apparently it was 6 degrees last night and the furnace, there, actually kicked in. Keep going, guys,you are in the right place. xo Sharon