1578: Nothing Sad in Novi Sad
Wednesday 1st July 2020
A relatively short drive to Novi Sad … undecided if we would stay here or go onto Subotica, but I’d struggled to find a parking there and here had a fab parking!
The landscape north of Belgrade was flat, flat and flat. Sunflowers not yet out and wheat harvesting.
We moved Jez to one of the fortress platforms once we knew how accessible it was … too accessible at night as music blared from a car until 3.30 am! But a lovely view for our breakfast the following morning.
Nothing like the busy Rhein, but we did see one barge.
We found a restaurant on the edge of the fortress and splashed out on supper …watching the sun set. Worth every penny for the location.
The food was better quality than most places we’ve eaten in Serbia, but still pretty uninspiring.
This was the first wine we’d had on arriving in Serbia and only fitting that we had it on our last night!
And the sun sun was fabulous …
This plane did a few circles and then flew at us!
The bridge had multicoloured lights.
A fitting end to our 13 day Serbian stay.
1579: Back to the EU
Thursday 2nd July
Leisurely breakfast on our Nov Sad terrace. I sorted the online purchase of the Hungarian motorway vignette – £25 gives us a month, not that we plan to stay this long, but just in case … with so many border restriction changes, best to play safe!
A shortish drive to the Hungarian border. We were through in about 15 minutes. The Serbian border wanted to know if we had visited Kosovo or Montenegro (conflict countries) and then stamped us out. The Hungarians were very quick … a check inside and under the bed for illegal immigrants and on our way. I don’t think we’d realised how tense were had been … we gave several whoops and ‘welcome to the EU’ shouts!
Glad we were not in a truck, reckon the 5 mile queue denoted a day’s wait. Clear for us.
We stopped close to the border in Szeged. We wandered into town along the Tisza River with lots of signs of flooding here too with the main objective of finding a bank for HUF – Hungarian Florints. Another country with monopoly money. Serbia was bad enough with £1=126 Dinar. Here is is £1=391 Florints or HUF’s!
Flooding at our camperstop too.
A distended head! Not my cup of tea …
… but this was. Yummy.
Really attractive town, and given it is the 3rd largest in Hungary, it has a great mid town feel. Being a University town often helps with a relaxed vibe.
Just the one, before we headed back to the camperstop to eat at the floating restaurant. Wrong! All they could offer us was a beef fat smeared bun with pork … Yuk.
So I did a quick Vietnamese salad … yummy!
1580: Chores and Szegrad
Friday 3rd July
Weather forecast was not wrong … showers, but thank goodness cooler! J on his tax return and various bills paid and some planning for our return to the UK. Lots of admin done, including a bit of planning for touring Hungary.
About 4.00, it looked a bit brighter so we set off on a tour of the town proper. A brownie with ice cream as our reward for all that admin and to fortify us during our tour! It’s main claim to fame is the Art Nouveau architecture that sprung up from 1880 after flooding destroyed the town. Plenty of green areas and every other building had something to remark on it.
Ungar-Mayer Palace with it “capriciously animated facades”!
Szeged National theatre 1883. The stone statues either side of the entrance were usually carved in situ … just as well his scalpel didn’t slip!
Roek palace, one of the most outstanding buildings 1907.
Arch with painting depicting the dead of WW2 underneath. Lots of trams and trolley busses. And we’ve seen tram tracks being built in another town.
Young men supporting the butterfly of independence to commemorate the revolution in 1956.
Brick built cathedral with mews houses and arches all round the large square.
So many statues.
Back to Jez for supper and fighting off the mosses!!! Would recommend this town to anyone coming to Hungary.
1581: A Change of Plan … Again!
Saturday 4th July
First stop was Hodmezovasarhely … I defy anyone to pronounce this … far too many syllables!
The main reason for coming here was that it was billed as pottery centre, but the only sign was the sign by the closed atelier’s door!
A consolation ice cream as we couldn’t find a coffee shop for breakfast. Good prices for ice cream here … £2.35 for 2.
And then we saw this amazing building … so we finally had brunch.
A healthy omelette after our ice cream!
Another super tidy town with green spaces… and I read it is on the world list of relaxed chilled places to live
The father of two small girls asked if CO2 could be stroked … he spoke good English and made a suggestion for a town different to our destination … sounded good so we headed that way, after a big supermarket shop in InterSpar. We’ve seen Tesco here too. And Lidl and a few Aldi.
Off to Szarvas. No parking overnight spots on the apps we use, so we headed to the camping symbol on maps.me. Now I really like this app and use it loads, but it let us down this time. I suppose it was a camping, but not for travellers … a few cabins and permanent tents in a very small area with no car access. So we started inspecting all the car parks. Luck was then with us, as we found a small car park with shade. And someone was kindly leaving, so we nabbed his space. A perfect location as there was a river side picnic spot and at night it was super quiet. The only downside … more mosquitoes! We now have an electric mossie repeller, heavy duty room spray, citronella candle and body spray … yet every morning we compare bites!
Riverside picnic spot; we carried over the pressure cooker. Lovely until the mosquitoes defeated us and we retreated to the van.
Just by us was the Millenium Statue with its changing colours. More retrospective glory … the Crown at the top represents a Hungarian legend when archangels Michael and Gabriel brought the crown to the Hungarian King
1582: Swatting in Szarvas
Sunday 5th July
Bikes and Os-car deployed we went to the the Arboretum. Nice, but I’ve been spoilt by RHS Wisley and the main entertainment for us was seeing how many of the other people were swatting away the mossies more than us! We’d brought the body spray with us and re-applied copiously, so we swatted a lot less than everyone else. If you stopped, the buggers dive bombed you in force.
This resident wasn’t bothered by mossies or CO2.
Our combined ticket included the Mini Hungary (Mini Magyaroszag). We’d thought this would be a good explanation of the geography and main sights and industry in Hungary and would thus aid our Hungary tour planning. We’d seen an amazing model Russia, a real scale model of all 9 time zones in St Petersburg and hoped for something similar. No .. just a series of castles and churches randomly placed with a few model railways for the kids to activate by pressing a button! And most of the buildings seemed to now be in Romania, Serbia, Slovakia etc. Full sun, so we didn’t stay long.
The town really did seem to hark back to past empire glories … the next stop was the windmill placed in the geographic centre of the pre WW1 Hungary, when it lost 2/3rds of its territory.
The centre of the universe! A school trip destination.
Lunch was an omelette for J and salad for me. The lovely waitress wanted to practice her English and suggested a restaurant really close to our parking. We popped in to book for tonight, thinking that you can’t beat a local recommendation. No dogs allowed, not even in the garden. Ho hum! So we packed up the van and drove a couple of hours to our original destination … Gyula.
We agreed to try one of the city campsites but with a limit of EUR20. The first one we came to is charging EUR15 and we have the whole place to ourselves. The only other person here is the elderly lady owner, clad in her swimming costume and knee supports … quite a look BUT she is a poppet … even if I don’t fully understand her German.
Supper was a BBQ . Super quiet and peaceful … this we’ll stay a few days.
A gate from our camping leads straight to the castle park, where we can walk CO2 off lead.