Posted by: glenswatman | April 11, 2007

200407 England France Belgium Luxemburg Germany Czech Slovakia Hungary

THURSDAY 1 JULY 2004 – 29 years since we met.  Take a morning walk along the Surrey Hills before rain sets in.  Claire & Malcolm arrive in their motorhome late afternoon and join us for happy hour.  Gather in their van for an evening meal.

NEWLAND’S CORNER 2

 

FRIDAY 2 JULY – Intermittent rain so Claire & Malcolm spend time with us.  We help them with their UK tour plan and them offer us tips for our Europe tour.  They leave in the afternoon to go to a wedding tomorrow.   

NEWLAND’S CORNER 3

 

SATURDAY 3 JULY – Manage to park in Dorking to use the Internet for the last time.  Parking in Guildford is impossible but just 3 miles from Gatwick we spot a Tesco Superstore enabling us to do a last shop and hover for our rendezvous.  Bev & Norm left home in Australia yesterday morning.  Norm’s Mum died on Wednesday so first they went to her funeral then caught the evening flight.  They are flying with Emirates via Singapore and Dubai to Gatwick North, scheduled arrival 12.30pm.  Once they have cleared customs etc they are going to phone with a place where we can pick them up.  We drive to the airport at 1pm to do a quick recce and Steve manages to pull up right outside the arrivals hall.  I’m just heading through the doors when Bev phones.  We race towards one another.  They are travelling very light with one medium sized bag and another small one so it doesn’t take long to board them for the European Swatour.  Traverse the countryside past lots of oast houses and traditional villages en route to Dover.  We are booked on the 5.15pm Sea France sailing to Calais (£78.75) but arrive in time for the 4pm.  However the seas are rough and the ferries running late so the 4pm one doesn’t leave until almost 6pm. Arrive in Calais FRANCE and put our watches forward by 1 hour.  Approx £1 = Euro 1.50.  Drive straight to Auchan for diesel 81c (57p) and gas before settling onto our sea front parking by the port.  The car park has been made a bit smaller so the motorhomes are stacked up but we still find a spot. 

CALAIS

 

SUNDAY 4 JULY – We all get up early at 7am and Bev & Norm pop out to the boulangerie and return with croissants and pain au chocolate.  In BELGIUM we stop at the oldest town, Tournai, to view the famous cathedral.  Norm’s is tempted by the unusual cakes, succumbs and buys us all one.  As it is a Sunday we venture drive into the centre of Brussels and park down the side of the Royal Palace gardens.  It’s a short walk to the historical centre and once again Norm gets side tracked down one of the back streets lined with restaurants.  They insist on treating us to a 3-course meal including a drink for Euro 12 (£8.40).  Having recharged our batteries we head to the main square with magnificent buildings on all sides.  Although supposedly world famous Bev & Norm know nothing about the Mannequin Pis statue of a little boy urinating water as a fountain.  Return to the van via the cathedral and the palace gardens.  Just south of Brussels is Waterloo.  At the site of the battlefield they have built a mound with a lion on top.  We pay our Euro 2 (£1.40) and climb over 200 steps to the top for views over the battlefield area.  Park up in the car park for then night with a direct view of the lion mound.

WATERLOO BATTLEFIELD 

 

MONDAY 5 JULY – We have difficulty parking in Namur, not surprising as the Tour de France is due to arrive today.  The town is at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse Rivers and a citadel was built on the hill above.  In this area we park beside the Chateau de Namur and walk through the grounds and down to the citadel.  It’s free to wander around but we opt to pay Euro 6 (£4.20) for the underground tour.  The guide takes us through many tunnels and explains their functions before walking us back up the hill and educating us on the many buildings.  Part way back we hope on the “Noddy train” to do a full tour around with commentary.  The bike race is coming up the west bank of the river so we travel north to cross to the other bank and continue our journey south following the River Meuse to Dinant.  The approach over the bridge is impressive with a huge cathedral in front and a citadel on the rock face above.  Drive up to the citadel to park.  Euro 5.50 (£3.85) gets you a combined ticket for the citadel and also the cable car or use of the steps to the town.  First we explore the town.  Adolph Sax the inventor of the saxophone was born here and you can see his house and other monuments and memorials.  There’s not a great deal to see but it’s a lovely place to wander by the river.  Back up at the citadel a guided tour is included in the ticket price.  It’s much smaller than Namur and has lots of life size scenes set up in the tunnels.  We particularly like the replica of a war trench that was bombed and slid sideways.  As you walk in you feel totally disorientated as the whole area is at an angle.  The car park makes a good overnight spot and we make the most of the weather by sitting out until late.

DINANT BY THE CITADEL

 

TUESDAY 6 JULY – A glorious morning with clear skies.  Our planned route goes a bit pear shaped due to poor road signs but we cut across country to LUXEMBOURG then stop at Esch sur Sure, a pretty hillside village trapped by the horseshoe shape of the river.  After a brief stop we make for “Le Reenart” naturist site a little further south at Fuussekaul.  Bev & Norm set up the tent whilst I use the washing machine.  It’s a hot day and with the exception of Bev we all make use of the outdoor swimming pool.  Steve shows Norm how to play boules and we round off the day with a BBQ.

FUUSSEKAUL, LE REENART CAMPSITE

Euro 19 (£12.60) unpowered site for 2 + Euro 2 (£1.40) each extra person.

 

WEDNESDAY 7 JULY – Vianden is another pretty hillside village, this time topped by a castle.  After parking by the river we walk up through the town to the castle and return another way to take in the panoramic views.  Following the river we next make for Echternach, another lovely town with the abbey the centre of attraction.  After lunch we drove over the River Sure into GERMANY and it starts raining.  Find the motorhome parking place at Trier on the banks of the Mosel and set out with our umbrellas for the 2km walk back to the city.  For most of the afternoon the rain stops.  The oldest town in Germany Trier has plenty of Roman ruins.  We leave Bev & Norm taking in the baths whilst we explore the centre.  There are many impressive buildings especially the Roman Porta Negra.  After soaking it all up we return to the van and Bev & Norm appear much later. 

TRIER, MESSEPARK

Euro 5 (£3.50)

 

THURSDAY 8 JULY – Begin our journey following the Mosel for 200km towards Koblenz.  We make many crossings to take in the attractions on both banks.  Motorhome parking is everywhere and not a height barrier in sight.  Stop in many little villages where the houses are just beautiful.  In Dhron there is a statue of the famous “wine ship”.  We buy some cream cakes to go with morning coffee taken in the car park by the river.  Bernkastel is fantastic.  There are so many attractive buildings we can’t stop taking pictures.  Most are half timbered, covered in flowers and quite wonky.  Some have pictures or verses painted on them.  Each little alley reveals more.  Continuing further we stop in another small village for lunch again by the river.  Take a quick walk around Krov then another in Enkirch where the street signs have been carved in wood and have pictures.  Parking in Cochem is difficult so we back track to Ernst to park in a vineyard.  Manage to have a BBQ before the rain starts.  No one collects the overnight parking fee.

ERNST

Euro 8 (£5.60)

 

FRIDAY 9 JULY – We leave early and find it easier to park in Cochem.  Spend an hour or so wandering round but the best thing is the view of the town with the impressive castle above.  Continue along the banks of the Mosel to Koblenz.  Drive to the famous Deutsches Ecke where the Mosel and Rhine merge, there’s a commemorative statue and fine views of Ehrenbreitstein fortress opposite but no parking for us.  Join the motorway to head east.  I take a turn at driving and because of the rain we put a good few miles behind us to reach Erfurt in what used to be Eastern Germany.  It’s after 5pm so we attempt to drive in to the city and soon find signs for motorhome parking.  Set out to do the Rough Guide walking tour.  It’s a very pleasant city with a magnificent main square where there are two cathedrals and a citadel above.  A little further east we park for the night at the site of Buchenwald concentration camp.

BUCHENWALD

 

SATURDAY 10 JULY – It’s free to visit the prison camp but we buy a couple of tourist guide leaflets to make it more interesting.  The few buildings left hold displays to tell the whole story.  It’s all very interesting albeit depressing and sad.  It takes us all morning to get around and we finish by watching the interpretive movie in German with English subtitles.  Just down the road from the camp is a very impressive memorial.  It’s spread out over a vast area, depicts many aspects of camp life, and incorporates 3 death pits.  Continue to the nearby city of Weimar known as the birthplace of Goethe and also for its strong links with the Nazi movement.  Again the signed motorhome car park is good and the map at the entrance leads us into the city.  Not as impressive as Erfurt but worth a wander round.  Stop for the night at Dresden Tor motorway service area.  Power is generated from a huge wind turbine situated directly above the restaurant. 

DRESDEN TOR MOTORWAY SERVICE AREA

 

SUNDAY 11 JULY – It’s an easy drive into Dresden and we park by the river.  Most of the sights are just by the car park in the old town.  Much of the devastation from the allied bombing is still in evidence, as restoration work didn’t really get going until early 1990’s.  One of the most impressive works still in progress is the round church in the main square where pictures show how large sections of the building were rescued from the rubble and pieced together like a jigsaw.  We walk around and view all the major sights but have seen enough by lunchtime.  Follow the River Elbe through an area known as Saxon Switzerland.  Konigstein has a lovely fortress but being a Sunday the car park is full.  With no suitable parking en route we push on into CZECH REPUBLIC.  Despite them now being in the EEC our passports are checked at the border and they are still using Koruna as currency, approx 45 CZK = £1.  Buy our 10-day motorway pass 150 CZK (£3.30) before driving to Decin.  Having made it through Germany without buying their expensive fuel we now fill up at 24 CZK (53p) litre.  There are some Policemen at the garage, Steve chats to them and learns that we can stay overnight on the nearby Tesco (non stop) car park.  Bev finds it strange to be shopping in a Tesco supermarket in Czech Republic but overcomes her fears to help us stock up with the cheaper groceries.  Steve & Norm buy a cross section of beers at between 6 CZK (13p) and 9 CZK (20p) for ½ litre bottles plus 3 CZK (7p) bottle deposit.  A young couple stroll over with a trolley and sit on a bench near our parking spot.  They have just bought freshly cooked pizza, beer, and other drinks and proceed to have a picnic.  We last visited Czech Republic in 1998 and notice a few changes.  Tesco, Carrefour and other hypermarkets have arrived (prices are still cheaper then the western European countries) there are more cars on the road but there has been little improvement on the road surfaces and it still feels like a foreign country.

DECIN, TESCO CAR PARK

 

MONDAY 12 JULY – Fit in another shop before we leave.  It’s hard to resist things at these prices.  Just south of the city we see a Police car parked at the side of the road and we are flagged down.  In German they ask to see our papers and then send us on our way.  The scenery is lovely as we follow the River Elbe all the way to Terezin.  Built as a fortified own in the late 1700’s it was commandeered by the Nazi’s and became a concentration camp and ghetto for the Jews.  180 CZK (£4) buys a combined ticket for the small fortress, barrack, and ghetto museum.  Start at the ghetto museum then move through the town with a map showing the wartime usage of all the buildings.  After the barracks museum we’ve time to see the Jewish crematorium and cemetery before stopping at the van for lunch.  Lucky we did as the fortress part of the exhibition is by far the biggest and most interesting and we spend the rest of the afternoon looking round.  Take the motorway to Prague and easily find the campsite area just north of the city at Troja.  There are many campsites along the road (mainly in peoples back gardens / orchards) but only Camp Sokol Troja is suitable for our motorhome.  It’s pretty full but we find a spot for us to park and Bev & Norm to put the tent out. 

PRAGUE, CAMP SOKOL TROJA.   

105 CZK (£2.20) pp, 180 CZK (£4) motorhome, July-Sept

 

TUESDAY 13 JULY – Bev & Norm head off into the city using tram number 17 from the stop nearby.  We get on with a few jobs in the van.  The campsite does laundry at 50 CZK (£1.10) a load to wash plus 40 CZK (88p) to dry so we strip the bed and take a huge load over.  A heavy rainstorm at lunch time and very cold, can’t believe it’s the middle of summer.  Like last night the campsite fills up early evening and ends up looking more like a car park with vans jammed into every available space.  It must be too much for the site facilities as the water supply fails completely in the evening.  Bev & Norm return very late having had a wonderful time exploring the castle district and end up at a concert in one of the churches.

PRAGUE, CAMP SOKOL TROJA 2

 

WEDNESDAY 14 JULY – We all set off together and using the 12 CZK (26p) 60 minute transport ticket catch the tram to the city.  Split up and we wander around and re visit the Charles Bridge, Main Square, and Wenceslas Square.  Heading back through Wenceslas Square we bump into Bev & Norm and in need of refreshment head to a nearby Irish bar.  Rocky O’Reillys have a live web cam and Bev texts her daughter who goes onto the Internet (www.rockyoreillys.cz) and watches us having a drink.  Whilst Bev & Norm head off on more of the tourist circuit we return to the site and have a siesta before sitting out to grab what sun we can.  Again it gets busy later on and at about 10pm a caravan wants to squeeze in beside the tent, the space is so small that if they did then Bev & Norm would not be able to get in and out.  Instead they park about a foot from the other side of us and then proceed to make loads of noise settling in.

PRAGUE, CAMP SOKOL TROJA 3

 

THURSDAY 15 JULY – Steve is feeling a bit under the weather and this is not helped when I miss the turning to get us out of Prague.  We have to double back and then struggle to get back on to the right road.  The problems are not over as the signs may only show one place along the route and this could be the first place, the last place, the largest place or even abbreviations for any of them.  At one stage Steve is getting really cross and in a mad moment I suggest that he map reads whilst I drive.  So there am I driving Charlie round the busy Prague ring road whilst Steve drops lucky as the first sign is for the city we want.  He then proceeds to go to sleep.  After a coffee stop we resume our normal positions and visit Hluboka with a castle similar to Windsor.  After a quick look during a drive past we continue to Ceske Budejovice home of Budweiser Beer.  Check onto Auto Kemp Stromovka, predominantly cabins.  The owner explains they are full of workers from Hungary and Denmark who are here to rectify the damage caused by the 2002 floods.  The cabins are not much bigger than a garden shed and have two sets of bunk beds, a table, and chairs.  We park on a grassy area in the middle then leave Steve having a snooze whilst we walk in to check out the town.  It’s a beautiful spot with the largest main square in Czech Republic.  Climb the Black Tower 20 CZK (45p) for views over the city and into the distance.  Amble round the streets and follow the moat around the old town.  See lots of attractive buildings.  On recommendation we eat at Plivinice Budvarka (The Budweiser beer cellar) under the Hotel Maly.  The place is packed with locals but the kindly waiter puts us at a reserved table where we can stay until 7.30pm.  We eat traditional food and of course drink Budweiser beer.  It’s all excellent and reasonably priced.  Return to the site where Bev & Norm camp out.

CESKE BUDEJOVICE, AUTOCAMPING STROMOVKA

45 CZK pp (99p), 70 CZK (£1.55) van, 15 CZK pp (33p) tax.  Total 310 CZK (£6.75)

 

FRIDAY 16 JULY – Arrive in Cesky Krumlov before the tour buses giving us chance to enjoy the medieval city.  Steve is still not well and sends us on ahead.  The city and castle have been declared UNESCO sites and do not disappoint.  Ever corner holds a surprise with decorated houses, twisted streets, and other attractions.  Climb up to the castle and wonder through the courtyards before taking a tour inside 90 CZK (£1.95) with a Czech guide.  It’s cheaper than having an English-speaking guide and as we just want a look it suits us fine.  There are magnificent rooms mainly in Baroque style.  The ballroom is way over the top with frescoes covering all the walls depicting dancers at a masked ball.  We’re temped by a restaurant serving Czech style soup.  Sit out in a courtyard eating our garlic soup from within a huge crusty roll and washing it down with Budweiser.  Steve has just had a quick look around the town so is ready to drive on when we get back.  Cut across country around Trebon and stop at a rustic campsite by Lake Komornik near the village of Strmilov.  For the first time the reception are not interested in passports or paperwork.  The sun is doing it’s best to beat the clouds so we sit out and are rewarded with plenty of sunny spells.  Norm even takes a swim in the lake.  The site is not all that big but has 3 bars all serving draught beer with the most expensive at 19 CZK (42p) ½ litre.  Czech families in caravans are the main occupants and as usual we are the only British.  In the evening lots of the Czechs light campfires to cook on. 

STRMILOV, AUTO KAMP LAKE KOMORNIK

260 CZK (£5.75)

 

SATURDAY 17 JULY – The weather is so nice that we decide to stay put and create a coral around the van enabling us to sunbathe au natural.  Make many visits to the lake for cooling swims and also check out all the different bars.  Hire a “slapadlo” pedallo for 40 CZK (88p) an hour and Bev & I pedal Norm around the lower part of the lake.  Our ride reveals many more lakeside camping sites, mainly with cabins and in amongst the fir trees.  After a session of boules we retire to the bar and are rewarded with a lovely sunset and views of the village church lit up and reflected in the lake.

STRMILOV, AUTO KAMP LAKE KOMORNIK 2

 

SUNDAY 18 JULY – It’s really hot by the time we get up so the decision to stay another day is easy.  The site has filled up with Czech families and the noise of children enjoying the beach and the lake.  Again we have lots of dips in the lake and even Bev takes the plunge.  Steve’s is feeling much better after a couple of days in the sun.  In the evening we have a meal at the restaurant.  There is a menu in Czech and another with a rough German translation but less items on it.  We try to ask the waiter what he recommends and he brings in a man who speaks a little English.  After much miming we establish that the 3 sections of the menu are for pork chicken and turkey (explained as a big chicken eaten by the Americans and defined when Bev goes gobble gobble).  He then proceeds to recommend one dish and to describe it he says it’s for the people on the boat and then covers one eye.  Fortunately we are used to playing charades and soon guess this as a Pirates meal.  Anyway the food is excellent, washed down with many beers and very reasonable with a total bill of just CZK 505 (£11).

STRMILOV, AUTO KAMP LAKE KOMORNIK 3 

 

MONDAY 19 JULY – Back on the road with our first stop the UNESCO town of Telc.  Famous for the Italian style buildings, houses in the main square got in competition with each other to create the fanciest façade.  Continuing across the country on patchwork bumpy roads we arrive at another UNESCO site, Trebic.  This one got recognition for the Jewish ghetto and cemetery.  We don’t find it very impressive but do enjoying a wander round the main square and buying lunch from a snack bar.  Brno is the second largest city in Czech Republic.  We park opposite the main bus station and walk into the centre.  The Capuchin crypt 40 CZK (88p) houses mummified corpses from the 1600’s preserved by the natural airflow.  Wandering round we come across a number of nice buildings and a quirky town hall.  On the outskirts of the city we do a big shop at Tesco before leaving town on the motorway.  The only campsite before the Slovakian border is at Hustopece.  Formanka site is by the stadium and also a hotel.  It’s a balmy evening and we sit out until late.  Four Latvian motorhomes arrive and amuse us by parking in a square like a wagon train.

HUSTOPECE, FORMANKA CAMPING

50 CZK (£1.10) pp, CZK 70 van total 270 CZK (£5.90).

 

TUESDAY 20 JULY – Fill up with diesel and spend our last Czech money at Penny Markt.  Arrive at the border with SLOVAKIA where they give us a cursory glance at the passports.  £1 = SKK 60.  A road tax discs costs 150 SKK (£2.70) for 10 days.  Bratislava is the capital and we are pleasantly surprised to park on the banks of the River Danube (murky brown not blue) directly opposite the city centre.  Walk across the SNP suspension bridge where the Star Trek style dish at the tower top holds a restaurant.  There are lots of lovely buildings and not too many people around.  Bev & Norm book the hydrofoil to Budapest for tomorrow Euro 62 (£43) then use the Internet to book them a hotel for their four day stay there.  Walking back to the van over the second bridge we find an even better parking spot and relocate to take lunch under the shady trees.  It’s another very hot day so Steve opts to stay with the van in the afternoon whilst the rest of us do a bit more exploring.  Just after 6pm we spot a sign showing the temperature at 38C in the sun.  We get a bit lost and have trouble asking directions.  We think that asking for the River Danube will be easy but until we establish that they call it the Duna we make little progress.  We return rather weary and ready for tea.  From our riverside spot we watch the sun set over the castle then the city being transformed as the lights come on, just beautiful.

BRATISLAVA, LUNA PARK

 

WEDNESDAY 21 JULY – Steve walks Bev & Norm over to the port and has a quick look around the town before returning.  From our riverside spot we watch the hydrofoil arrive from Vienna.  Bev & Norm board then wave to us from the roof top lookout as they sail past en route to Budapest.  Our drive out of Bratislava is as easy as when we came in and we are soon at then through the border into HUNGARY. Approx 350 HUF (Hungarian Forint) = £1.  An unplanned detour takes us down some country lanes with a well-used cycle track running parallel.  The villages are very pretty and we enjoy the scenery.  Park for free at the park & ride car park in Gyor then wander round the old centre.  In the cathedral we see the famous oil painting of the weeping Madonna and a number of other interesting features.  It’s a pleasant town but on a hot day an hour is enough for us.  Stop at one of the market cafes for some tasty homemade sausage and get a bit of a shock when we find the price quoted is per 100 grams and our chosen sausage is nearly 300 grams, but it is delicious.  Head further southeast.  As before in Hungary we see lots of fields full of sunflowers and a few prostitutes at the side of the road.  Szekesfehervar proves tricky as we can neither park nor find any of the places we want to visit.  Give up as a bad job and continue crossing the Danube at Dunafoldvar.  Just to the east of the town we see a 24-hour restaurant by a canal with free parking.  Check with the waiter who says we can stay overnight.  It’s just after 4pm and very hot so we sit by the canal in the shade of the van and relax.

EAST OF DUNAFOLDVAR & SOLT ON W EDGE OF KISKUNSAGI NEMRETI PARK

 

THURSDAY 22 JULY – We’re keen to get to the naturist club so set out early.  It’s very hot and the already rutted tarmac is almost melting.  Since our last visit in 2001 we see that modern ones have replaced many of the Lada, Skoda and Trabant cars.  Arrive at FKK Sziksosfurdo at 10am.  We’ve visited twice before and know two of the Dutch families on site.  Fees have gone up a little and there have been one or two improvements but it’s still fairly basic and rustic.  In no time at all we are stripped off and in the lake splashing around in the warm water.  Jack tells us that yesterday it was so hot in Szeged that they were having to spray water on the roads to stop them melting.  Spend the heat of the day in the shade enjoying dips in the lake.  The sun eventually drops behind the lake giving us a spectacular sunset.

SZIKSOSFURDO FKK CAMPING NR SZEGED

760 HUF pp (£2.20), 1280 HUF (3.50) van

 

FRIDAY 23 JULY – Another beautiful morning and with a bit of breeze it’s perfect for drying the washing after using the on site machine (500 HUF – £1.30).  With luck we should only be using towels and sarongs from now on.  The site begins to fill up, not surprising, as next week is sports week.

SZIKSOSFURDO 2

 

SATURDAY 24 JULY – Someone moving in to the next pitch and erecting their tent wakes us at 6.30am.   A breezy day with a few clouds but still very hot.  In the evening we have been invited to a private party by the site owner Jancsi.  He asks that his guests prepare an act to entertain with after dinner.  Luckily for us the Dutch families have also been invited and the ladies ask me to join in their line dancing routine.  The guests gather at Jancsi’s site where food is cooked in an enormous wok over an open fire.  We all take along our own drinks but in addition Jancsi brings around whiskey and champagne.  After eating the entertainment begins with our line dancing routine.  Other acts include a family circus style balancing feat, children doing singing routines and adult slapstick comedy. 

SZIKSOSFURDO 3

 

SUNDAY 25 JULY – After Steve has watched the Grand Prix in the afternoon (with Michael Schumacher predictably winning) we head in to Szeged.  Time for a quick shop at Tesco before picking Bev & Norm up at the train station.  They’ve had a fantastic time in Budapest and tell us all about it.  Park by the River Tiza and visit “Roosevelt teri Halaszcsarda” restaurant to eat the Szeged speciality of spicy fish soup.  Call in at the cake and ice cream shop before returning to the site.  In Hungary you are not allowed to drink any alcohol at all when driving so I my driving skills are again put to the test.  On site there’s a band playing in the evening and we have time to sit by the lake drinking and listening to some of the music before it starts to rain.  Return to shelter under our awing before retiring to bed with Bev & Norm braving it in the tent.

SZIKSOSFURDO 4

 

MONDAY 26 JULY – Despite having quite a few downpours in the night the tent has not leaked and Bev & Norm slept reasonably well.  The temperature has dropped considerably but at least the rain stops by the time we get up.  Sports week begins with the petanque competition.  Steve & Norm as a team get through to the second round.  Our American friend Ricky arrives early evening and is delighted to see everyone again. 

SZIKSOSFURDO 5

 

TUESDAY 27 JULY – It’s been a very wet night and although Bev & Norm stayed out in the tent they have woken up with wet patches where their bedding was touching the tent sides.  With no sign of the rain stopping we take up Ricky’s suggesting to go into Szeged in his car.  Do a quick walk to show Bev & Norm the main sites and then settle into a restaurant down the side streets for a leisurely lunch.  Pass the afternoon playing dominoes back at the van.  It’s still hasn’t stopped raining so Bev & Norm join us in the van overnight.

SZIKSOSFURDO 6

 

WEDNESDAY 28 JULY – The rain has eased to occasional drizzle.  Sports week seems to have ground to a halt and many people have already packed up and left.  Head off to Szeged Plaza on the bus 150 HUF (43p) where the weather doesn’t matter.  Arrive just in time to watch the movie Troy 595 HUF (£1.60) and this passes a very pleasant 3 hours.  We follow this up with an hour of ten pin bowling 2700 HUF (£7.30).  Emerge to find we have missed a lot of rain, as the track back to the site is extremely rutted and muddy. 

SZIKSOSFURDO 7

 

THURSDAY 29 JULY – It’s still raining.  Bev & Norm head off into Szeged to have a look around and check out the thermal pools.  We watch a movie in the morning then join Dutch Gea and Rhine for a visit to the dentist.  The dentist speaks Hungarian and German so Gea helps to translate the dental words that are not in my German vocabulary.  Although we both need some work doing he cannot fit us in at the moment but says we should be OK for at least another year.  The bill for our two check ups and Steve to have a scrape is 3000 HUF (£8.10) so much cheaper than England.  The dentist tells us that Szeged has been on the news because of the flooding and the other place mentioned was a wine region in northern Hungary where the bottles were floating out of the cellars.  Back at the site mid afternoon the weather changes dramatically and the sun comes out.  Everyone emerges to take advantage and get in a bit of sunbathing.  Bev & Norm arrive back just on dark having had a great time at the baths 480 HUF (£1.35) and eaten out twice.  They return to the tent for the night.

SZIKSOSFURDO 8

 

FRIDAY 30 JULY – Having survived most of the night without rain we are disappointed to hear a pitter patter at around 6am.  It stops a bit later and sports week recommences.  Bev & Truus win their round of petanque.  Games are held up by more rain but early evening we enter the beer drinking competition.  You have to drink ½ litre of beer from a bottle with a baby’s teat on, not an easy task as the beer gets very frothy and makes you bloated.  Steve and Norm come 4th and 5th (out of 5) in the mens and I take 2nd place out of the 5 women.  It’s easy to pick out the contestants afterwards as we all walk around belching!  Ricky takes us all to a fish restaurant in Szeged recommended to us by the dentist.  Oreg Korossy Halaszcsarda is on the banks of the River Tisza and has evolved from a fisherman’s shack to a very nice restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating areas.  Again we try a lot of the traditional food and it’s all very nice.  Returning to the site the road has deteriorated even more and we are lucky not to get stuck driving through the deeply rutted mudded surface.

SZIKSOSFURDO 9

 

SATURDAY 31 JULY – A dull start to the day and we would like to leave but Steve thinks we would get bogged on the track.  Resign ourselves to staying in the hope of some better weather.  We have a few sunny spells and the sports continue.  Bev & Truus win the petanque completion knocking Steve & Norm out in the semi finals.  Australian Chris arrived yesterday so I invite him and Ricky to join us for our evening meal.  There’s a disco on the site and we all finish up there.  Not much chance for an early night as the music blasts out until after 2am.

SZIKSOSFURDO 10

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