Getting ready for a two trips this weekend. First is a trip to Stuttgart and the second biggest beer festival in the world for my birthday next weekend and then a trip we have been waiting for all year in 19 days!!!
For now here is my thought of the day.
One of my sister-in-laws moved in Geneva 5 years ago but it has taken us until this year to make the journey to see her. Which is terrible if you ask me, especially considering it the flight was really quick! We spent a whirlwind 24 hours in Geneva and I can safely say it won’t be the last time!
Unlike 99% of our trips this was not one organised by myself which did leave me a little uneasy but I needn’t have worried as we had an amazing time.
Victoria has a lovely central apartment with high ceilings, white walls and sash windows – if I ever live in a city that’s the type of apartment I want! We stayed with her which meant we didn’t have to fork out for a hotel which I’d read could be pricey in Geneva (much like the rest of Switzerland.)
Our flight arrived late on Thursday evening so after a lie in and a leisurely breakfast Stuart, Victoria and I met up with her friend Ana to begin our tour.
First stop of the day – CERN.
We last went to the West Dean Chilli Fiesta in 2015 so we thought it was time to head back this year. What shocked me a little was how much the tickets had increased in price and how almost unaffordable it has become. Given that I wanted to look for ways to make the most out of your ticket price.
The main jist of the festival is around chillis (obviously) so there are a hundred odd stalls selling everything from chilli chutney to beer, ice cream and plants. Most of these stalls offer free tasters of their wares so you can spend the day wandering round tasting chilli products without buying anything. It is done by lots of people but equally if you taste something amazing would you really be able to resist?
While spending some down time in the Lake Balaton area of Hungary we made a small side trip to a small peninsula called Tihany. It was about an hour’s drive around the lake from Siofok and was pretty easy, Hungarian roads make lots of sense and are easy to navigate! You do have the option to take a ferry across the lake instead but it didn’t fit in with our timings.
There are several things to do on Tihany, most famously is the Benedictine monastery and the Tihany echo. One was more impressive than the other. First off though we decided to check out a Lavender museum as Tihany is known for is lavender farms.
After spending a few days in Budapest the second part of our Hungarian adventure was about to start. We picked up a car and headed down the M1 to the Lake Balaton area. Lake Balaton is the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe (not the largest in Europe as Stuart had spent a large portion of his life thinking) and is beautiful. Its one of Hungary’s hot spots for holiday makers, we were early in the season so it hadn’t got too busy but we could see why it was so popular!
The drive down was straightforward and enjoyable despite Hungary’s crazy drivers and I was so pleased with the idea of some downtime and seeing a part of the country not a huge amount of Brits see.
We stayed in the town of Siofok…which we found out from a Hungarian colleague that it was the Ibiza of Hungary. We were on the outskirts of the town in a wonderful boutique hotel, The Mala Garden. It was modelled on Bali and Thailand with a Thai menu, soft furnishings and a small onsite spa. The hotel is on the shorefront of the lake with it’s own jetty and sunbeds.
Memento Park (sometimes called Memorial Park) is based just outside of central Budapest on the side of a hill in a very unassuming place. Created in 1991 by Ákos Eleőd as a result of a competition the site contains many many statues, or parts of statues from Hungary’s communist period.
“This park is about dictatorship. And at the same time, because it can be talked about, described, built, this park is about democracy. After all, only democracy is able to give the opportunity to let us think freely about dictatorship.” – Ákos Eleőd
A change in my normal roundup’s of trips. I will come back to our time in Budapest but after 2 trips here is my list of 9 things to do in this wonderful city!!! (in no particular order!!)
1. St Stephens Basilica
St Stephen’s catholic church is in the middle of Budapest that you kind of stumble across when walking around the city. The church is named in honour of the first king of Budapest, Stephen, who Hungarians do have an odd obsession with him. They adore him so much his mummified hand is kept in one of the crypts…you can put a forint in the box to make it light up!
So it’s been a while since my last post. We’ve been to Hungary and we’ve been to Plymouth, UK which means I’m a bit behind in my posts. I guess I’ve had a bit of writers block and a bit of being busy with being an adult! Stupid life getting in the way.
While I do intend to catch up with a different post to normal for my Hungary coverage here is some pictures of said trip for the meantime. 🙂