Hungarian surreality bites

Last Sunday we set out for a hiking trip to the Börzsöny hills to explore the kind of cycling facilities the region has to offer. Pouring rain, bone-cutting wind and foggy hilltops welcome us at the peripheries of Budapest. But we are tough. Not made of sugar. If the worst comes to the worst we can still surrender our battle in a cinema. But we didn’t.

We drove all the way to Kemence, and positively impressed by all the cycling tracks zigzagging back and forth the Börzsöny hills. You could start in Nagymaros, Zebegény, Szob, or even in Kemence. Most of the tracking trails are eligible for cycling as well as for hiking. The nicest and most-sights-to-offer track is probably the one cutting through the entire hill from Kemence to Nagyoroszi, an approximate 25 km.

After our amazingly lucky Börzsöny weather with just a few random drops of rain we decide to lurk for a meaty dish. We are craving for a hot bowl of babgulyás with csülök reminiscing about the soup’s Berlin Potato-Brother.

We find a place and a dish somewhat similar but translated to Hungarian and interpreted with a heavy accent as we end up in one of the Danube Bank eateries already chilling out in Sleeping Beauty mode.

As we enter the restaurant we are greeted by Flower-Pot-Plant Bouncers and it is almost impossible to fight our way through this jungle like fortress. If I had known I would have take my jungle cutter utilities in my purse. Rambo where are you?

As we sit down we are greeted by an idyllic standstill. Two guests snoozing over one of the tables. Cowboy-like Oldie trying to get his electronic guitar in tune in the background. VH1 classics turned to silent mode on TV, VJ-ing for the Stetson hat.

Lady in tiger-pattern-resembling top hops over from the Snoozer. Turns out she is waitress-slash-owner. Helpfully serving us our long desired teas at the mere 500 Ft per cup tossed on the bordeaux-Xmas pattern PVC tablecloth. We are on holiday. Trying to get over such a minor discrepancy in price.

Order soup. Wait and wait. Snoozer-slash-owner husband turns out to be the tamer on the cashier computer screensaver slideshow disguising himself in betyár (kind of outlaw) outfit, sitting next to a horse somewhere in the puszta (plain). Both he and the place has seen better times we conclude.

Soup arrives. First taste first impressions: carrying traces of Fish-soup flavours from neighbouring pot we guess. Or from having converted to the new religion of hosting csülkös bableves in a fish soup like content. At least matching our Danube bank moments.

That’s what I call a truly integrated society. At least it is warm and we spoon up the entire cauldron with the stale slices of bread form the basket.

In the meantime Yihhaa guy finishes tuning process. Hardly any difference achieved in the ultimate sound. He starts to rock those strings in the most reckless way. Perfect for slow food and slowing down. We listen to Elvis’s „Love me Tender” in snail mode and „What a Wonderful World” plodding by us leaning on a Zimmerman frame. Kind of interesting to compare with the videos that run parallel with the volume off – stars gawping their lyrics away as fish fallen out of the fish tanks. None of these VH1 classics seem to know the words to their endless Cowboy karaoke. We can only guess that they were meant to perform Eileen and Baby I live your ways.

We decide to skip dessert and leave our cover for the picturesque Danube bank to stare at the rays of the setting sun.

We get back into the car and leave with a funny taste in our moth wondering if a Sunday afternoon could ever get any more surreal than this.


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