Hungary – we love your hospitality!

A lot of people ask us how we finance our trip, so we were thinking to say a couple of words about our budget. Before taking off for the trip we estimated to spend  10$/person/day on average. That’s not exactly a lot when comparing to a nice dinner out in Prague or a hostel for 15 EUR/ person. After the first month we were therefore surprised, that we even managed to stay under a bit. Of course this involves compromising sometimes – a couple of days camping in the nature and then the overpriced entrance fee to a touristy spa like Hévíz or not just bread and water for lunch :p. In general accommodation and a drink here and there decide whether we manage on budget or not. And we dont even yet have to incorporate visa fees.
The spas and saunas in Hungary are definitely worth a visit. Each one is different and we definitely feel the positive effects of it. Sascha is happy to wash off all the bicycle grease and I revitalize my silky skin 🙂 The last spa we visited is in Magyarhertelend with one of the 7 baths having a temperature of 38°C. When leaving camp in Sikonda we initially set off for Pécs directly as the weather wasn’t promising. This meant we would have skipped Magyarhertelend, but as always we said to each other, that we may not come here again and should try to incorporate it into the route. After u-turning and cycling for 5km we were lucky to find a campground (that the GPS didnt know about) and after checking it out we discovered, that it costs only 3,60 EUR to stay. Wow, that should help bring down our overspend a bit. The cheapest so far- and it had everything we needed (apart from WIFI)! As the budget was safe, we went to enjoy the baths and saunas, agreeing beforehand to try to have a “non-drinking” week (as we travel through wine regions and are often offered to try homemade stuff too). On the way to the spa we accidentally found the family brewery Kapucinus. It is not easy to find a draft beer in Hungary, people drink from bottles everywhere, being spoiled by the Czech beer culture, we could not miss out on this opportunity. Once we entered the property we were immediately greeted by Attila, the co-owner who was in the middle of unloading the beer truck after returning from a Budapest beer festival. Despite being busy he offered us to try a special semi-dark beer. Wow! This is by far the best beer in the country 🙂 Attila and Katalina are running a micro-brewery where they produce 7 types of beer and a beer spirit – great stuff! We immediately connected with the guys, it was a great long evening of learning about the beer brewing process, having a tour in the brewery, sharing travel stories and tasting beers. Long evening, short night – the next morning we had to leave early since the weather was bringing a lot of rain (again). We climbed a hill to see Orfű lake not far from Magyarhertelend and then half a day of sweating and climbing a mountain before Pécs. What a beautiful city! We saw it in the rain and with no accommodation arranged we spent a couple of hours at the train station discussing whether to cycle somewhere away from the city to camp or to take a train to get close to Baja to see the folklore dance show that we heard much about from 2 couchsurfers that wrote us from Baja. The sky looked like it would rain any minute, so we paid 2000 HUF (almost half our daily budget) for the train tickets and squeezed ourselves and the bikes and bags in the train. At 8 in the evening we arrived to the wine city of Villany – the Bordeaux of Hungary that we already heard about from many people. Vineyards and wine cellars everywhere, but still no place to sleep 🙂 After buying a bottle of local wine we explore the town looking for a potential shelter for the night. When cycling through a neighborhood street Sascha spotted a  wine-maker parking his tractor and in our 10-word-vocabulary-Hungarian asked him if we can pitch “our” “tent” “here” on the lawn in front of his house. He agreed laughing and a few minutes later his wife appeared bringing water and a bottle of wine saying if we encounter any problem, we could just ring the bell at anytime. 😀 Thank You! Next day – a short train ride to Mohacs, crossing the majestic Danube with a ferry, cycling north along the river on Eurovelo 6 and we came just on time to Baja for the famous fish soup festival! Well…maybe next week will be non-drinking 🙂