Category Archives: Hungary

Souvenirs from Hungary

I just cannot stop collecting fridge magnets

It started because they are small and light, making them perfect souvenirs for when we are walking and I have to carry everything.

Now I am addicted to collecting them from every place I visit with Geoff.

As you can imagine after almost 7 years my fridge is getting rather full and I have some lovely memories 🙂

Sally In Norfolk

Sally Relaxing !

After the most fantastic holiday in and around Budapest with Geoff, I am now back in Norfolk, while Geoff carries on with his bike ride along the Danube bike trail.

Usually our holidays are long distance walks, which some would say is not a holiday at all, but this holiday was totally different.

We did some walking, some sightseeing, some biking, and lots of relaxing with Spa pools, hot tubs, steam rooms, thermal lakes and turkish baths.

I even went for 3 runs by Lake Balaton 🙂

In one word it was… Heaven !!

Now its back to my beloved bike, Ladybirds,  Parkrun  and Massage clients 

Lake Balaton

Monday 7th till Friday 11th October

Monday we took a train from Budapest to Siofok which is by Lake Balaton, we had booked into the Residence Wellness Hotel as we had enjoyed staying at the one at Matrahaza so much.

From the hotel it was less than a five min walk to the lake and perfect for me to catch up with some running 🙂

Biking near lake Balaton

On the Tuesday we hired some bikes and took a leisurely 43 mile ride along the Balaton lake bike route, the whole place was closed up for winter but I expect its hugely popular in summer.

It was disappointing to see how built up all the towns had become right down to the Lake edge making the bike route slightly in land but the ride was still very enjoyable.

We caught the train back to Siofok, the trains here are not very bike or even people friendly as its such a high steep couple of steps into the train so getting the bikes on was a bit of a challenge !

After dinner we made full use of the spa facilities .

Wednesday we took the bus to Heviz to sample the biggest natural Thermal Lake in Europe and what a great experience it was, one that will make me smile forever.

The water was not as warm as we expected it to be but the sight of dozens of retired people floating round a lake with bright frilly swim hats and floats was quite amusing ….

Swimming with the Lillies

I swam the whole way round the lake and swimming among the lilies was quite relaxing.

Thursday we hoped to take the ferry across to the other side of the lake but unfortunately its out of season so only running at the weekends.

So instead we walked into town and along the stretch of lake we had not done.

Then back to the hotel to enjoy the spa and another fantastic sports massage.

I even managed to fit in 3 runs by the Lake, a total of 9 miles and very enjoyable too !

Sightseeing in Budapest

Saturday 5th Sunday 6th October

A fantastic weekend of sightseeing in Budapest, no hop on hop off bus for us instead we picked up a copy of city walks and off we set …..

First on our list was Gellert Hill visiting the Central Market Hall on the way, which is the largest and most attractive market in the city.

The walk through the park up Gellert hill was lovely giving us great views of the city.

The sights included Statue of St Gellert,The Citadel and Liberty Statue .

20131010-104603.jpgTime for coffee then so we went in search of the world famous historic Gerbeaud Coffee house, a grand building with glittering chandeliers and marble topped tables.

Although it was expensive it was a real treat with such posh cakes presented so beautifully, I had a divine Apple strudel served with cinnamon ice cream vanilla sauce and whipped cream, while Geoff sampled an amazing looking caramel ice cream sundae.

Next it was Castle Hill, you could take the Buda Castle Funicular up but of course we choose to walk ..

More beautiful views and cobbled streets with such grand buildings, St Stephens Basilica, Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church and The Royal Palace. On the way down we saw Matthias fountain too.

On our walk we had also been checking out the Turkish baths in the end we decided to try a smaller local one rather than the bigger touristy ones .

Shoes on the Danube

We spent a good three hours at Kiraly baths, where they had 3 medicinal baths a plunge pool and a sauna. Water temperature ranged from 40c to 26c though I thought the plunge pool was much colder than 26c ! Much to our amazement even in this local baths swim wear is now compulsory ….

We also walked over the amazing bridges, Elizabeth Bridge, Liberty Bridge and Chain Bridge

The most touching part of our sightseeing had to be the “shoes on the Danube ” sculpture , it honours the Jews who were killed in World War 2 , they were ordered to take off their shoes ,then shot so they fell into the river and were carried away.

A Perfect Day … 21 Again !

Friday 4th October

As most of you will now know today was my Birthday …. 21 again 🙂

Waking up here in this beautiful relaxing place with Geoff made it a perfect day !

After another lovely breakfast, We spent the morning in the spa where Geoff had booked me a surprise massage.

I think the masseur Nick enjoyed inflicting pain on me, my shoulder blades were full of knots and he just kept saying “I know this hurts but it has to be done ”

Late afternoon we caught the bus back to Budapest for a weekend of sight seeing.


Duck in Pastry with Dill and Paprika Sauce

In the evening we enjoyed a meal at a typical Hungarian Restaurant, the Kacsa Restaurant, a lovely old world place with high ceilings and violin music, it all reminded me of something straight out of “Downton Abbey”

Some little bird even told them it was my birthday, so while the violinist played Happy Birthday the other dinners sang to me, much to my embarrassment !

Relaxing Days

Wednesday 2nd October

Needless to say we both slept well after our long tough walk and on waking we realised just what a fantastic hotel we had booked in too.

The buffet breakfast was amazing and we had full use of the Spa facilities including pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room.

Enjoying the hot tub

So we decided to stay,enjoy and relax .

Which included having an excellent 30 min sports massage on my legs ( don’t think I could have managed the full hour ).

Not for the first time was I told that I need to stretch more 🙁

We never left the hotel at all on Wednesday !


Thursday 3rd October

1-IMG_5652Today we woke to a lovely sunny day and after another excellent breakfast decided to walk back up to Kekesteto to see it in the daylight.

We took the yellow walking route from the hotel back to Matrahaza, where we found a few small souvenir shops open and a sign post for half a dozen walking routes.

We continued on the yellow route enjoying a trip up the TV tower which gave us some fantastic views.

Then it was back to the hotel to enjoy the spa facilities once again and plan the next part of our trip 🙂

National Blue Trail

Tuesday 1st October

We escaped quite easily from Panorama Panzio and only had to pay for the one night even though we had booked for four

After our escape we jumped onto a bus to Sirok for a days walking along the National Blue Trail to Kekesteto .

The National Blue Trail is the oldest long distance footpath in Europe and forms part of the E4 and Kekesteto is the highest point in Hungary.

The Hungarian villages seem very remote with no shops, so when we left on the bus we had no food or water and was hoping to find a shop in Sirok, luckily we did and it was open 🙂

The National Blue Trail was well marked with a blue flash and we soon found our way.

National Blue Trail

The route was mainly through forrest but was well walked making it easy to find our way although we did not expect the never ending up and down which made it a much tougher longer walking day

When we finally arrived in Kekesteto it was getting dark. After realising there was no where to stay we carried on walking down the ski slope to Matrahaza.

Still no where to stay, by this time I thought we may end up sleeping in a bus shelter and funnily enough we tried getting a room at the sanatorium thinking it was a hotel !

Then thanks to the “Around Me app ” we discovered that a mile down the road was the 5 star Wellness hotel Ozon.

Luckily I had my torch and the road was not busy, we arrived safely at around 8pm to find not only did they have a room but food too so as we were both pretty tired we struck a deal and booked a room for the night 🙂