Lake Balaton is a long, fairly narrow Lake to the south west of Budapest, and is a popular summer holiday spot for people from Budapest. There appeared to be many accommodation places, cafes and restaurants around, and it was extremely well kept, with beautiful tree lined pathways and gardens - it seemed to me, not where a typical working class person would holiday. I guess from a home perspective it was a bit like Port Stephens as a holiday destination.
Anyway, today's schedule included a promenade concert on the shore of this beautiful spot. We arrived and unpacked with just enough time for a quick coffee. As it was between seasons, although the weather was beautiful, there weren't really a lot of people around. a passing schoolboy for a lark said he wanted to conduct the band, and to his surprise, Rae picked something we knew inside out, and let him have a go. He enjoyed it but looked a little sheepish when we just kept on going to the end!
It was the best concert so far, and again in a rather idyllic setting. After the concert we were taken the short distance to Balatan Fured to have lunch at the Borcsa Restaurant. I don't think there was more than a handful of other patrons, but when we arrived, we filled the place. After another heavy meal, we were happy to go on a guided tour of the small town which included a lovely promenade walk, with points of interest and plaques all explained in great detail.
One of the curious spots was outside a cardiac rehabilitation centre, where there is a well containing water with supposed great health giving properties, and we were invited to partake in a sample. It tasted awful as expected - very metallic.
On the walking tour, some of us noticed a beautiful looking building, like a castle on a high cliff at the other side of the lake. At the time we didn't know it, but that was our next stop. We piled on the bus, and skirted around the lake to the little village of Tihany. What a beautiful little place. Again, there were only a few other tourists there, but what seemed like hundreds of little shops oriented toward tourists. The people in the shops seemed pretty desperate for a sale, and the further we went the more we realised why we were getting the hard sell, as there were so many selling similar stuff - hand sewn sheets, tablecloths, scarfs, doilies etc etc, and we were never going to go back to the first place once we'd passed. I found a lavendar shop which Rae just left me in for about a half hour (in lavendar heaven)
The building we could see from the other side was Tihany Abbey, nice enough from the outside, but a bit plain. The contrast inside could not have been greater. It was one of the most ornate and over the top decorated churches I have ever seen. Rather than attractive, it struck me as being a bit gaudy. We were also led down to a couple of underground rooms containing rather old artifacts and I think relics of holy people, saints perhaps?
Very impressed by this little place, but it was very cold and blowy up on the top of this cliff, so we were actually glad to get out of the weather and back onto the bus.Read more