As part of our 2006 Tour around Central Europe we were slipping in and out of some of the less popular countries for a few days at a time. One such country was Hungary.
After going through the Austria/Hungary border crossing with the gun carrying guards looking more menacing than they probably were, we headed for Sopron.
The first impression of this part of Hungary was one of a badly neglected and run-down place. Driving into the city of Sopron was like stepping back in time. The roads were so full of potholes there was more holes than Tar-mac, I reckon our van aged several years just going through this city. These must rank as the poorist roads in Europe, allthough I would think now that they are part of the European Union ( 2004 ) all this will change in time.
When we did find our intended camp-site it was closed so we travelled further inland to the pleasant village of Balf. This was a welcome contrast from the stark border-town of Sopron. Although only a small village it had a few shops (one being the famed Co-op ) a bike shop and at least three churches.
Whilst walking around one of the church-yards we noticed that on the grave headstones, along with the birth and death dates of the occupier, there was also the birth date and a space for the (presumably) spouse for when their time came. Seemed macabre.
If we had had more time to travel deeper inland I’m sure we would have found more of the picturesque country the guide books droll about.
Maybe another time…………………..