[Sept. 2010] By the way, this trip to Hungary, in fact, Budapest was a bonus, and our first destination was the town of Keszthely along Lake Balaton.
We met a couple of friends living in London at the airport in Budapest.
They were going to spend a week on the shores of Lake Balaton, and we were joining them for three days.
This couple had the right to use timeshare properties and stayed at self-catering accommodations around the world every holiday.
Most of the time, the accommodations had more than one bedroom, so they invited friends to enjoy the holidays together like this time.
After meeting them at the airport, we went to Lake Balaton by a rental car.
Unfortunately, the weather was going downhill.
By the time we had a quick dinner in the service area along the way, it was already raining.
The destination, Lake Balaton’s shore town, Keszthely is a major town on the south side of the lake.
Do you know how to pronounce Keszthely?
To be honest, it wasn’t until I came back that I found it was pronounced something like ‘Kest-Hey’.
We arrived in Keszthely in total darkness and went straight to bed in anticipation of a better weather the next day.
But unfortunately it rained hard the next day.
What’s more, the temperature has dropped sharply.
We went out to Lake Balaton with an umbrella, passing through a line of simple stores selling swimwear and toys for playing in the water, which are typical of a resort area.
When I had talked with the gatekeeper at a hotel in Budapest, he had said that Lake Balaton was like a paradise of this world, and I was excited, but when we arrived, it was far from the paradise.
I could only imagine the liveliness of a sunny day in front of the bleak scenery of gray water.
We noticed that people were gathering in one corner along the lake.
Apparently, the potato festival that I had read in the in-flight magazine was going on in the rain.
It is an annual festival in such a small town which people must have been looking forward to, and I felt sorry for the weather.
The crop show seemed to be the highlight of the festival, but some of the tents had a delicious smell.
Representatives from each region offered their stew with a large pot.
As we walked while peeking around, a woman said, “This is delicious. It’s so delicious that I’m taking the second bowl.” to us.
Since it was her enthusiastic great recommendation, we decided to buy a meal ticket and try it.
Certainly there were a lot of ingredients and it tasted very good.
It was mixed with rain drops, though.
After that, the idea of getting on a pleasure boat on Lake Balaton occurred to us and we were excited about that, but the boat was cancelled due to the storm.
At the simple dining room, we ate a snack with sausage wrapped in fried bread and went back to our accommodation dejectedly.
In the evening, we ate dinner at the restaurant in front of the accommodation.
There was no problem with the food, but what surprised us was the attitude of the worker.
Even when we, the customers, entered the restaurant, she didn’t stop vacuuming and ignored us.
It was memorable as an example of the bad attitude that we sometimes encounter in the former socialist countries.