Trip Start Jul 16, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Hungary  ,
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just like during the UK, the Wednesday of the IJK is the day of excursions. I can't be bothered waiting for a busload of people and I also don't want to be hurried up if I find something or someone interesting so I can't bear to sign up for any excursion. Instead our local Esperantist suggested we organise our own excursion to a neighbouring town - Köszeg. We got another few starters - 2 French and one English.

Bus to Köszeg. About 20 km away.

Really pleasant town. Lovely old church, superb town square with lots of benches.

And some pretty strange and interesting buildings.

Nice medieval type town wall with arch.

The usual church...

Old castle as well. Didn't seem to matter where we went but the Esperantists on the official tour seemed to turn up there after us.

We upset our French companions by indulging in the local drink of 50% wine and 50% soda water. Well the wine is pretty bloody dry so it's not a bad way to drink it.

One of the many pleasant places in town to have a drink or something to eat.

Our local Esperantist has a week-end home in the town which they rent out and the tenants very kindly invited us to have some wine.

Just down the hill was this grand building. At one stage a seminary, later a hotel and now a seminary again. With all the churches in Hungary I suppose they need a huge seminary such as this one.

Further down the hill was this mansion. I asked whether this belonged to one person and the answer was that the owner of the mansion basically also owns a whole town. How times in eastern Europe have changed!

Our English Esperantist was determined to get back to Szombathely for tea as he'd already paid for all his meals. I headed off to eat somewhere else but I suspect I could have sneaked a free meal in the student cafeteria.

Anyway, we ran into a few friends of my local Esperantist in a pub and at about midnight we suggested we all go back to the IJK (there's always some sort of disco/bar till 6 in the morning. It was great! They really had the right attitude and made sure they learnt some Esperanto to fit in and join into the spirit of things. It's probably something the organisers should always promote - more interaction between local youth and the Esperantists - but they won't. And the words from the aligatorejo echo in my mind - Esperanto ghetto. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Esperantists are happy to go to these events and never meet any locals.
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