Day 5: Grey Skies, Black Pots and Golden Water

Trip Start Mar 09, 2012
Trip End Mar 01, 2013

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Flag of Hungary  ,
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Our last day of biking through the Hungarian plains...

With grey skies and light rain, we started the day with a visit to the potter in Nadudvar. Lajos Fazekas (Fazekas translates to "potter") continues a multi-generational tradition of creating black pottery. Records of family working in Nadudvar as potters go back to 1750. The black colour comes from a process where soot is burned into the material of the pots. We were able to walk around the studio with displays of historical pieces, photos of the family, the oven and the shop. Everything was surprisingly affordable, so I purchased a vase and small pitcher.

Since the rain had stopped, we started our bike ride to Hajduszoboszlo along a road-side bicycle path. Tall cornstalks or sunflowers flanked the sides most of the way.

Hajduszoboszlo has Europe's largest bath complex. I spent only a couple hours there, in awe of its size and scope. We arrived in the pouring rain, which lasted only for about 20 minutes. After some confusion figuring out how to buy our entry tickets, I got changed and started exploring. There's indoor and outdoor pools and facilities (saunas, massage therapy, baby rooms, etc). The indoor ones have the 'liquid gold' mineral-rich water of various temperatures. Outside there is a wider variety, including the largest pool in central europe with a fake beach and pirate ship. Even the selection of restaurants is overwhelming. For extra fees, there is even more options. The experienced bathers have little waterproof money pouches on strings around their necks.

By this time, the sun had made its daily debut. From our next starting point, we biked along country roads to Kaba where we would visit yet another spa. The most scenic spot was a bridge over a wide canal.

Famished, we headed straight for the snackbar for fries and beer once we reached the spa. The highlight while bathing was a powerful fountain that sprung from behind, pummeling us with massaging water.I also liked that we were each given our own little change-stall.

Afterwards, we still had to bike back to our hotel. After a few km, we deviated onto a very empty road where we didn't have to worry about traffic, and could savour our last moments cycling in this region. A few hundred meters from the hotel, the hotel attendant came biking towards me and waved me to stop. He brings out a plastic glass and pours me a golden cold beer, then carries on to meet the others. I thought this was the best service in the world, as I cruised in sipping on this version of liquid gold. It's difficult to tell which is more precious - the one in my glass or that I had bathed in earlier.
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