In the days following both the Baths and the Circus, we thought it would be high time to find ourselves on the shores of Lake Balaton.
The weather was warm and sunny and seeing as every Hungarian worth their salt takes a trip into one of the many cities dotting the shoreline. Siófok is by far the most popular tourist destination, but where the tourists go, so too does the grass get worn threadbare and the hotel rooms skyrocket. At the suggestion of a family friend who is a true Hungarian himself, he thought it prudent that instead of going to the one that everyone knows about, why don’t we try Baltonfüred instead. Pronounced “Baah-laah-tonne-fuu-red”, it is one of the smaller and cuter towns, and I could not be more grateful that he have us this as a place to be. Because ultimately lakeshore is lakeshore is lakeshore and what makes one better than the other when it’s the same lake, is really beyond me.
And so waking up at 6am to my siblings grumblings and hatred, we hopped the train from the Deli station to travel the roughly 2.5 hrs it would take to get to the lake. I hadn’t reserved a hotel in advance, thinking that for a Sunday evening there would be plenty of space, and I was not disappointed at all.
We found a hotel perhaps not ten minutes walking in a direction of our choice, going simply because there seemed to be people there, even if most of them were headed in the opposite direction. We wandered only by our whims (and the occasional tourist information sign) and were soon rewarded by coming to a big cross street. A little ways down where you could see the outline of the blue lake there was a hand painted yellow sign that said ROOMS FOR RENT.
Walking in simply because we were greeted by an elderly gentleman who spoke no English but I’m proud to say that my Hungarian was enough to book a room for three – and at a reduced rate! Turns out the man lives right down the street, from where we currently reside. He knew Budapest well and spent the majority of his days walking the same streets as us. Maybe it was that I spoke Hungarian and my siblings didn’t, maybe it was our earnest-ness, or simply because he liked us, but he gave us a beautiful room with a view and spacious accommodations for far less than I had anticipated.
Clearly we ended up spending all three nights there.
And the best part was that it was just over a kilometer walking on a pedestrian path on a beautiful strand to get to the beach.