Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Deep South

I was up early this morning and bid farewell to the Balaton Lake region. I caught a 6:45am bus and headed all the way down to Pecs, not too far from the border with Croatia. Most of my bus trips up to this point had been little ones of no more than 2hours. This morning's haul was around 3.5 hours so it was a tad tiring with the earl rise and now the new surroundings. Not too bad though. I have a few more long hauls waiting over the next couple weeks so I figure I might as well get used to it. (I should mention before I forget that the north shore of Lake Balaton, which I passed through earlier in the week, has some of the best scenery I've ever seen...anywhere - rolling hills, vineyards, great views of the lake...and I hope to pass by there again in the future.)

Pecs is turning out to be a very interesting place. I plan to spend 3 days here which is just as well since I have a lot of territory to cover and today's heat was positively boiling. There are hundreds of ancient Christian and Roman graveyards buried right under the heart of the old town. A rather impressive structure is the Mosque Church which I believe is now a Christian church although the Islamic architecture and art work on the walls is still very prominent. I believe there is a mosque not far from my hotel that I plan to see before I leave. I also several minutes walking along the old town bastions, marvelling at the the bishop's palace and gazing up at the bascilica....positively huge.

I took a short siesta to get away from the heat and Ive just spent the past hour aimlessly wandering the streets of the Old Town. Since its Sunday, its pretty quiet so even though I am in one of the country's largest cities, I am left with the feeling of having the whole joint to myself. Shortly it will be back to the hotel for some R and R before I set out to explore tomorrow.

I do have to say that the only mistake I made when planning this venture is that I miscalculated the number of days I had to work with. I don't catch my train back to Zurich until August 3rd. Now that I've reached Pecs I've pretty much been to all the places I originally planned to visit...and I've been impressed with them all. There are only a couple more places on my "absolutely must see" list. After that, I turn into a real adventurer and hope to head off for a place or two NOT in my guidebook. Must be the jazz player in me.....just making it up as I go along.

Oh, and for anyone wondering, I really did try to order that rooster testicle stew the other night. Unfortunately, or fortunately, if you're a rooster I suppose, the restaurant didn't have that dish available on that particular evening.


North of Nain said...

I wouldn't call it a mistake. I'd call it perfect planning. Now that you are feeling comfortable in your surroundings you have the opportunity to explore and get off the beaten track. Enjoy!