Sunday, September 17, 2006


Trip dist: 74 km Trip time:4 hrs, 42 min. Tot dist: 6,127 kms.

Well, the Hungarian plains, the puszta, in other words, are rather boring, landscapewise. Very flat. Lots of wind against. Parched landscape with dead sunflower fields. I haven't even seen the famed horses that supposedly run wild in the plains. Oh well, I guess they like to avoid the fast traffic roads. ;)

Arrived in Karcag, which I would pick as the archetypical communist town. There are no shops (or very few), and they are all closed, and all the buildings are a shining example of what our handsome dark-haired and hazel-eyed guide in Prague called "brutal architecture": communist era high gray concrete apartment blocks. But the town, nevertheless, is still somehow charming, and the people here are very friendly.

The hotels were all closed, but after I finally managed to get a hold of the lady running one of them on the phone, she even drove me the full 3 blocks (!) to the nearest internet cafe/shop/hub, which I would've never found on my own, because as it turns out it was a video and DVD store, which happened to have two computers that people could come and use, a fact which was not advertised anywhere outside.

But the town itself was surprisingly rather nice, there were people strolling about with lots of children (come to think about it, it is perhaps this what lent this concrete-building city its pleasant, happy feel), one big garden near the town center, several teahouses where people sat down to chit-chat relaxedly, and surprisingly, in spite of the small size and understocked shops that didn't open, it wouldn't be too bad a place to spend a restful weekend.

Funny, as I approach the Romanian border (I will cross into Romania tomorrow), I start to feel the trip's end, and this comes, unsurprisingly, with a small, faraway pang of melancholy: a broken corner in the Spring of satisfaction.


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