Hi All,

Well Kev & I have been here now 7 days including 2 days getting across the world, well I do exaggerate, door to door took 44 hours!!!! So no more thinking about that, as we return the same way!!

The past 5 days have been hectic, fun filled and eye opening.especially for the boys, as we are in Hungary's holiday summer spot and we believe the Hungarians don't have a national dress, but more an "undress", I have never seen so many skimpy bikinis on so many beautifully tanned young female bodies!!...the boys also are not bad (not that I'm looking) and there is definitely no body image problem here as thousands of holidaying Hungarians (and we think many German tourists) are proudly showing off their massively varying body shapes! It is easy to know why there is a slightly overweight older population, every corner brings you some form of restaurant, bar, snack place, gelato bar, pastry shop etc, all chocka full of tempting (definitely not nouvelle cuisine portions) treats, hence I am wondering why the country is call "Hungary"?

Sharyn (my sister in law) has done herself proud with arranging our first "home swap", we have a 3 bedroom (all with ensuites) penthouse with amazing views over Lake Balaton (2 hours south of Budapest). This house comes with every luxury imaginable, hence the 20 or so remote controls !!! Mind boggling to us 2 females and a genuine sense of envy for the boys as the house is owned by a 38 year old couple and this is their holiday home for summer as opposed to their chalet for winter (skiing etc) !! They reside in Budapest when not holidaying at these 2 homes or abroad on "swaps" and just to top it off they have left us their V12 300 series (whatever that means,.except big and luxurious) Mercedes in which we have done about 600 km over the last 4 days. We have seen the southern regions and have circumnavigated the lake, stopping at some lovely palaces, castles, forts, thermal baths, many eateries and viewing just plain beautiful, very green, mainly agricultural landscapes.....and to top this off the Hungarians love flowers and everywhere they are displayed on roadways, homes, shops, even garbage tips (not that we have seen one, but figure hidden behind more flowers).

Our penthouse is situated on the edge of the lake (70km x 20km), which again is a great source of pleasure, it is the largest, shallowest body of water in Europe, the water temperature is cool / warm and you have to wander out about a kilometre to get your knees wet!!! but the thousands (literally) of holiday makers are in there from sunrise to sunset (about 8.30pm) with every pool toy, canoe, paddleboat (all shapes, colours and sizes), fishing gear etc around almost the entire lakes edge....they seem obsessed with getting cool and suntanned, but as this place snows and freezes over in winter, I guess that is reasonable, the average temperature since we have been here is about 32c and forecast seem to be the same for awhile to come...thank goodness for cold beers and G & Ts....p.s. Did I mention food and alcohol are VERY cheap to boot!!!!..We lunched today on the lakes edge at the #1 restaurant in town, 4 mains, 4 desserts, many beers and 2 bottles of wine & coffee set us back just under $30 per head...viva la Hungary I say!!!!!!

The other amazing part of this holiday spot is that we feel like we have travelled back in time as the main town (about a 15m walk away) is a combination of beautiful old buildings, culture and history, then you turn a corner and the whole waters edge is one big party spot...a giant, market place, Coney island style entertainment precinct with eateries, bars, snake handlers, side shows, jugglers & singers reminiscent of the 60's.....full of fun and innocents, then the twist.... on the beach front is the biggest beach party happening....outdoor discos (yes, with mirror balls), muscle beach parties where all the weight lifters not at the Olympic want to show off their strength and bodies (male & female).

Eating, drinking & partying 24 hours a day seem to be the go!! And the majority of the clientele again have very little clothing on!! We thought if we were to invest in Siofok (our town) swim wear would be the go!!!!! Big bucks for small (and I'm not kidding) outlay!! For the computer oriented, Google "beach club, Siofok"...for more graphic details!!

We ventured out a few nights ago for a 2 hour Hungarian dance touring troupe (cossack style thing) extravaganza in an open air theatre in the middle of a park in town, over 50 people on stage doing the most amazing fast dancing, the girls were beautiful with many costume changes and the guys just unbelievable, we all had sore muscles just watching these high flying, leg kicking acrobatic dancing!!!

The show didn't start till 9pm as is custom around here which is testing our "early to bed normal life style" but well worth the effort with a stroll home through the continuous carnival going on in town to finish off our night!!!

That is all for now, we are off to Budapest by train tomorrow to check out the city life of Hungarians as opposed to their holiday counterparts, the city dwellers have a lot to live up to!!

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Travel Blog by Jan Photography by Kevin
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