Hortobagy Travel Blog› entry 23 of 35 › view all entries
And so, after a well spent morning at the Miskolctapolca pool, we asked at the hotelreception for a taxi, and off we were again to Miskolc Tiszai pu. (No gypsies this time).
Because we did have plenty of time before our train should depart we decided to buy the reservation for the train from Hortobagy to Debrecen we planned to travel the next day, which we could not do in advance.
So at the ticketoffice we asked the lady if she speaks English, which she did not. Neither could she speak German, it was just Hungarian... and that is a language we don't know, except from jo napot and kussenem.
We showed the lady our printed schedule with the train number and time, and the page with the phrase "Kötelezö a helyjegyvaltás?" (Do we need to make a reservation for a seat?) - not quite the phrase we wanted because we knew we had to make the reservation but this was the best we could do), and we had a big questionmark on our faces. We also showed her our Hungarian interrail passes, but by the looks on her face we figured she had never seen such before.
It took us and her about 15 minutes to solve the problem, and we had our reservations. At least that is what we thought, but now we are not so sure we did not buy the transportation as well. Ah... whatever, we had our seatnumbers now.
It was about time to go to the platform and board the train to Füzesabony. At that station we had to change for Hortobagy, and we had only 8 minutes for it. For a minute I was in doubt whether we should travel by Debrecen instead of Füzesabony, although that would take us 30 minutes longer - those 30 minutes we had extra to change at Debrecen, but on the other hand, then we needed to go to that reservation trouble twice. So Füzesabony for us.
And then it happened... our train had delay, about 5 or 6 minutes.... And we had only 8 minutes to change, with heavy luggage and two kids to look after, in a country where the language was some kind of abracadabra.
My sister and me are quite a team together and one of our motto's is: If you don't try you are sure to fail, and we did go for it!
Quickly got of the train at Füzesabony, walked towards a guy in uniform, showed him our printed schedule with train number and time, he pointed to the other platform, I looked at the stairs and our luggage, he showed us to follow him to cross the tracks and opened a gate for us, the engine-driver saw us, and waited for us to board the train, and off we went.
We were now on a local train, and this trip would take us 75 minutes.
At first we still saw alot of agriculture on the fields, but gradually it went more and more grassy. At Tiszafüred we crossed the lakes, and I saw my second stork since we arrived in Hungary. We also saw a couple of great white egrets, never had seen these before.
The landscape is just beautiful, even for us dutchies from the lower parts. My hairdresser said it would be flat, nothing to it, just boring scenery like we are used to, but I think I may disagree with him. Ofcourse the land is "flat", but what beauty it has! And birds, ofcourse we have them at home as well, lots of waterfowl.
Then we arrived at Hortobagy station, which is on the north side of the village. We were not able to book accomodation here due to the language trouble, so we still had to find some.
After checking at the information centre of the Nemzeti park we learned the green building we passed at the Kossuth utca was the Fogado, which is Hungarian for inn or pension. They still had a 4 bedded room available, so we decided to take that one, and checked in. The balcony was full of bird dirt, which was produced by swarms of swallows who were feeding their youngsters in the nests just outside our window.
Hortobagy is a village which is ready for the tourists. Lots of souvenir stands, all kinds of stuff, baskets, wooden kitchenware, furs, lace and embroidery ware (and even the eastern Asia produced gadgets), and both my sister and me drooled when we saw the big kettles for making gulyas.
When we were tired of the souvernir stands we went to the Hortobágy Csárda, for a very good dinner.
Tomorrow we will enter the puszta!
PS: When we were back home again I told my hairdresser this flat, boring puszta scenery was remarkable beautiful ;)