Thursday 17 March 2011

Lake Balaton

After getting in from Croatia, we explored a part of Hungary that I had never made it to while I was studying there. Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe. In the past this part of Hungary was very important to the nobility, but obviously it is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in the summer. The main reason we were going there, was to experience the thermal attraction of Lake Heviz. Lake Heviz is the worlds 2nd largest thermal lake, and the largest one that humans can enter without cooking. The smell reminded me of Rotorua and the togs remained smelling that way for quite a while (and after 2 washes).  If you got in the late afternoon the price of entry is halved which is recommended as you don’t really need all day, and the 1.5 hours we had was enough for us to truly enjoy it. It nice to be surrounded by nature when you are swimming there, and we ever got to interact with some type of duck I had never seen before, that kept popping around. The inside part is much warmer than the outdoor section, and is very nice. We would definitely recommend a dip in Lake Heviz if you are passing that way.

After leave Heviz we headed to Hegyestu geological monument. This place is like the giants causeway in that it is long basalt columns, however it is more of a mountain made of them, which is quite impressive. In general the top half of Balaton has a lot of ancient volcanic remains (Hungary still has a lot of geothermal activity). We stayed that night in Balatonalmadi which is at the northern part of Balaton. The lake is very impressive in size, and the villages dotted along the road are very cute.

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