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July 12, 2010 / Helene Bienvenu, travel-writer

Wine-cellar rows in Hajós, Hungary / rangées de celliers, Hajós, Hongrie

You would have guessed, behind each picture I take lies some kind of story – often a funny one -, after all one needs an impulse to press the button! Hajós is described in the French guidebook I am updating right now: a good reason to go and check the place out. I knew I would find picturesque Swabian wine-cellars. All right, you could say that Hungary is blessed with that kind of sights so nothing special but I found only two places in the country which have similar cellar-rows: Hajós and Villánykővesd. And by far Hajós has the highest number of them (i.e, hundreds of cellars): it’s a real pleasure to have a walk along them. So here I went to Hajos from Baja, taking a early bus at 7.35 am (the temperature was already 25 celsius degrees and went up soon after) after some fish soup hangover (will tell you about Baja fish soup festival later). So I got on the bus and asked the driver to give me a ticket to Hajós. The thing is that in Hungary you’d better know where you have to stop coz the drivers won’t tell you when to get off! And I was sleepy enough to forget to ask this nice Hungarian ‘kocsi vezető’ to stop at a place I’d reckon would be Hajós… So after 50′, roughly the time which was indicated on the bus timetable website, I went to the driver and ask him when my turn would come. Guess what? I had missed the stop! And back we go! I was really lucky this time as the driver was a cool one (it’s not always the case) and asked his colleague, driving in the other direction, to take me onboard (‘szegény, ő nem magyar!’ but how did he know?), and I got to Hajós without too much trouble. I spent two hours in this lovely (but sleepy) wine-village, chating with the waiter of the only restaurant and another random guy who made -for some reason of his own- lots of jokes about Belgium and Dutch people (in Hungarian!) and who told me Nicolas Sarkozy is from Gipsy origine and Joschka Fischer a Swabian Hungarian kid (it is indeed true at least for Fischer… For Sarkőzy not really, it’s just that Sarkőzy is a frequent family name among the Roma community in Hungary), I also had a long walk, a little wine-tasting (not the greatest Hungarian wines I had tasted) and got on the next bus to Kalocsa, where Eszter, the director of Miklos Schöffer museum was waiting for me (other post to follow soon about that).

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