Somehow it has been nearly 3 months since I arrived in Hungary. Time is running…

One of the things that hadn’t actively crossed my mind before my EVS was the possibility to travel further than the place I was based in. I thought Debrecen, Hungary was the destination of my adventure, but it has unravelled to be the starting point for many more. Perhaps I was lucky in that on arrival I could immediately join the momentum of travel of the other volunteers, as we all share this sense of worldly curiosity.

Our exploration has so far been within the country and across its borders to Romania and Serbia. Having always lived and enjoyed living by the sea, one of my hesitations about Hungary was its landlockedness. However, its geographical position and its many neighbours has brought forward this possibility to travel. And in the meantime, a trip to the biggest and nearest lake does the job good enough.  

Weekends have been perfect opportunities for tastes of places. Debrecen is essentially a big village, so when in need of the chaos of a city, Budapest is only a few hours on a direct train away. On the other hand, sometimes we have left the “Big Village” to go to a smaller village such as Tokaji – in this case we were motivated by its reputation for wine (more specifically it is well known for sweet wine…although I’m more of a dry wine fan…wine is wine…and saying that even the Hungarian standard for dry wine is sweet).

Our search to find a landscape that gives something back (Hungary is so flat) has led us, on more than one occasion, to Romania. Most recently we hired two cars and headed in the direction of the Carpathian Mountains. Now I’ve driven up high in another country, in the dark, on the wrong-right side of the road, and with fog….I feel like I can drive anywhere(ish). Other encountered firsts include e.g. on our way back at some ungodly hour at night/in the morning when we came to crossing into Hungary, the border was closed. It was easily resolved as we travelled further to a 24/7 crossing point but I had no idea and found it strange that borders shut in the same way as e.g. Tesco supermarket, and you have to go searching for the nearest non-stop shop so you can get some milk in your tea.

Mainly, because of the experiences shared there and its incredible landscape, Romania has fast become one of my favourite countries (side note: although this love for the country doesn’t extend to its politics ect….). So much so that on these trips, it has been the few times I’ve put down the camera so I can fully “be there”. And now, with Christmas break broaching, in true festive spirit we have made plans to continue visiting other bordering neighbours!

by Ellie