Roadtrip to Serbia 2022 – Day 1 Palkonya, Hungary
Destination: Palkonya, Hungary
Last year we discovered that Villany, a village in southern Hungary, has a red wine festival which coincides with Koppany Pines season close down. We felt this was a tradition in the making and so last year we made a mad scramble to be packed and ready to leave to join the festivities on the Saturday. It was almost throw everything we needed in the van, shut the doors and off we go! This year our close down was a much more measured affair -even with two motorhomers arriving on the last night. We’ve managed to harvest our grapes and leave the wine fermenting ready for next year, bottle last year’s wine and get ourselves in the mood for sampling some-one’s elses wine.
Palkonya is about an 1.5 hours from the site and is a very pretty region with lakes, forest and vineyards. We found a park-up last year so knew where we were headed.
It was just as pretty when we arrived as last year. The white pince houses buried into the hills with small chimneys poking out of the ground. The weather has been really bad, so this year aside from the restaurants, there was only one pince house open, but that’s all you need. The sun came out to greet us and for the first time in five months we relaxed appreciating a moment of serenity where we had no ‘to do’ list except to please ourselves. With a clink of glasses filled with our chosen wine, Palkonyai Margó vörös bor, 700 HUF 1dcl, we toasted the start of our holiday. As the sun warmed our faces the fatigue from the last five months melted away.
Suitably relaxed we went for a walk through the village. Comparing the village to Koppanyszanto you can feel it is more affluent although very similar in size, there’s a church that has an interesting history as it was also a mosque under the ottermans. We laughed as the dog chorus sounded as we walked along the road. This is the same in most hungarian villages and something you do get used to.
We stopped half-way to have dinner, deciding on what was described in google as a homely bistro. They let us take Oscar in, which is always a bonus. In fact, we have never been turned away from any places because of the dog. I have found Hungary to be far more dog friendly than we were led to believe. Back to the food and bisto, one word – stunning! The views through the bifold windows offered a valley aspect, whilst inside everything was pristine. All the wine choices were listed on black-boards, however, the wine prices did raise an eyebrow. Bottles of wine were selling for 12,000 – 15000 HUF and 1 dcl glasses at 1800 HUF. I’m sure this is not expensive for here but we are used to bottles at 1500 HUF and 2dcl glasses 400 HUF. I chose a house chardonnay, but Mark chose 1800 HUF, Kékfrankos, which is a dry red and according to him worth the money. The food looked exquisite and tasted nice and had some interesting flavours. Total cost 19,500 HUF – 2 course and 2 glasses of wine.
Ready to walk off the food and with the weather holding we continued our village walk, passed the church and back. The sky was stunning and it was interesting to see the number of vendeghaz available. By 7.30pm, there were three places still open for drinking, but with the weight of the last few months lifted from my shoulders and I suddenly felt the exhaustion creep back, so we agreed an early night and snuggled up in the van.
Have to admit this side of vanlife is to be envied.
Written by Debs
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