Just me and my camera – an autumn afternoon by Lake Balaton

(Listen to the music while reading blog post.)

Tastes. Colours. Scents.
I’ve read in one of the books of the Hungarian psychologist Emőke Bagdy about her morning ritual. I happened to like it so much that I adopted it at once. Moreover, I have spread the word amongst my family members and friends.
In the morning when I am still in a foggy, dreamy state of mind, between two lazy stretchings I decide that I’m going to have a nice day. Closing my eyes I tell myself a little mantra, things like ‘it’s sheer happiness to wake up and realize I’m alive’ or ‘today good things will happen to me’ or ‘I’m like water: not going to quarrel with the obstacles but overcome them’, or perhaps ‘I make plans but remain flexible and open to the surprises’.
To make a long story short, I wanted to tell you this, because part of this mantra is saying ‘I’m going to enjoy the beauty in tastes, colours and scents’. If you’re like most of us, you might usually walk by these tiny miracles of life without even noticing them, but in case you decide in the morning that you’ll pay attention, your brain make it a deal and will look for the positive signs throughout the day.
Just try it, it works.

(the last of the Mohicans)

Although I am a person who equally loves all the seasons, as a photographer autumn is my secret favourite because of the lights. Not to mention the scent of the autumn wood which has a bigger effect on me than the best perfume.

This Saturday might be one of the last beautiful, calm and sunny autumn days so no matter how much the wind plays with my hair, I spontaneously decide to drive down to Lake Balaton to enjoy the wonders of tastes-colours-scents holy trinity.
So I take my camera and try to explore my own country as if it was an unknown place, without any particular plans, trusting my guts, saying yes to almost everything that comes into my way. It might be evident, but this is a wonderful way of falling in love with your well-known own country again and again.

First stop is Paloznak, a small village not far from the lake where to my surprise I bump into a village festival. Bunches of people are enjoying the rays of autumn sun, nice dishes are being cooked in big pots and magically all the wine glasses are filled up over and over again. For the moment music comes from big speakers, but by the fence different musical instruments are waiting patiently for their time to come.

I leave Paloznak for Csopak and a short sunbathing, then heading to Balatonfüred I hear an advertisement in the radio about the Murci festival. Murci?! What the hell is murci? Well, let’s find out, it’s happening in Balatonfüred, I’m already on the way there.
As it turns out, murci is the nickname for fresh wine, a rather sweet liquid with a big percentage of sugar. You can also have some finger food to accompany the red and white murci while live jazz music helps you to unwind.

After the murcis I arrive soon in Sajkod, one of the rare places by the lake that is still a bit untouched, where you can enjoy the natural beauty of Balaton without artificial beaches, private properties or big hordes of people. On this very afternoon I’m the only person there. I sink my feet into the crystal clear cold water watching the lowest bunches of the trees hang into the lake, listening to the wind play the leaves in ‘crescendo’. Idyll.

Driving further on route 71 suddenly I see a big sign saying ‘First cabbage festival of Örvényes’. Mmm, some cabbage after the village festival and the murci? Why not?! So I park the car and go exploring.
The first cabbage festival attracts a number of locals, when I arrive, a Hungarian band is playing typical Hungarian folk music while the grateful audience is dancing and singing along. In the pots you can find many different dishes made of cabbage and a bit of Hungarian fish soup.
Wherever I look, I can see some creative cabbage decoration that makes me smile all the time and it is pretty hard to leave this elegant green company.

A couple of kilometers away new miracles are waiting for me: amazing green sheets of the local sailing school are approaching the shore, small boats are hiding in the dry reed and lonely stairs leading to the lake give me the impression of fading beauty.

After a quick rest in Dörgicse, the village of Révfülöp starts calling me as the last stop before sunset. But first I bump into a group of cows and Hungarian grey cattles just as a friendly reminder that I’m not going to eat beautiful animals anymore.

Arriving at Révfülöp, I notice a small sign alongside the road: ‘Viewpoint of Fülöp-hill’ and sure that I need to be there. I park the car to walk up the stairs, roots and stones and at the very moment I start to wonder where I left my breath and where the hell the viewpoint is exactly, I set my eyes on it between the huge trees.
The rays of the setting sun give a certain golden haze to the lake and in the distance the silhouettes of our famous buttes show some divine beauty.

Driving home through the village of Tótvázsony on route 77 I just can not be grateful enough for the unexpected but simple miracles I had the chance to enjoy during this only afternoon.
Well, no wonder why. I decided in the morning that good things were going to happen to me.

Itinerary: Veszprém – Paloznak – Csopak – Füred – Sajkod – Örvényes – Fövenyes – Dörgicse – Révfülöp – Tótvázsony – Veszprém.


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