One week before we arrived in Hungary Aniko contacted us through couchsurfing offering us a bed for a few nights. We had no idea where it was or how to get there. Aniko guided us via emails and SMS . We arrived very late at night after a very long 10 hours on the train then 1.5 hours to their home. Aniko and her two sons Lexi and Ervin met us and walked us home. They live with her mother Clara who shared her homemade apricot brandy with us several times. That was strong especially with breakfast. We are so appreciative of Aniko meeting us. She had baked her trademark cheesecake so we had cake before bed.
The next morning Aniko and Lexi took us around their town. We are so happy that we were able to see it through their eyes and learn the history. The architecture was incredible. Very pretty city with lots of parks and flowers.
Aniko and Lexi speak such good English. Aniko is a lecturer and teaches students privately. She has led an interesting life that's for sure. Lexi is 21 and has already attained degrees in several languages. He was born autistic and together with his mother have managed to get him where he is. He is a very patient guy and we really loved getting to know him too. Aniko has a lot of plans for the future and I hope she will realise them.
Later that day we travelled by local train to Kerekdomb about an hour away, they have another home there. It is like a holiday home in the country except it is in a spa town. We walked over the road to the spa. The centre has been there quite some time. I am not sure what we expected but we had to buy some swimwear anyway. The town is built over hot springs. This has been harnessed to fill 2 large concrete pools of warm and also very hot water. No frills about it. You can swim in it or just sit on the steps chatting to your friends. It is for local people and local tourists. We felt privileged to be there. We swapped warm for hot and they also had huge spouts of water from hoses spraying hot water...that hot we couldn't bear it. It didn't smell like sulphur at all surprisingly. We stayed in there for 2 hours. Our skin was so soft after. We were so relaxed and fell straight to sleep quite early after a wonderful ratatouille cooked by Aniko and freshly harvested grapes from their garden on top of a custard flan. We also had grapes with breakfast next morning before we caught the train back home and then to Budapest. We left with our bags heavier ..a flask of the brandy, two jars of homemade apricot jam and mulberry jam and lots of good luck wishes,books and 2 four leaf clovers. They were generous with their time, their food and their historical knowledge. What a start to Hungary!
We have never eaten apricot jam that good ...even the jam we cook. The best thing about travelling in summer is we get to eat all the fresh stone fruit and grapes now and then when we go home. The nectarines in Hungary are the tastiest as good as home grown.