Hungary might be a landlocked country, but we are fortunate enough to own Central Europe’s biggest freshwater lake. Thanks to childhood family vacations, Funzine’s editorial team has plenty of lovely memories to share.
When I was a child, I’ve spent the whole summer at Balatonlelle almost every year. To this day, I consider the town my second home; I have tons of memories about a 10-day creative handicraft camp where naturalist, moviemaker and taekwondo workshops were also organized. I started out as a camper, but a few years in I became a youth camp leader which was the coolest thing at that time. As much as I couldn’t wait for it to start, I was thrilled to return home and tell my family about everything.
Whenever I travel to Siófok, I am seeking to relive the memories of my first vacation, in 2000. I stayed at Ezüstpart hotel with many other kids: we had fun playing mini golf, bouncing around inside the giraffe-themed jumping castle, and practising the handstand in the lake. When it got darker outside, we headed to Palace Dance Club’s courtyard where the kids’ party took place. Today, the place looks so different; sometimes I take a walk in the area while listening to Modjo Lady and Dario G’s Sunchyme.
For a long time I haven’t experienced the summer side of Lake Balaton, because my family chose to spend the annual holiday there in the winter when I was a child. We stayed at our relatives’ home in Balatonalmádi, a lovely town with uphill streets perfect for sledding down. So, instead of enjoying the summer sun in a bikini by the lake, we were dressed in warm clothes from head to toe, engaging ourselves with building a snowman with our cousins and taking long walks in the snowy streets.
The most precious memories I still hold on to are related to vacationing in Balatonaliga, where I keep returning to every year with a group of friends for 15 years. We cook and grill together under the starry sky, play beer pong or board games on the terrace, laugh a lot, while there’s always someone who doesn’t agree with the music the rest of us has chosen. During the day, relaxing by the lake is our favourite activity; we’ve also tried night swimming before, but then guards ran us out of the beach.
When I found out that we’ll have a whole section for team Funzine’s Balaton experiences, previous team building memories came rushing through my mind. Every September, we conquer Füred Camping, make a fire, cook paprika potatoes in a huge cauldron, and for the sake of developing team cohesiveness, we play fun games – you are reading the words of last years’ winner of peasant Activity, regardless of what the others would say –, and do other typical team building activities (aka wine is flowing).
I’ve sailed across Lake Balaton with my yellow, ducky boat many times since I was a pup. Splashed around in Fonyód, visited Földvár’s lookout tower. Got on the ferry in Szántód, had fun at Boglár’s dance balls. In Lelle, summer romances had me a blast, rode the bike in Szigliget in the past. I tried lángos in Örvényes, in Györök I found a bay, discovered the Káli Basin, and to “Lily Garden”, mouth-watering scents showed me the way. Csopak’s panorama is the best, I’ve visited Füred’s wine fests. Chased swans in Almádi, it was fun, but Keszthely’s cultural tour I’ve also done. Tihany and the smell of lavender, Zánka’s car get-together, Szárszó and the paddle boat, great picnic in Siófok. Memories of Pécsely outings are gold, but Vászoly is my favourite, it just never gets old.