- The land of my ancestors. My Repas cousins and I walked through the small village of Harskut where our Great, Great Grandmother and Great, Great, Great Grandmother are buried. I know that other relations...Hutwagner's and Rausch's must be resting there beneath the ground as well.
- Rolling green hills, fields and forests of the Hungarian countryside surrounding Harskut, Vesprem and Vanyarc, the towns and villages where may family and friends live
- Rows and rows of grapevines with fruit maturing and ripening...Hungary has a rich wine culture.
- Tears of happiness shared between my cousins and me
- Connections and differences between these two countries, Poland and Hungary
- Hungarian embroidery, costumes, pottery, jewelry, and other historical and cultural objects at the museum in Vesprem and the small museum in Harskut.
- Thunder crashing, dark sky, flashing lightening as the bus drives through a storm in mountainous Slovakia. It felt fitting to be in a storm like this in Slovakia...a dark, romantic, Gothic experience... if only I was on a stage coach.
- Dogs barking, the sound echoing between the hills and through the valley of my friend's village. It seems that everyone has a dog here. The sound of companionship.
- My cousin's husband playing the accordion for the family under his grape arbor in the evening in the countryside, the moon peaking out between clouds. He taught me some songs and we all sang together.
- My friend's partner sharing even more music with me this week...the songs are making an impression as I wake up humming some of them.
|Vesprem, Hungary: a view from the medieval tower of the old town rooftops and streets|
- Many Hungarian wines... White wine made from the grapes at my cousin's husbands vineyard. Wines from my other cousin's father's wine cellar. He sent me off with three bottles of good Hungarian wines to try!
- so many amazing home cooked foods in Vesprem made by my cousin's mother...one thing she made was Beigli a rolled sweet bread with poppy seeds and nuts...I grew up with another version my grandmother made called Kalach or what she called Lachen.
- fresh handmade noodles or dumplings...the best!
- A homemade meal prepared by a woman who lives in Osku near my cousins village who has an outdoor oven which was built by her husband. This couple runs a rustic bed and breakfast and cooks fabulous meals for quests.
- As seen in the picture bellow... a supper at my cousin's home. Home smoked ham and bacon served and eaten with a knife on wooden plates. Fresh bread, whole tomatoes, peppers and fruit and homemade white wine accompanied this treat.
- thyme growing in a garden
- duck roasting in the oven as I write this post
- different bouquets of Hungarian wines
- smoke in the valley in the village where I am staying
- red roses blooming outside the house in Budapest where I will be staying this week
|Hungarian Folk dancers in costume during a performance I saw on Thursday night|
- A sense of true friendship and connection with my Hungarian relatives after spending two and a half days with them earlier this week.
- Thankful for the beautiful hospitality of my relatives and friends.
- A sense of wonder that my time in Poland this summer is in the past yet I can still evoke the feeling of the place, the people and my experience there.
- Interested that Hungary has a whole different feeling which is just as meaningful as Poland's feel, just different.
- Love that I can remember a place by it's feeling, the whole of a place, it's soul perhaps?... this way of connecting with a place... an indescribable feeling that each place has it's own soul which is palpable.
- excited to see a live performance of authentic Hungarian folk dances performed by skilled dancers wearing beautiful costumes and bringing such exuberance to the stage with live musicians playing fiddles, accordions, and a hammered dulcimer like instrument, with such beautiful and discordant harmonies.
|"Kevin" the kitten ...the new family member|
- My cousins and I found a stray kitten crying out loudly for help in the bushes of Vesprem as we took a night walk. I picked it up and began petting it and kissing it's soft, furry head. As I carried it home to my cousin's flat it is warm and vibrating with purring. My cousin will give it a home as we all fell in love him quickly.
- warm, clean sheets and blankets covering me as I fall asleep very tired every night after long, full days
- the ground and gravestone of my great, great grandmothers in the village where my grandfather's family is from