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Holiday in Balatonfenyves

pavilon balatonlelleWe returned this year to Balatonfenyves with Kata's family. The weather was wonderful but scorching. For the trip we invested in a Green Valley bike rack for the car. For some reason, although made for a Dacia Sandero, it does not seem to have been made for women's bikes. On further research, because there is nothing on the box or in the instructions, one must buy a separate adapter bar to transport women's bikes. Muppets.Therefore, Kata's heavy bike had to be loaded on with its back sticking in the air and not ideally attached. Consequently, her bike fell off on the M3 and was briefly dragged behind us but luckily did not fall off completely. We eventually made it down at a maximum 90 km/h. Our frayed nerves were soothed by Kata's daughter offering to buy us dinner that night at one of her favourite restaurants.

The Majthényi Présház in Balatonlelle is run by the Konyári family that owns both the nearby Konyári and Ikon Vineyards so you know immediately that the wine selection is going to be excellent. The panorama from the restaurant is unbeatable. The place is dog, family and foreigner friendly, and the menu includes an entire page of information concerning potential allergens. Therefore I found it odd that while gluten and lactose allergies were addressed by the menu offerings, there was not a single dish catering to vegetarians except a fig salad with goat cheese (one of the most expensive items at 2890 HUF). Nor was there anything especially for children unless they wanted the fried chicken breast. I had a rosé, and Kata had a chardonnay which was good, but not good enough to buy a bottle. I ended up trying a guinea fowl stuffed with mozzarella and dill and a side of napkin dumplings. The poultry was good, and for such a small bird, surprisingly filling, but the greasy dumplings were a poor choice on my part because French fries or a salad would have been a better accompaniment. Dia insisted that the túrógomboc was fabulous but we found it a bit dry - a larger portion of jam or some sour cream would have helped. Service was friendly and efficient, and the whole atmosphere was laid back.

Back at the lake we took a bike ride to Balatonlelle with the idea of doing some wine tasting along the way, but the south coast is not like the north coast. Although there were some uniform wine barrel-like wine shops along the way, only sales were possible and not tastings. It was also incredibly hot, registering 41 C in the shade in late afternoon. Seeking some air for our tires, we stopped at Haribike on Béla király u. in Fonyod, where we were cheekily informed that use of their pump would cost us 200 HUF/tire. While within his rights, it was not polite or proper behaviour.

We took a break at Pavilon in Balatonboglár, a small outdoor retro-style restaurant. There was a mix up and our pizza was accidentally delivered to someone with an impatient child and had already been bitten into. The waitress recognised her error and was very apologetic. She offered us another drink on the house (something unheard of in Hungary), which we of course accepted. And then she forgot the drinks! I think she was just having an off day. The pizza was fresh but in need of some herbs, and the wine spritzer was good. We liked the place, and full marks for recognising a mistake and making amends - the first time in 27 years in Hungary that this has happened to me.

We stopped at the Geleta Pastry Shop in Balatonlelle on the way back. Kata had spotted it from the car on the way to dinner the previous night. The ice cream selection was vast and interesting. I sampled the blueberry-camembert ice cream that while creamy, was tasteless. I tasted the coldness, but nothing else. Kata had the same experience with hers.

At the lake in the afternoon we spotted some guys drinking energy drinks and carrying a Turkish water pipe between them into the lake. Amazing idea!

csodasgyongyAnother day with Lili we rode to the Nagyberek Market at Hunyady Court, Imremajor, Balatonfenyves. We really like this market, and always find interesting people to talk to. The chimney cake maker had a deal, we unfortunately only noticed later, with the cheese makers opposite to use their cheeses in his chimney cakes upon request. We also met Melanie Kromer of Csodás Gyöngy.I thought she was a Hungarian that spoke excellent German, but she is a German who speaks Hungarian like a native. We admired her creations and chatted with her for some time. There was a little girl with a broken arm playing football with her equally talented grandmother. Lili danced on the stage with other children, and we enjoyed a rose spritzer and a chimney cake in the sun.