Monday 14 May 2012

Another day, three other countries

Breakfast in Hungary, lunch in Slovakia, dinner in Poland: what it is to be a globetrotter! Though in fact it was only a day's not very intensive driving in our comfortable Insight coach through pretty green hills and farmland with little villages of coloured houses with steeply-pitched roofs, and churches with tall spires of various shapes. There were people tending neat gardens, some crop hung to dry on triangular racks, a stork wading through long grass, a deer watching something, lots of clear mountain streams and proper mountains with snow on them.

There were also clusters of horrible Soviet-era apartment blocks, now painted brightly but still eyesores ("though stylish inside!" insisted Karin, who grew up in one), ugly factories belching smoke and smells out into the clean air, electricity sub-stations all cables and transformers, car-yards under tents of plastic banners, and lots of Tesco supermarkets. But mainly it was lovely, the apple and plum trees blossoming white and pink, the woodlands pleasantly mixed deciduous and conifer, scatterings of goats and sheep, random singly-tethered cows chewing their cud, and always the appealing traditional houses, three or four storeys, or just one in sturdy wood.

The southern part of Poland we came in to was especially attractive - and the roads were excellent! And now we're in Krakow, which has not only swans on the wide bend of the river below the towers of the Old Town's cathedral, but an actual salt mine to explore tomorrow. Now there's a thing.

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