A couple of weeks ago I was sent a very interesting email by fellow cycle tourer Richard Medley. He informed me that he had come across my ride through the regular articles printed in the Western Gazette (a local paper from back home). Richard had also been on a long cycle tour (from Dorset, England to Turkey via Danube) and wanted to set me up with a night of rest in Baja, Hungary.
“Ed, I took each day as it came and planned few stops in advance. But if you are interested I’d like to organize a nights rest for you. The town of Baja on the Hungarian / Serbian border was half way on my ride. At foterpanzio.hu I was made to feel so welcome by Istvan. It’s in the main square opposite a Wellness Hotel, very friendly, in a very interesting town.”
Wow! I’m still surprised by the level of support and kindness I have received on this trip. As it happened a few days before arriving, Istvan contacted to say that he would be happy to welcome me free of charge. Just wow!
So a week or so after receiving this amazing email I rolled into Baja in search of Istvan and Foter Panzio. Well I say rolled in, but in fact it was more like bumped in, dues to the cobbled main square. The guesthouse was easy to find and I was shown incredible generosity by the famous Istvan. After checking in to my room and showering, he took me to lunch with his grandson at the local cafe on the square. I had a potato and beef stew which really hit the spot after the 25 mile ride that morning. Later on in the afternoon Istvan treated me to an ice cream. I feel incredible honoured to have met someone so willing to give and if you ever find yourself in Hungary definitely make a note to stop in Baja.
That night a Hungarian rock band was playing on the main square and I couldn’t resist checking it out. They played mainly Hungarian music, but occasionally slipped into english. They were really good and for entertainment I don’t think you can beat a long haired Hungarian singing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ with the lyrics, ‘Sveet home Alabaja, vhere the sky are so blue’!