History and heritage camp in Őrvidék
Group 1 and 2 from Mohács and Group 1 from Kaposvár set off for the Hungarian Uplands to spend an adventurous week in Austria and the north-west of Hungary. It was a long journey of several hours to Bükfürdő, where our accommodation was waiting for us at the Hunguest Bük hotel. During the trip there was time to talk and share experiences, as the young people don’t meet very often anymore, as life has taken everyone in different directions after grade 12. Some continued their studies at university after leaving school, others stayed on at technical colleges, some completed a course and some are already working. On the way, we admired Lake Balaton and stopped briefly in Sárvár, where we spent some time in the beautiful town.
“On Monday, our camp in Őrvidék finally started, which we were all looking forward to. Our accommodation was first class, the Hunguest Bük Hotel awaited us with comfortable rooms and a buffet breakfast and dinner.
The first stop of our camp on Tuesday was the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, which was a very impressive sight from the outside. We first walked through the rooms of the castle, where we were each given an audio guide so we could hear fascinating stories in Hungarian about some of the rooms in the palace. Among other things, we were able to learn about the lives of Sissi and Maria Theresa and get an insight into the everyday lives of the monarchs and their families. We learned how they lived, how they ate and how they slept. After we came out of the last room, the rain had thankfully stopped, so we could admire the magnificent gardens, which added to the number of kilometres we had to cover, but it was worth it as the hilltop offered a stunning view of the castle and Vienna. The rest of the day was spent sightseeing in Vienna, parking the bus in the city centre, where we were able to admire many notable buildings.
On Wednesday we started our day at the Zotter Chocolate Factory. We watched a short film about how the chocolate is made and where the ingredients come from. Then the fun began, as we got to taste chocolate in all its forms, from very bitter cocoa beans to the chocolate bar version. It’s safe to say that Arthur Button would have had a great time here, as there was plenty of chocolate to try, coconut, strawberry, raspberry, biscuit, nut, hazelnut, popcorn. In addition, the delicious sweets were served in a wide variety of shapes: balls, liquid, powder, slabs, cubes,… After everyone had recovered from the sugar shock, the afternoon was spent at the castle of Riegersburg, where we took a cable car ride, a first experience for many of us. The panorama was simply stunning, we could see far across the Austrian landscape dotted with vineyards, rolling hills, fields and charming mountain villages.
On our fourth day we had a full day of driving ahead of us, covering a little over twenty kilometres through the beautiful Burgenland countryside. The carriages were four-seater, driven by two people with pedals on railway tracks. Sometimes we had to pedal hard because we were going uphill, but there were also downhill sections where the little cars were really racing through forests and fields. It was a great experience, but it was also tiring, but the lunch and ice cream, the atmosphere and the environment gave everyone the strength to overcome the distance. And after arriving home, we finally had time to go to the spa, as the rooms came with a pass to ensure we got through.
On Friday, we visited the Esterházy Palace, where, after visiting the courtyard and the Herend porcelain collection, we could admire the palace from the inside with a guide. In one of the rooms we could even listen to live music, a string quartet was rehearsing. In the afternoon, the group was treated to a boat trip on Lake Fertő, made even more exciting by the approaching storm. The rain hit us, but we watched it from the enclosed part of the boat on the ground floor.
On Saturday, we closed the series with FunCity, where we had an amazing experience. We had the chance to go go-karting, drive in an F1 simulator, be transported into space thanks to VR technology, or even admire Budapest from a bird’s eye view. In the afternoon, it was back to swimming. The evening was spent together by the 3 groups and their mentors, as we were able to take part in the Night of the Bathers, which meant that it was not only a perfect end to the camp, but also to 9 years of camping together.”
Benjamin Palotai Mohács Group 1
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