After a surprisingly short trip we arrive at the train station. Our bus stops and I can see people packing their belongings into their bags and folding their coats. The bus replaces the train, doing the second part of the way from Budapest to Siofok, one of the major cities at Lake Balaton.
We jump from the stairs leading out of the bus, the crowd disperses quickly and we find ourselves on an empty square in the middle of the small town. Some cab drivers look out of their parked cars trying to figure out whether we would be business, quickly they decide otherwise and continue reading the newspaper or doing nothing. Through the sun we glimpse into the map and figure the lake must be somewhere; probably we need to cross the rails. Despite the weather it seems to be very empty around the city. We see a guy who tries to repair his car with the wheels jacked off the ground and suddenly it falls from the construction causing the shady looking guy to shout in Hungarian, probably insulting everything and everybody; we quickly march around the corner where we can catch a first look onto the lake and it looks good already.
The street leads us to a row of hotels, apartments, bars, restaurants and night clubs which means that in summer it is probably a bustling promenade with lots of domestic and international tourists. A usually busy place during high season and not the right spot to escape from the city but now it looks interesting and somehow unreal to walk there with only the two of us.
Finally, we reach the water front and we can anticipate how huge Lake Balaton must be. It is possible to see the opposite side, however to the left there is no end in sight. We start walking down the promenade along a line of smaller houses and some apartments. After around an hour we stop because we only made it half way and we are there to relax, enjoy the sun, discover and breathe, not to run a marathon. So, we go back via some side streets and back to where we started our walk at the promenade, the quay wall. We stroll down the way on the quay until we are “on” the lake, observing the old fishermen talking about the latest stories or maybe fish. I sit next to my friend who made the long way from Berlin and we understand each other without talking. We sit there and look onto the wide water blending with the blue sky. I feel as calm as my surroundings and wonder why life cannot always be so simply pretty…