Saturday, 6 June 2015

Koszeg & Szombathely

It is pleasant to walk to and stay in a small village, but it can be hard for a visitor on foot. The guest house I booked has a common kitchen, lovely garden, barbeque, no breakfast and I was the only guest, the owner lived half hour away and just came to give me the keys. The village has two mini-markets, both closed on Wednesday 12 noon for the day, the only restaurant was open but very disappointing. I was advised the Baker-van makes the rounds approx. 6p.m. so I bought some croissants and had them with some tea in "my" kitchen for breakfast.

Needless to say I was happy to reach Koszeg, now I am spoiled for choice. The town is located at the foot of the Austrian Alps, the mountains to the west the plains to the east. When the Turkish Army marched on Vienna in 1532 It could not take Koszeg, the relatively small castle defended by 700 men repelled 19 major assaults by the 80 000 strong Turks and after 25 days of fighting the Sultan abandoned the campaign till the following year.

Four hundred and eighteen of the defenders were killed.

The town offers a large choice of accommodation and restaurants and limitless excursions into the country side in Austria and Hungary by foot or bike.
Main square with the Church of the Sacred Heart
On my way to Szombathely I left the main road which by-passes all the old villages and took the old road, much more interesting, 7-8 km. of nonstop houses 2-3 rows deep on large blocks.  Many of the residents have produce from their garden displayed just off the road, strawberry's, spring-onions, flowers with prices marked and a tin to leave the money in, but not a coffee-shop in sight.

The main square of Szombathely is very impressive, it is the largest I have seen. 2 water fountains, statues and lots of room for children to play surrounded by shops, restaurants, ice-cream stands and plenty of benches to relax on. As a special present to myself to celebrate my 30th day on the road and the 566 000 steps I have completed I visited "McDonald" to have a 'very hot and good coffee in a very large cup'. Tomorrow, destination Sarvar and the spas.

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