This is a guest post by my lovely travel companion… none other than my very own mum! Enjoy…
Off to Eger…….(pron. Egg-Air)
We decided on a two day adventure out of ‘Budi’ to the countryside to get a feel for Hungary and a more realistic take on local life. Eger was our base.
Car hired and on the road, the countryside to the northeast was a little unremarkable….fairly flat.
As we drove past townships along the freeway, we felt confounded by the strangest sight. A traditional, quaint town or small city was marred by ugly, grey, high-rise buildings. Why? What are they for? Factories? Housing? Are they deserted? Local knowledge revealed they were indeed used for housing and were called a “panel” for short. In Hungary, these buildings are long associated with the working class and the unemployed, thus bearing a social stigma. Up to 10 percent of the population lives in panel housing. We learned that these concrete structures resulted from two main factors: the post war housing shortage and the ideology of the Communist leadership….to foster a ‘collective nature’ to the people. Despite the history lesson here, for us this posed issues with our photography!!! Quaintness clashes with concrete block!! Continue reading “Eger and the Hungarian countryside”