Humans have grown up with trees, at once a place of shelter, and of threat, of easily generated myths, yet bestowing a soothing magic. It comes as no surprise that trees should be at centre stage in our current search for effective recuperative measures to address our climatic misdeeds. Indeed, with the strictures on congregation brought on by pandemic, woodland of any sort has become a refuge, a natural hospice, a personal shrine for so many people unable or unwilling to risk health in the company of our fellow beings.
Hungary, through many eyes, is a country of extremes. It lies on the fringes of Europe, unlike most European countries it is landlocked, and commonly experiences scorching heat in the summer and tree-cracking cold in winter. The Hungarian language is also one of a kind with no near relations; this allows a defensive impenetrability, but engenders a cultural homogeneity almost like that of Israel.
A landlocked country in middle Europe, Hungary is stranded by language which is almost impenetrable. It has high hills in the north, much of it covered by beech forest, some on top of very extensive limestone cave systems, with tiny hamlets, some barely touched by the 21st century. The Puszta is the name for the great Hungarian plain, located in the south, is the start of the vast expanse which becomes steppe as you travel eastward. Read more . .
When I first went to Magyarorszag – Hungary, just after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, I was taken aback by the impenetrable language, by the really ‘innocent’ charm of the people, and also the discovery of the beech clad hills of the northern borders remembers Bob Cranwell. Read more . .
I was asked to lead some walking tours in Hungary and as I flew into Budapest with the national airline, Malev on a flight for a four day recce of the route and accommodation I realised that I couldn’t decipher a single word of the Hungarian newspaper I had asked for. Read more . .