Kesythely, Ungarn

Kedd, Oktober 16, 1928

Got a bad start out of Budapest. The Italian Consulate couldn’t speak English and thought I wanted a free visa and asked me to get a letter from the American Consulate. I went to the Am. C. and he straightened it all out, so I got some snappy service from Italy, but it was 12:30 before I got away—and on the wrong road. Soon got straightened out though. This was Hétfo. Cloudy and cold but I rode out of the clouds.

Székesfehervar, 53 miles, by five and rode all over town not seeing a hotel. When I stopped to ask, a big crowd gathered around and one man volunteered to show me. Tried 2 but n.g. Have a hunch they thought I wanted the room gratis. He then took me home with him to his humble 2-room home. Had a wife and 3 kids, age 1, 2, and 3. Had dinner by light of THE lamp in bedroom—other room sort of a kitchen and storeroom. He couldn’t speak English, but I learned the magyarisch for many things and forgot it all. Too much tongue-twisting. I got one of the two beds and slept half-dressed. Between the kids and cat there, was not much sleeping. Had kávé and rolls for breakfast, kávé having rum in it. Spent $1.24, most all for service and tips at hotel and stamps and 58 pegyör or $10 for visa.

Today left at 7. Was freezing cold for a couple hours and then just cold, though day was nice and sunny. Roads have been fairly decent thus far. For 6 hours rode along shores of Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Europe, 35 by 2 to 7½ miles. On other shore were large hills and mountains, the white plaster towns and houses dotting the slopes. Water was very blue. Is a marvelous sight. Have to be very careful not to get caught in the hills after 5:30 or so, and had to stop at Keszthely, a fair-sized place at west end of lake, as it is 30 miles to the next large town. Rode 82 miles today.

Passed a town crier all dressed up in uniform with drum yelling the news in the middle of the road. Also the first pretty girl I have seen in Hungary. Women here are good at carrying baskets on their head. I followed one for a mile and she didn’t make a slip. The grapes are excellent in this section. Pants are wearing and I’ll have to get on the sewing job now. Spent 75¢ today.

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