Heading home now. We leave the Eastern Europe of Hungary to head to Austria, Western Europe. Rather than just hammer down the motorway we elect to go along the main road running roughly parallel so we can see a little of the Hungarian countryside. And as we saw last week it is almost completely taken over with fields of sunflowers. Nearly all brown and ready for harvest now but an occasional flash of yellow serves as a reminder of what a magnicent sight this must have been a month ago.
Parallel to the motorway, so past the logistic warehouses for several corporations, past IKEA and past an outlet village (probably Hungary's premier outlet village). Past it and then a complete circle of the roundabout to go back and in. We don't do outlet shopping, mainly because we don't do brands but, the above the roundabout we spotted a brand so compelling to make us U-turn. Playmobil! Could this be the opportunity for Nana and Grandad to have that extra special plaything? Sadly not, it was shut. It wasn't a shop anyway, probably a crèche where shoppers could leave their darling ones whilst in pursuit of shoddy Philippine produced, over-priced American brands marketed as bargains. We walked the mall and wandered into a couple of outdoor clothing shops. We bought nothing but it was a huge mall so good exercise.
Next stop the small town of Tatabánya where we could stock up with essentials from the local Hungarian speciality shop - Tesco. To be fair it was a large store (advertised as a "hiper") and the first thing we saw on entering were huge wine fermentation vessels, fruit presses and what we think must have been a still! And local produce was on sale, including a 2l plastic bottle of Hungarian wine for 549fnts (£1.65). Got to be done.
Tesco may be a Europe wide brand but we caused great confusion with our UK Tesco clubcard, so much so that we indicated not to bother. Worth a try, though.
After that it was motorway all the way to Vienna. Well, that is after we found the motorway. For some reason the Satnav didn't want to take us on the motorway (yes we'd told it motorways and toll roads were OK) and so navigated us past the turning. An awkward U-turn and from that direction the signs were somewhat confusing; in traffic we missed the turning again, from the other direction. I'm getting good at U-turns in the midst of traffic-heavy Hungarian towns by now and next pass found us on the M1.
Apart from a stop to buy an Austrian motorway vignette and a near-death experience at the border (see separate blog entry) the remaining journey was uneventful.
We're definitely in W Europe now, a walk from the campsite to a local restaurant/bar and 2 beers are €7.20! A far cry from Czech/Polish/Slovak/Hungarian prices. Remember that wine at £1.65 for 2l, we've just tried it and it's not half-bad.
Anyway here's today's route