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Bilingual tour guide...

My wife, sister-in-law and their 83 year old mother will be visiting Budapest in the Fall. The mother's family comes from the Carpathian mountains and it would fulfill a lifetime dream to visit her ancestral homeland.

We're looking for a tour guide, with a car, with seriously good knowledge of the Carpathian region for two or three days. I'd imagine this would also need a couple of nights stay in local hotels.

Any help and suggestions very appreciated.

Posted by
20565 posts

Your request on this site may be difficult to fulfill. I would suggest that you start with the web site for Budapest There will be linkages to tour companies and just start with lots of emails. If there is a university in the area contact the history department. Sometimes history profs will moonlight in the summer time as tour guides or know people who do. Might consider a request to a local newspaper. This is a very specialized request and it might make for a local interest story.

Posted by
10673 posts

I might be able to help. I know a few guides in Hungary and some of the surrounding countries. When you said bilingual did you have any anything in mind other than English and Hungarian? And you spoke to the Carpathian Region which crosses quite a few borders. Any country in particular? Or just Hungary's current borders. I bet with the good folks here we can get you set up.

Posted by
12084 posts

Hi,

As pointed out the general region is the Carpathians, where specifically? Which province?

Posted by
10673 posts

Sounds like a fun assignment. Where do we begin? With the exception of Poland I bet you can find Hungarian villages in each of these Carpathian countries.

Czech Republic
Poland
Slovakia
Hungary
Ukraine
Romania
And
Serbia

Posted by
108 posts

You guys have already been so helpful! So, I now have some better intel as I could ask better questions.

Turns out mother- in- law is Ukrainian!
Big city near home town is called Mukacheve
Actual home town is Berezynka

The Budapest thing came up because that's where her grandmother traveled to to come to the U.S.

So, I think they will still fly into Budapest, but now wanting to go to Mukacheve and surrounds.

Thank you!

Posted by
10673 posts

I actually know where Mukacheve is located and it’s not too terribly far from the Hungarian border. Not that I have ever been there, but I have been working on plans for a fishing trip to Ukraine in the spring. I have my set of limits when I travel and the hassle of taking the train to Ukraine exceeds those limits. Not impossible or absolutely horrible but not my cup of tea. Although the train from Budapest does cross about an hour away in Chop, Ukraine. I believe that's where they change the carriages to the Ukraine narrow track system. Then from Chop it appears as though there is a track to Mukacheve. I bet you could make the trip from Budapest in under 30 hours by train.

The town of Mukacheve is about an hour and a half from Nyíregyháza, Hungary. You can reach Nyíregyháza in about 4 hours by train from Budapest. From there I would hire a Ukraine guide/driver. But actually, no, I wouldn’t do any of that. We will be flying into Lviv from Budapest (changes in Vienna – about 4 hours). If you are going to Ukraine Lviv is sort of a mandatory stop as the city is reportedly very worth the time. From Lviv to Mukacheve is about 3.5 hours by car through what appears to be some pretty amazing country. We will hire a driver for this ($200). My fishing location is on the same route but just a little closer to Lviv. After the fishing we are returning to Lviv, then flying to Kiev to look around and show support, then flying back to Budapest (changes in Munich – about 4.5 hours). Total airfare is about $375.00.

Just because grandma was from Ukraine doesn’t mean she isn’t Hungarian. There are ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine; our you might have a little Hutsul blood in your veins.

Posted by
12084 posts

Hi,

I agree with seeing Lviv as the introduction to the Ukraine and the immediate area. In the early 1990s a good friend of mine, Polish-American, with some Polish and German language capability, did exactly that...went to Lviv from Krakow by train (not too sure about that but he didn't mind long hauls), since he was most interested in seeing the old Lemberg , the province capital, as it was known when it was under the Monarchy, any evidence of it, etc.

Posted by
10673 posts

I just noted that grandma is 83 years old. Okay, so lets rule out the train all together. Way too much for a person of advancing years. Let me contact a guide I know in Budapest and see if he has any words of wisdom. Will be back to you.

Posted by
108 posts

James E. and Fred,

thank you!

Looking forward to what you find out James E.

David

Posted by
10673 posts

David, I sent you a PM with some contact information. Let me know if it helps. I trust Andrew's opinion.