Please sign in to post.

Good accommodations in western Hungary

Can anyone recommend a good, clean & comfortable place to stay in the Orseg/Vas county area? I need to book 2 rooms (1 double, 1 single) & would like something more than the very basic but not a resort either. There doesn’t seem to be much in between! Will have a rental car so we need parking as well...hopefully no charge. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Posted by
10983 posts

Just using google maps and searching for hotels I found several that looked nice with various prices in Szombathely and some pricey ones around Sarvar. You have to zoom in to make them show or look at the bottom where there is a list of places others have looked at. I saw a couple pretty nice for under $50, Like the Hunter's Hotel and Restaurant. You just gotta poke around and don't think because its $40 that its not nice and if its $80 dont expect the four seasons....

Ive never been to that end of the country (beyond Balaton) and dont know any guides that I have ever heard of going that way. You will have a car, but if you needed a driver, I would ask his help. (I know a good one if the need comes up).

Posted by
74 posts

Thanks again. Yep, I’ve been searching & I’m sure I will find something suitable. We don’t mind simple, more authentic places & in fact find they usually offer a better glimpse into local life. But, a bit of ambiance is always nice.

Posted by
74 posts

BTW, I saved your info on a driver from another traveler’s post. You really are most helpful, James.

Posted by
10983 posts

you will have to write a trip report. it's a part of the country I have never been

Posted by
74 posts

Absolutely! My grandmother was born in Viszak & our ancestors have roots in many of the small towns in Vas county. I can’t wait!

Posted by
388 posts

James, speaking of Balaton, we did the Tank thing at their compound near Varpalota, north of Balaton. It was a hoot. Thanks for mentioning it. Drove 3 different WWII Tanks. Should have brought my own ear plugs though!

Posted by
10983 posts

expensive but fun, one of the big ones is a T55 Cold War era tank, I believe same as those the Russians drove into Budapest in 1956.

Could you imagine spending all day in one of those things.

Posted by
12117 posts

In 1956 the Soviets used T-34s to attack Budapest. I don't know about the T-55 and their role in Budapest.

Without going to Germany to see them, you can see a T-34 inside the Imperial War Museum in London, right to your left as you enter. Soviet tanks like the T-34 and T-55 were totally utilitarian, safety concerns for the crew was not of paramount. priority.

Posted by
12117 posts

@ Peter...Do you remember those three different types of Soviet WW2 tanks? Apart from the outdated, obsolete, outclassed models, they only had a few other models.

Posted by
10983 posts

Fred, http://tank.hu/index_en.php

There is an open air WWII museum in Kyiv that has a number of tanks, I think there is a T34 there as well. What I found most interesting was the C47 with Russian designation on it. I wonder if they made them there or if they were flown over.

http://www.warmuseum.kiev.ua/_eng/visitors/time/index.html

Another oddity is that during the war we sent the Russians a lot of Studebaker trucks. After the war, the Russian produced trucks all looked like Studebakers. Also in Belgrade there are quite a few tanks and other armaments on display. Some very old.

Fred, This is pretty interesting about the Russian invasion in Budapest in 1956

http://www.terrorhaza.hu/en/allando-kiallitas/ground_floor/tank-1

And 12 years ago there was at least one operational T34 in Budapest. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D4K59Hq7dXIc&ved=2ahUKEwiioaqrncDeAhUq7IMKHbhBAz8QwqsBMAF6BAgIEAU&usg=AOvVaw2Sh_LYJJ5xr2AW1IgLQx-2

Posted by
388 posts

Fred, I checked back in my notes from Sept 27 2018 and the 3 vehicles were GSP-55, BMP-1 and T-55 A. If you're looking for something to do now that you're retired, the Tank business is for sale.

Posted by
12117 posts

@ Peter...Thanks. Reading you post on the 3 WW2 tanks you drove, I thought they were the T-34, the JS I and maybe the JS 2, even though that one came after 1945...I think. I've not indulged in this activity of tank driving, most likely won't either.

There was "60 Minutes" program in the 1980s I saw where one of the reportages was one Soviet tanks, ie, design flaws where the cannon recoil could kill the crew or at least the gunner, as if the tank crews were expendable. One can point to having the gasoline barrels on the sides of the T-34 as an example, instant explosion engulfing the crew.

Posted by
335 posts

Barbara J, my sincere apologies for tanking your thread.

I thought they were the T-34
There aren't too many first-gen T-34s left, and even fewer of those (if any) that are still running. The vast majority are T-34-85, equipped with a 85mm gun.

There was "60 Minutes" program in the 1980s I saw where one of the reportages was on Soviet tanks,

Well, "60 Minutes" could've used a better tech consultant back in 1980s, I guess... The main problem with either 76 or 85 was their lack of bore evacuator (exacerbated by the fact that some wartime models up until '44 came with inefficient fans - or total lack thereof, brought about by shortages of parts). In most cases the crews dealt with it by cracking the hatches open. I haven't seen any reports to suggest any specific danger related to recoil - and if the program was not about T-34 specifically, it's even curioser, as all the late Soviet MBTs (since early 70s) were equipped with an autoloader.

As to having the gasoline barrels on the sides of the T-34 as an example, one can point out that unlike the vast majority of its contemporaries, Allied or Axis, T-34's V-2 engine ran on diesel fuel, which is far less of a fire hazard than gasoline.

T-34 may not be a wunderwaffe, but it a pretty darn well designed tank that did exactly what it was supposed to do.

Another oddity is that some time around 1942 the Russians sent us T-34 and KV-1 tanks for testing. By late 1944, some of their features found their way into newer American designs (T-23, T-25, and T-26)

Now, the point about Soviet crews being expendable by design - to me, it's just one of many stereotypes that came in handy for Cold War propaganda purposes, even in the 1980s.

Posted by
12117 posts

You can see that T-34 in London and the Bovington Tank Museum in England as well as in Berlin-Karlshorst. In Vienna it is on the grounds of the Army Museum. Go to Seelow near Berlin to the Battlefield Memorial site for the T-34 plus other Soviet ordinance.

As much as Bovington has on tanks of various countries, the Soviet JS 1 and JS 2 are not among them...at least I could not find them.

Posted by
74 posts

Perilofp...I appreciate your apology. Now, any suggestions for better accommodations? Tanks just seem a bit cold.

Posted by
10983 posts

BarbaraJ, if I make a few phone calls for you, can I post a bit more about tanks?

Posted by
10983 posts

Okay, I sent out three emails to people i know in Budapest. Lets see if any of them can help. 7 hours later there right now, so maybe I get something back in the morning...

Posted by
10983 posts

Fred, This is pretty interesting about the Russian invasion in Budapest in 1956

http://www.terrorhaza.hu/en/allando-kiallitas/ground_floor/tank-1

And 12 years ago there was at least one operational T34 in Budapest. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D4K59Hq7dXIc&ved=2ahUKEwiioaqrncDeAhUq7IMKHbhBAz8QwqsBMAF6BAgIEAU&usg=AOvVaw2Sh_LYJJ5xr2AW1IgLQx-2

HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (thank you BarbaraJ). Okay, its a guy thing. BUT, one of the most fascinating things about where you are going is recent history. A little reading on the '56 Revolution and the Nazi occupation of the city will bring all sorts of things to life as you walk around.

Here is some interesting insight into the Hungarian mind. The first stanza of the national anthem. It starts out good, but then .... and the rest is pretty much the same:

O God, bless the nation of Hungary
With your grace and bounty
Extend over it your guarding arm
During strife with its enemies
Long torn by ill fate
Bring upon it a time of relief
This nation has suffered for all sins
Of the past and of the future!

Posted by
74 posts

Yes, knowing some of the history...past & more recent...goes a long way in understanding a country & her people. Luckily, first-hand stories have filtered back from the old country. And, making connections to distant relatives & very old family friends provides more depth. My one & only visit to Hungary was in 1971 with my grandmother & my eyes were opened to hardships I couldn’t have imagined. Yet, these very poor people who had suffered in so many ways during WW2, under the Russians, in ‘56, were kind, loving & extremely generous. Even now, upon hearing of our intended visit next spring, an unknown relative is excited & happy that “the family hasn’t been forgotten”. My grandmother left Hungary in April 1912 & generations later, she is infamous in her birth country for making a courageous journey & forging a new fate for herself & her descendants.

You guys have fun with your tanks...it’s all good info.

Thanks for all the extra help & tips, James.

Posted by
192 posts

It’s been several years, but we stayed at Perintparti Panzio in Szombathely. It was outside the city center and seems like a good place to be based without a car. They didn’t speak much English, but we all made do. And we had one of our best meals in Hungary around the corner at Oreg Sam Etterem.

But, sadly, I don’t remember any tanks.

Posted by
12117 posts

Hi,

Since your grandmother left Hungary in 1912 for the US, that fits into the wave of non-western European immigration to the US prior to the outbreak of war in 1914. Because she left prior to WW1, I would heartily recommend this book: "Budapest 1900" by John Lukacs...erudite, comprehensive, readable, well worth reading. Anything Lukacs writes on European history is good.

In 1972 a teacher friend of mine went to Budapest, obviously, it was an eye-opener and difficult linguistically as the Hungarian bureaucracy she encountered only used German, the lingua franca then, with foreigners, which she and her colleague didn't know, ie only Spanish, French and English.

Posted by
10983 posts

BarbaraJ, so i wrote a Tour Guide (excellent one at that), a Driver (the best in Hungary) and a business associate of mine in Budapest.

Each said about the same thing; why??? Apparently not the most picturesque part of the country. When we conversed the other day I plugged in "Hotel" in Google Maps and I saw a couple I would love to stay in; for $45 to $65. They are not unlike a dozen or so other hotels I have stayed in across Eastern Europe and they have all been very enjoyable; sometimes for their quirkiness.

Since you put up with the boys playing with tanks, and I struck out, I thought I should at least offer up my choices from two ends of the region.

http://www.hausgertraud.at/
http://www.vadaszhotel.hu/

Posted by
12117 posts

@ Barbara...I should have included the subtitle of "Budapest 1900" which reveals a great deal more as to the scope of the book. It's "A Historical Portrait of a City and Its Culture." ie, a wealth of information not only on dreary but necessary politics but also on cultural and social history. Keep in mind, however, the book is dated in its conclusions as it was completed in 1988, the year before the Wall came down, at which time Hungary was in the midst of "goulash capitalism."

Posted by
74 posts

Fred, thanks for the added info on that book.

James, I had already booked that hotel in Szombathely when I saw your suggestions! Also, a couple in other, smaller villages that are simple, authentic places. We’re definitely not snobs!

Thanks to all for the suggestions everyone...even the tank talk 😉

Posted by
74 posts

HK...though we booked accommodations already, I will note the restaurant you recommended. I’m very familiar with Hungarian dishes passed down from my grandmother so it will be interesting to compare recipes! Thanks.

Posted by
10983 posts

Yet, these very poor people who had suffered in so many ways during
WW2, under the Russians, in ‘56, were kind, loving & extremely
generous.

I know I am biased, but one of the things that connects me Hungary is the amazing quality of the people; another is a culture very similar to the best of that in the U.S. when I was young. It was a little like "going home" on my very first visit.

Posted by
6543 posts

I had a college economics professor that left Budapest in 1956, as he was Hungary's Minister of Finance.
We went with him the Summer of 1970 to Summer School at the University of Innsbruck.
I remember him bringing his mother and sister over from Hungary during our visit. And they had a very peasant look about them.