The sun hung bright in the blue sky as our group made its way up a dirt road with deep forest on one side and vineyards to the horizon on the other. The road was gradual and looped around and around and around as we made our way to the top.
Well before we reached our destination (the family-owned winery in Hungary’s Balaton Uplands where we’d have our lunch) hints of our meal reached our nostrils, pulling us ever more steadily to the top.
A vineyard feast
When we arrived, our hosts showed us to a row of tables and benches in the shade of ancient trees. Within moments, our new friends brought out course after course of Hungarian delicacies—with bottle after bottle of Hungarian wine as the perfect complement. The main course, a pile of pork hocks and freshly picked vegetables that had been roasting for hours in ovens set into the hillside, earned a collective “Wow!” as the heaped-high platters arrived in front of us.
Some of us took the Henry the VIII approach and gnawed at the hocks. Others used utensils and ate more delicately. All of us followed the advice of our hosts and simply threw the spent bones onto the ground—where the vintner’s massive mastiffs gnawed the remnants.
Snoring amidst the grapevines
By the time we’d savored the last of the desserts (note the “s”), we were full and slightly tipsy. As the same thought crossed each of our minds (“How are we going to get on our bikes after this?”) the vineyard team walked out with blankets piled high in their arms. Within moments, you could hear snoring from amidst the grapevines, as we napped our way to mid-afternoon.
Just another day in cycle tour paradise. And another bike tour memory made.