Thursday, November 29
The first amazing thing we saw today was the view from our room of the sunrise over Lake Balaton.
After this (and our breakfast of coffee and cold cuts), we went to Festetics Palace in Keszthely near Hévíz. This palace was built in 1745 and added on to continuously until 1945, when the family had to evacuate due to Soviet occupation after World War II. The Festetics family was important to Hungary because they used their power, influence, and money to make things better for the poor & underrepresented in Hungary. Christopher (1696-1768) founded a hospital, Paul III (1722-1782) created a school for the locals, and George I (1755-1819) opened a university for the public.
After this, we went to the carriage house, hunting museum, and a train museum.
We checked in to Hotel Spa Hévíz. The whole grounds smell a bit like sulfur due to the giant hot lake next to the hotel. The Hotel also pumps in the sulfuric waters to their basement spa. Dinner and breakfast were included in our stay. Tonight we had a mild halászlé, blackberry venison, chicken paprikash, and a welcome glass of sparkling wine. The local wines of this area, which were still about $2/ glass, were good quality Riesling and Cabernet Franc.
Lake Hévíz is a natural mineral-rich lake fed from a spring that is warmed by the volcanic activity below the earth. The water ranges from 71.6°F (22°C) to 100.4°F (38°C). There is a glass structure built above the water so that you don’t freeze when you are not in the water. More about the lake here.