31 May 2013

Walk around town
Churches and trains
Rain but no rain

D36posttown1Not a very interesting day today, we walked around town.  That’s about it.
In the morning, we made our way to the main square of town, and started looking for a decently priced coffee.  Hungary is a lot more expensive than I remember, and Debrecen is quite a fancy town.  We found a place though, in another square off to the side.

D42posttown3The city is fantastic in this way.  There are courtyards everywhere, some have gardens, some shops, and others fountains.  The town has spent a lot of time and money on making itself attractive, and the down town area is.  However if you scratch the surface, you find streets in dire need of repair with houses and suburbs abandoned in time (although there are a lot of restoration projects)

D39postdetail3From here we made our way to check out the cathedral, and onto the museums.  It was a bright and sunny day, in comparison to the gloomy downpour of yesterday, so we decided to do the museum later, and headed out to THE GREAT FOREST!  (Drum roll or thunder, take your pick).  This is called the green heart of the city.  It is full of pathways, statues and hotels.  Oh, and there is also a spa complex.  Hungary is nuts over their thermal spas.  Every town seems to have one at least nearby,and they all proclaim that theirs is the best.

D35postfrogStill, there is a nice pond here, with green grass, willow trees, reeds and a quaint wooden bridge.  Sitting in the sun, looking out over this is a nice break.  The frogs were going ballistic with all different kinds of croaking, and the small fish were jumping or happily playing fishy games.  One seemed to be a mass game of tag.  We went looking for frogs, but couldn’t find any until we decided to cross the bridge.  Looking over the side, you could see lots of them lounging around in the water.  Contently floating along or going for a bit of a swim.  There were even frogs on the lilly leaves!  I thought that only happened in books.  Although watching one try to climb onto a leaf shows why they don’t do it very often.

D41posttown2Walking back out the other side, we got a little lost in the suburbs.  Tall apartment blocks surrounding the place, with little parks and gardens in between.  Occasional sporting grounds, or shopping centres.  It is set up quite well.  However easy to lose your way.  Still, we made it back to down town.

Then we had to prepare for tomorrow.  It is time to leave Hungary and move on to Romania.  We just need to know how to do this.  Apparently the best way is by train, and we made our way over to the station, past churches getting ready for services (although we still peaked in) and down tree lined alleys.  D40poststatueIt is not too far from where we are staying at least.  At the station, we asked at the information desk.  Apparently that one was only for buses, and we were told to move on.  Finding the right information booth, we had a nice girl that confirmed our times for the train, but couldn’t tell us the price.  We would have to go to the ticket office for that.

The station does not have automated tickets, and is pretty popular.  There was only one line for international trains though.  (It seemed as if every counter was different towns)  So, waiting.  Waiting, and more waiting.  D38postdetail2It was a good thing that we decided to do this today.  If we turned up twenty minutes before the train,we would be in a spot of bother.  We managed to get our tickets, and although the woman spoke no English (It is Hungary!) she reiterated our destination a couple of times.  We have no idea on if this was just her making sure that is where we wanted to go, or disbelief that we did want to go there in the first place.  I suppose we will find out tomorrow.

D43posttreesAfter that ordeal, we went to check a few more churches. As we were walking we kept seeing signs.  It appears that there are ferrous-ovors out there in the streets.  Iron eating trees.  The sign depicts it well, with a tree taking a bite out of a truck.  At one point we were watching a truck park underneath a tree, and wanted to go up and warn him about these voracious trees.  Although we assume that he can tell the difference and these were just the normal types.  It would be a pity if he left for work in the morning, and only had half his vehicle left.

D37postdetailThe weather came back in, and it started raining.  At least we had had a good day.  We decided to get a few bits and pieces from the supermarket, as we did not want to get caught in any heavier rain.  Of course after we did this, and had dinner at the pension, being boring people, the weather cleared up,and we got to see blue sky before sunset!  Typical.  If we had gone out, it would have been raining sardines when we wanted to go back (water packed in so tightly it hurts when it hits you)

Not worried about that though, we had done so much walking that our feet are sore, and when we took our shoes of they continued on their own momentum for another few paces.



30 May 2013

Eger to Debrecen

We had to check out of our nice pension this morning, as we could not justify another night here.  After a goodbye chat with the hostess, or daughter of the people we were staying with, we grabbed our bags and headed to the station.

By the time we had made it as far as the main square, it had started raining.  It was pouring down by the time we reached the station.  Our bags were soaked, we were soaked, and despairing that spring would never put in a proper appearance.

At least we had read the bus timetable correctly and the bus appeared on time.  Loading our bags underneath, we bought our phenomenally expensive tickets and found a seat.  Even though the bus was fairly full, we could get a seat together this time.

Crossing the famous plains of Hungary

Crossing the famous plains of Hungary

The trip itself was not interesting.  The rain caused the windows to fog up, and when you wiped them clean, all you could see was fields.  Occasionally we hit the highway, but more often than not, as soon as we got on it, we were off it again to do stops in towns along the way.  Debrecen was only 140km away, but at the rate we were going it would take all day.
Finally we passed a sign letting us know that it was only another 6km to go.  Then we stopped.  There had been a car accident up ahead.  It must not have happened much before we got there, as there were only a few cars between us and it.  We still don’t know the story of what happened, but we had to wait for the ambulance to arrive, then the fire trucks, followed a long time later by the police.  It looked as if we were stuck there for the foreseeable future.
VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W
Eventually our driver gave us an option, we could stay here and wait, maybe for another two hours, or we could go another way that would add an hour to the trip, but possibly get us there faster.  We had no idea what was happening, but apparently people opted for the detour.  This took us on a nice scenic drive through the rain.  The country roads were being upgraded, and for long stretches were single lane, or waiting at stop lights to go on the single lane.  Still, we made it somewhere.  Here, we had a 20minute stop.  Hanging around outside we met a nice Hungarian guy that let us know what was happening, and we started talking.  He offered to help us find a place to stay in Debrecen, and called his girlfriend to do some research.

By the time we had arrived in town, she had sms’d back a pension for us.  The help didn’t stop there though, as he took us on a walk through the centre and to the pension itself.  This is above and beyond what we needed, and greatly appreciated.
After checkin we were not even allowed to buy him a drink.  He had to go meet his girlfriend, and whilst we appreciate this, we would have liked to sit down and have a chat.  We just hope that when he is traveling, strangers do the same for him.

Nothing else to say for today.  It started raining again when we went for a walk, so just a quick lap of the town square, and hopefully a better day tomorrow.


29 May 2013

Big cathedral Eger
bus to Egerszalok
Salt formations
Siesta? Siesto?

We have a plan for today.  Seriously.  No, stop laughing!  We want to see the salt formations at Egerszalok.
On our way to the bus station, we stopped into the cathedral.  Apparently this is the second largest in Hungary.  It is called the Basilica. That is all we know at the moment, there were no signs in English here, so its history is a great unknown.  EE38postchurchIt is impressive though,and again a mixture of sculpture and paint.  It was a day for the school kids to see town, and many of them were running around the basilica.  The painting was done in the 1950’s under communism, and represented their close connection with Rome, in a period that they could not openly worship.  In the ’90s there was another renovation, when people could come back to it as a normal congregation.EE39postchurch2

We looked at doing the city under the city tour, but it was only a tour of the Archbishops wine cellar.  This could have been impressive, as the Bishop would have seconded as much space as he could, and made sure it was always fully stocked, but still only looked form the photos as vaulted ceilings and if we were lucky, old sewers.

EE37postbusCatching the bus out to Egerszalok, where the salt is, we got off in town.  This was a mistake, although we didn’t know it yet.  Tourist info (Yes, the useless one back in town) had told us it was here.  Turns out it isn’t.  It is a couple of kilometres away. Signage out here is not the best either.  We did find one that pointed in a direction and said 2km.  Following that we left the town behind us.  More than 2km away, we came to a crossroad. No signs.  That’s helpful.  Maybe people only come here by instinct, or more likely GPS.  EE48postpanoWe flagged down a passing moped and asked for directions.  They knew what we were after when we showed them the photo, and pointed down a very small side road.  Thanking them, we set off again.  This was the right place.

Now, how to write our experience here?  It is a hard one.  The first thing you see is a big car park.  On the other side of this is a small spa complex.  This is the poor persons spa.  On the hill behind you is an old hotel, a large building constructed in a fairly traditional style.  Following the road, you see a great glass and concrete monstrosity on the hill in front, and then eventually you see a small patch of white.EE41postsalt3

This white is the salt deposits left behind from the mineral water that is flowing to the surface.  It comes from 400 metres underground, and is one of the most impressive natural features in Hungary.  Apparently there are only three in the world.

EE44postsalt2Getting closer, we found that the entire thing is fenced off by the spa/hotel complex.  This is unfortunate, but we went in to check if we could have a look around.  We could, but it would cost us a three hour ticket to the spa.  Saying we just wanted to look at the salt, we were told there was a path above it we could use, but not the spa side itself.  Helpful.  We walked all the way back to the car park, and up the other side.  Eventually we found the road mentioned, and walked up to the top.  Here there are all sorts of signs saying it is the property of the spa, and no trespassing.  Video cameras were set up and a big wooden fence line in place.  OK, so not the pleasant walk around a natural formation that we had expected.EE47postpano2

The first section is where the poor person’s spa pumps water down to their pools.  A bit of salt is being deposited around here, but it is not that appealing as all the pipes, parts of pipes, and other stuff left over everywhere.  IT was a mess.

EE45postsalt5The second section was a man made terraced pool. This is fairly new, and the salt has not built up on it much.  Not surprising, as they are not putting water over it.  This seems to be a recreation of a structure on the North island of New Zealand. The middle structure looks the most original.  There is a salt hill coming out and flowing down, but from our vantage point at the top, you cannot see much.  You can see however, the structure that has been put in place to direct the flow of water.  A pump is set up at the top to flood it with water.  It looks man made from up here as well.  It is the most impressive though, and we (hopefully) managed to get a few good photos of it.  Finally there is the last section. This is as manufactured as the first, but even less used.  There is another pipe here, that spurts out clumps of water every second or so, but not enough to make it flow down the artificial formation.EE42postsalt4

A bit further along there is a loud droning, and we joked that this is the building that is being used to house the pumps.  It does seem that the water is now being pumped up from underground.  EE46postsalt6This theory is born out by the fact that the water for the massive spa resort below it, is not using water from the formation, but getting it from underground.  We assume this has affected the natural flow, and now they have to pump up water for that as well.  If it was ever natural in the first place.

The whole thing was very disappointing to say the least, and with the effort to get here, we would not recommend it for anyone without their own car, and an interest in paying a fortune to sit in the 68 degree water pumped up from underground.  Many people do find this beneficial, and it is a great soother for gout or other joint ailments, but not for us.

EE43postsalt1Finding our way back to the closest bus stop, we did manage to catch a glimpse of a lizard and a small black snake, so it made the trip worthwhile!!
Back in town, we decided to find a pub to have a drink.  Walking into a promising one, we had someone inside say siesto.  Assuming that they were closed, we turned around and walked out.  Picking up a few supplies at a corner store, we were greeted with the same word.  This person was up and ready to serve us though, so we worked out that it was a greeting.  We can only assume what the person in the pub was thinking.  I said hello to these tourists, and they turned around and left?  Still, you have to learn some way…


28 May 2013

To Eger
Tourist info?
The Var

After checking out of our nice pension and another good breakfast, we went to catch the bus to Eger.  This is a town fairly close by with an impressive castle.
Our timing was with us,and we got to the bus within minutes of it leaving.  The ride out was long and not that interesting.  A few clumps of trees, hills in the distance and green fields.  The rain is helping something at least.  Our bus was a local one, and stopped everywhere.  It took us almost two hours to travel from Miskolc to Eger or about 60km.

E50postatatueIn Eger, we were let off at the main bus station.  It is up a small hill behind the Basilica.  We found a sign for tourist info, but it was only advertising the fact that there was one in town.  Dragging our bags down the hill, we found an info booth outside the front of the Basilica, but it was closed.  Although it proudly said it was open all day.  Giving up on tourist info, we thought we would be able to find a place ourselves.  There were signposts for hotels and pensions everywhere.  Picking a street at random, we started walking.  Lo & Behold, we found tourist info!

Going in, we asked if we could find a cheap place to stay.  Our helper could not get his head around this (If he didn’t speak English, we would understand, but every person in there thought they spoke English – And they do, compared to our Hungarian!!) and called in reinforcements.  This new lady asked us what we wanted.  A cheap hotel, pension, guest house, private, zimmer frei, or similar.  The phone rang.  Apparently she was the only one there qualified to answer the phone, and had to take it.  Leaving the others there twiddling their thumbs.  After this, she asked us again what we wanted.  Nope, she still didn’t get it.  So with a bit of exasperation and baby talk we got the point across.  We had to ask five times.  The response was to give us a booklet.  This did contain accommodation options, and we found some in our budget, yet we had no idea where they were.  Asking her about one, we were told it is near the hospital.  O.K.  That’s handy, of course I am here visiting a sick relative, so it would be good to be close by.  But, WHERE THE HELL IS THE HOSPITAL?  I am a tourist that has just arrived in the city.  I don’t know squat.  That is why I am at tourist info in the first place.  So, she then pulled out a map and marked it on there.  It was not too far.  Now we asked what there was to see or do in the area.  Look at the map.  These numbers you see?  They are points of interest.  No way, I have always wanted to know what those little numbers are for, and I even learnt that if I find the same number on the side of the paper, I might even get a description of what it is!  We pulled out the big guns, and said there is supposed to be a salt formation near by, and asked how we could get there.  A blank stare.  This is THE main attraction in the region.  Showing her a picture, she now knew what we wanted.  Egerszalok.  So how do we get there?  You go up this street, she said as she marked it on the map.  Can we catch a bus?  Yes.  From where?  The bus station.  OK, thanks, you have been very helpful.  Jeesh, it is easier to get blood from a stone than information from here.
After that wonderful first impression of the city, we made our way towards the pension.  It is a pretty town, and also very touristy.  Crossing the river, we made it to the hospital and found where we were staying.  The lady here is fantastic.  Very friendly, helpful and loves the town.  In a few minutes we were told what to see and do in the area, a bit of information overload in comparison to tourist info!  Dumping our bags we went to see our first attraction,  a minaret.  We had passed it on the way here, and it is back towards the town.  Apparently Eger has been held by the Ottomans occasionally in the past, and this is the most northern Turkish minaret.  When the Christians re-captured the city, they co-opted it into the local church and put a cross on the top, above the crescent (which at least they left).  It is sitting by itself now as the surrounding mosque/church has long since been demolished.  The legend goes that when they tried to pull down the minaret as well,  they used 40 oxen but nothing budged, so it must be important and kept it.

From the minaret, we could see the castle, and that was our next obvious destination.  Walking around the base of the walls, and up the other side to the entrance.  The ticket price is astronomical, so we opted for the no-frills ticket that allowed us to walk around the grounds, but didn’t include anything else.  No free education here.

E48postcastle2The castle itself is ruins.  Still, the outside fortifications are mainly intact, and the thick walls are a testament to how important the region was.  It was built to not be taken.  Double walls, kill zones, and then the gate.  We couldn’t look at the main gate, but it seemed to be concreted up from behind, and we continued up the walls to an alternative entrance.  Once inside, the first thing you see are the buildings.  These do not fit the style or character of the castle, but there they were.  Stalls were everywhere, but most of them were empty, with just one street open.
E47postcastle1We walked around a bit, but everything interesting was closed off, or came under the banner of education, and we hadn’t paid for it.  Honestly,it was a bit disappointing.  There were sections that would have been interesting to do (the dungeon, tunnels etc) but even with the other ticket we would not have been able to do them without hiring a guide as well.  We did sneak some information though, in 1552 Hungary won against the Turks.  This is a national historic moment, and still celebrated today. Even if 20 years later they lost.

Back down through the tourist streets, nice buildings and statues, we came to the Minorita church.  The outside is currently under renovation, with scaffolding up to its twin towers.  You can still go inside though.  It is simply stunning.  The ceiling is painted, and the alters on the side alternate between painted and marble.  We assume that the original ones had been destroyed and new ones painted to recreate what it looked like.  Everything was ornate and decorated, even the benches.
More wandering around town, past statues of great battles between Turks and Hungarians.  Cavalry battles remembered now by children scrambling all over them, and into the back streets.  Here the buildings are showing their age.  Some are still fine, and looked after, but many need a lot of attention and some are outright abandoned.

At some stage we visited the Rac Church.  It is a Serbian Orthodox church that is only used once a year now, they wanted to charge 400Ft to visit (and after you take photos, they sting you with another 300Ft!).  Out of principle, I object to churches demanding money.  I will donate, as I believe the buildings should be kept, but most religions are rich enough that they don’t need to charge admission.  Anna went in for a look around though.
Unfortunately on entering she found out that you have to then pay extra to take photo’s, so here is the one photo I was allowed to keep:
The church is a Serbian/Greek Orthodox church, but at the moment only does one service a year, when the priest comes over from near Budapest. For the rest of the time it is a museum, where all displays are in Hungarian and Russian only. Still the church is beautiful, great woodcarvings and a massive big chandelier.


27 May 2013

We celebrate One year of travel!
Diogyor Castle
Avas hill
W(h)ining and typing
A day trip out to Diogyor Castle. It is in Miskolc apparently, but you have to catch a tram to get out there.  We stopped by tourist info to start with, they were open today and fairly helpful about the town and region.
G56postview2The city is built in a valley and is very long but narrow.  The only tram line goes along this valley.  Going out to the castle is about 10-15km, but took about an hour.  After leaving the old down town area, we entered new town, scatterings of smaller houses nestled between ranks of large communist blocks.  When we get off the tram we are in another small town centre that has grown into Miskolc.


Still looking out for the region

Still looking out for the region

The Castle should be on a hill, and we have already caught glimpses of it along the way.  Taking a circulous route, we made it to the ticket office.  On getting out tickets we found out there was a guided tour every hour.  We had a bit of time to kill, so went for a small walk around the grounds.  Over the bridge and up to the first wall.  The moat has been turned into a garden.  Well manicured and looked after, but still just grass.  From the outside there are still four intact towers, and the walls are in decent shape.  Along the walls however there has not been the same care and attention, and the grass is long and wet.  Mostly due to all the rain there has been.  One thing that was completely out of place was the pizza oven set up at one side.
G44postfort2Making it back to the bridge for the tour, we join a large group of Hungarians and Russians, so off we set.  Against all expectations it was in English.  The only drawback was that we were at the back of a large crowd of noisy people that were not that interested in listening.  Our first stop was a small wax museum that is normally under lock and key.  Inside are a series of dioramas that depict daily life of the times.  Nobles, peasants and Royalty.  Important things of note, such as the gift to the city of Kosice of a coat of arms.  G45postfort3Weddings and hunting were also depicted.  On the back wall were a series of pictures depicting the King Sigismond I fighting the devil with the help of the clergy. Although cramped, it was well done and interesting, although now I am typing it up much later I could not tell you much more about it.
After that the tour was done.  We were pretty surprised at that, but apparently it was to just see the wax museum.  Still, we were now allowed to wander the castle at will.  There are also supposed to be a few different exhibitions inside.
G43postfort1Entering the castle, you can see that there is noting left inside except for the to were themselves.  Just a wide open space.  This is used occasionally for period re-enactment, but there is nothing here today, just a few chairs piled into a corner, and a stage.  The first tower was a bit of a let down.  The exhibition on the Royal mint was closed, so I still don’t know how they use the herb.

You wouldn't believe it was Italian!

You wouldn’t believe it was Italian!


The second was a bit better.  There was another re-enactment of siege weapons.  It was well done, and in the basement was all different armours and weapons.  The entire thing was very professional and there were even English explanations of the different things on display.
G49postvertpano1G50postvertpano2G51postvertpano3The last tower that was open took us all the way to the roof. From here there is a great view out over the town.  On the way up there was a brief history of castles in Hungary, from small fortifications to towers and eventually the 18th century palaces within the compounds.
G47postfort6Having had enough of the castle, we headed back to the main section of town for a walk through the graveyard.  There was a reason for this, although it alludes me now.  It was interesting and as we made our way up the hill there were still a number of older graves.  We exited it on the high side, and made our way up through a small winding cobblestone path past a few houses that in their time would have been quite nice, but now are falling into disuse and disintegrating. G42postgraveyard This was one of the paths up the hill to the radio tower.  We had been told to go and see it, and again there was a good view from up there.  I wouldn’t say it was a must see, but the concrete monstrosity was impressive.  Winding back down, we picked up a bottle of wine, and tried to update the blog.  Considering that this is written in Romania, you can see how good the wine was!


26 May 2013

Camera problems
Bloody taxis
Spending the night in a brothel in Miskolc

Walking Miskolc
Looking for hotel
lots of rain

I will keep it short and sweet today. We caught the train from Kosice to Miskolc.  That was easy enough.  We got on, found seats, as it was not a popular train.  We assumed as much by the fact that it runs at really annoying times, like early morning, or late afternoon only.

The trip was pleasant enough, and there was only a small stop at the border (no passport control or anything, just a wait to change drivers, conductors and similar) then onto Miskolc.  On arriving, there was nothing to indicate that this was the right station.  We asked people getting on, and they said it was the right place.  Grabbing our gear and hurrying to make sure we made it off.  The station itself is quite a nice building, but there is nothing here.  Nothing around, and town is about three kilometres away!  Who builds a railway station in the middle of nowhere?

I was praying hard today!

I was praying hard today!

Then we realised we had a problem.  In our rush to get off the train, Andrew had left the camera bag on the rack above the seats.  In a panic, we went to find someone, to let them know.  The security guards were no help.  They kept saying there was a train.  Yes, I know, my bag is still on it!  Eventually we found an information office.  Here the woman was very helpful.  Her English was OK, and when she worked out what was wrong, she called someone to get the conductor to have a look.  Drawing a diagram for us to mark where we were sitting.  After a suspenseful wait, nothing.  The bag was gone.  Explaining again that it was a small bag, she tried again.  This was a lot longer wait, as the conductor had his job to do first.  Still nothing.  This was crushing news.  After all the problems we had in Tanzania, Andrew left the camera on the train!  Giving up, we thanked the woman, but she said the conductor was doing a last sweep of the train.  This time it turned up.  Apparently it was in carriage three.  The diagram she drew only had two carriages.  When we boarded the train, we just got on the last one, and didn’t know how many were in front of us, so when we put our X on the picture, we didn’t know there were three carriages, and not two.  Still, the bag had turned up!
Now we just had to get it back.  The woman was closing up the info booth, as it was already long past her checkout time, but organised for it to come back on the next train for us.  IT would be left at security for us to pick up.  The only problem was that it wouldn’t arrive until 10pm.  A few hours away.  We took a walk around the area looking for a hotel, but as said before, there is nothing here.  At the Pub we asked some people, but only one person spoke German.  Anna found out that we would need to catch a bus or tram into the centre.  The man that helped us was a very friendly, intoxicated neo-nazi, complete with “Sieg Heil” and salute on us leaving!  What an unexpected welcome to Hungary.  So, we just had to hang around for a few hours.
The time came, and we got the camera back in one piece.  THANKYOU HUNGARIAN RAILWAYS!

No, Anna really, I have never been in a brothel before!  I just think that this is what they look like....

No, Anna really, I have never been in a brothel before! I just think that this is what they look like….

But we still don’t have a place to stay. Resorting to a taxi (I know! I know!), we got a lift into town and to a place to stay.  The taxi driver didn’t turn on the meter, which was a bad sign, and we set out.
Having no idea on where we were going, we were happy that he pulled up to a place that he knew, and got the owner out to meet us.  We negotiated a price, and paid the overpriced fare to the driver.  At least we had somewhere to spend the night.
It turns out that the place we were staying was an old brothel.  We assume by the decor anyway.  It was all pinks and reds with flowing sheets as the roof.  Not badly set up, and to get away from the whole renting by the hour idea they had hung up a series of finished jigsaw puzzles.

M26postdetailThe next morning we discovered we were just as far from the centre of town as the station, just a different direction.  Thanking our host, we set off to find it.
Past the park, graveyard and then we were on the back streets.  This was fine, as now we knew we were there.  Looking for tourist information, we canvassed the main street – twice.  Eventually finding it, only to discover it was closed.
M27posttown1Finding a place with Wifi, we had coffee and looked for somewhere to stay.  There was apparently places out near the university, so we went to the bus station to catch a bus out there.  A helpful person told us where to go to catch the bus, as it didn’t go bast the station itself, and we had to walk there.  At the bus stop, we hung around until all the other buses had gone past two or three times.  Apparently the Uni bus doesn’t work on  weekends either.

M28posttown2Giving up on that we just walked town until we found a place.  There was one down a side street that I had thought was closed before.  Turns out it was open.  A nice place and fairly cheep, especially as it is right down town.  After we checked in, it started drissling again.  We had been lucky that it had not rained on us properly on the hours in between.  Still, we had seen a fair portion of town.