Adventure Teravel-Veszprem, Hungary 2013, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Coat of arms of Hungary

Coat of arms of Hungary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(The Veszprem Public Library, Home of The Steverson Book Collection, and The American Corner)

The University Town of Veszprem dates from the 11th Century. It is called “The City of Queens”. The first Hungarian King to become a Christian chose the name of Istvan (Stephen)as his Christian name.His first wife was Gizella. After the coronation of Gizella in Veszprem, all of the queens of Hungary have been crownedby the bishop of Veszprem.

(The original Library construction, dating from the 11th Century, after which it was destroyed and rebuilt several times.)

Veszprem has been destroyed and rebuilt many times since the 11th Century. Before the Turkish Invasions, rivalry between Ferdinand of Habsburg and Janos Szapolyai resulted in the first destruction. Later battles between the Austrian armies and the Turks caused the Viennese to bur the town down in 1702. Many old buildings such as the original public Library date from the late 18th and early 19th Century.

Sometimes it happens around this time of the year that the winds blow and snow falls and temperatures drop… There were notifications on the TV, radio, internet: everyone knew what was coming. Anyone starting off despite the news on the coming heavy snowfall, took the risk of being stranded. There are certain things that the politicians can not be blamed for, weather is one of them.

Hungary deployed tanks to reach thousands of motorists trapped in heavy snow on Friday as a sudden cold snap and high winds struck parts of the Balkans, Slovakia and Poland, leaving at least two people dead.

“The situation was most critical on the M1 motorway (linking Budapest and Vienna) where hundreds of cars were stranded in the snow, most of them for 18-20 hours now,” said Marton Hajdu, spokesman for the National Directorate for Disaster Management.

Reuters photographer traveling with a rescue convoy said high winds had caused snowdrifts on the motorway up to three feet high.

One Hungarian citizen, her English name is Sophie, said this “I just would like to tell the world…the Hungarian government does not help…they sent a warning text message to people’s cell phones…no signs of any kind of other help. Simple citizens help each other, supermarkets, restaurants, churches and schools opened their doors to help….and Austria! Hundreds of vehicles arrived to Hungary from Austria to remove the snow on the roads. And today is the anniversary of the revolution in 1848 that led to the Hungarian-Austrian (Habsburg) war….ironic isn’t it? Thank you Austria!!!”

Dennis was quick to disagree. He said “The habsburgs were rotten. Most austrians are anti hungarian, They did much bad to hungary during the habsburgs rule. My friends town was helped by the hun gov….. I think with your quick jump out at the hun gov shows you would do best living in the usa where they dont do much to help you during a storm, hurricane, etc. This girl is nothing but a whining communist. Hundreds of austrian vehicles….. lol, u liar.”

One of Sophie’s girl friends was quick to point out, “Zsofia is not telling the whole story her post is a real insult on the police, ambulance, and the army and utility crews who were out on the holiday and helped from the first minutes. Who are working hard after the crazy accidents what have caused by some reckless drivers on icy snowy roads blocking the highways. Hungarian people think they are too smart/clever and do not listen to anyone and do not care, too much freedom since fall of communism and cannot handle in good manner, just complains. Too much to learn, still need a couple decades. Good job Zsofia.”

However, later she pointed out that “Zsofia you must be kidding?You do not even know what are you writing about. You disrespect all the firemen, police, ambulance, army crews who are facing the worst challange of their profession and were out there from the first moment. Stop being smart and blame things on someone else. What about some of the crazy drivers who caused all the troubles not driving according to the weather, causing accidents and keep up thousands of others. No hundreds of vechicles arrived from Austria but they helped as they could, like Hungarians as they can if there is a problem like this. Calm down and if you write anything just try to stay close to the facts. How ironic, if we stay under Austrian or Russian rules this would never happen as this never happens in the USA just think about Sandy, Katrina. Government middle, left, right never going to satisfy everyone at the same time. Stop complaining and keep doing something for others and we will have a good society after 50-80 years of the fall of Communism. For this you do not need goverments or Austria to help. Thank you Zsofia! ”

I was enjoying this colloquy, and was quite attentive when Sophie responded with this,

I do not know where do you live and I do not know you, period. Have you heard of an online site called Facebook? have you seen all the posts of citizens who have seen the roads in the last two days, and who have been helping people who got stuck in the snow? I am talking about thousands of messages…offering shelter, food, and blankets? Interestingly, most of them have not seen any policeman helping out. Farmers help with their own vehicles….volunteers help removing the snow….and no, I did not disrespect the firemen, ambulance, and military…I know they are out there. Although they started helping yesterday afternoon…by that time hundreds of people were stuck on the roads for 12-18 hours. Are you living in Hungary? Have you received the government’s text message that suggested to stay in the car…and if you do not have gas anymore…find another car! Great advice!!!! I also would like to ask if you know anything about the current government? The fact that they ruined the Constitution…they arrest students sitting quietly with banners about the bad situation of the education system…and they call them bloody terrorists. Meanwhile, one of the protectors of the government is a murderer who spent 10 years in prison after he put a sack over his boss’s head and shot him…..This is not about the government wanting to satisfy everyone….And you know what? I do not live in Hungary anymore. Therefore, I am pretty objective and always examine both sides before sharing my opinion because I know how dramatic Hungarians can be when they are furious. As for the hundreds of vehicles from Austria….few snow plows, the Austrian Red Cross, and citizens…I could assume that was about at least a hundred…

Yesterday the prime minister announced that the police and other organizations saved everyone on the roads…..I am wondering why we still get help requests from rural parts of the country….

What a joke!!! reckless drivers blocking the roads :)))))))) Yes probably, the 3 meters snow and the wind had nothing to do with it. As I said, I do not know you….but I have pretty good guesses that I am not going to share because I am not disrespectful. Thank you for your opinion, and have a nice day!”

A fellow citizen came to Sophie’s rescue. He said “Do not defeat Zsofia’s comments! I live in the same country, in the West Hungary and I determinedly justify her statements as I heard the same things, the same ways of ordinary people struggled with snow. We’d scarcely had such a heavy blizzard before and the government was not at all prepared for that. We have got the text messages, but the most substantial milestone in assistance was when Austrians sent their Vehicles. They even said they could stay for a few days as they aren’t currently needed in Austria.

The things Zsofia stated about the government including education problem is not strictly related to this topic, but she’s right, so do not treat her in a humiliating way. I guess her opinion is partly based on her experience and thousands of would-be university students would agree with her.

I just wanted to say, Zsofia, you’re right and it was both a brave and a right idea to share your opinion!”

A more experienced Hungarian chimed in “With all due respect, since you no longer live there you are doing a bit of speculation just like everyone else on this thread is. You probably have never been subject to a weather event such as this one, but I have. And I can tell you with a degree of certainty that neither government, police, or any other form of aid can be everywhere at once. And the outlying rural areas in every country in world is always last on the pole.”

The Gizella Chapel wa discovered in the 18th Century when construction began on the Bishop’s Palace. It dates from the 13th Century.

Saint Michael’s Cathedral dates back to the 11th Century. Only the Gothic Crypt survives. Next door is the Gizella Museum. Adjoining the Museum is Saint Stephen’s Church, which belongs to the Franciscans.

If you walk to the end of the ramparts, you will come to “World’s End‘. From here, one can see as far as The Benedictine Hill and to the viaduct across the Red River. Statues of Saint Stephen and Queen Gizella are situated at World’s End.

( Statues of King Stephen 1st and Queen Gizella are situated at World’s End are covered to protect them from the severe weather.)

(Office of the Mayor of Veszprem, located before the approach to Heroes gate and the Old Town )

The entrance to Old Town is through “Heroes gate“. To the right of Heroes Gate is the old Fire Tower. Today it houses a Castle Museum. The top floor affords a beautiful and panoramic view of the City and Bakony Mountains.

Snow stranded people in cars, buses and trains through the night and conspired with strong winds to cut off dozens of towns and villages in Hungary.

At home, after shoveling snow all night, we were finally able to open the gate. The roads had not been plowed, so we were not going anywhere just yet.

(The statue of a child actor in front of the Pertofi Theater)

I love this stretch of roadway between Veszprem and Balaton Fured where Apos lives.

This is the view of Lake Balaton from Tihany just to the left of the Abbey Church. The modern church was built in the 18th Century. In the middle of the 11th Century, King Andras 1st founded the Benedictine Monastry at Tihany.  It was fortified in 1267 against invasion by the Turks. But it was finally destroyed by the Habsburgsin 1702.

Legyen kellemes napotok!

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