Saturday, 22 June 2019

Lake Bohinj, Ukanc and their surroundings (Slovenia)

Hi Sign Hunters,

A few weeks ago, we travelled to Ukanc, which is a tiny settlement at the southwest end of Lake Bohinj (Bohinjsko jezero). According to Wikipedia, in 2002, it only had a total population of 41, and the situation has probably not changed much over the decades. There are definitely more tourist visiting this place than people who actually live there full time.

The area is one of Slovenia's most famous landmarks that is located in the country's only national park (Triglavski Narodni Park). We pitched up our tent there at Zlatorog campsite and then we did a light 14-km-walk along the western shores of the lake and up to the 60-m-tall Sava waterfalls (Slap Savica).

We also walked past the Austro-Hungarian cemetery, which is also in Ukanc, near the former Isonzo front of the First World War. It is a shame that we did not stop there, but at least we have a certain reason to return one day.

Slap Savica is another one of Slovenia's iconic landmarks and there should be an image of it in most tourist guides and brochures. However, Ukanc is a great location when you want to do the famous track up to Triglav (2,864 m), which is the highest peak in Slovenia and the trail involves the Triglav Lakes Valley (Dolina Triglavskih jezer) where there are ten (not seven) beautiful lakes, or take the cable car up to the top of Vogel (1,922 m) and enjoy a fantastic panorama over Bohinj and Triglav

Our trip was only a short visit, but we will return one day and take more photos. Another day, I will also share my photos with you that I took in 2006 on a university field trip. One day, because those photos need scanning, but now enjoy a mixture of my photos taken during this visit with both my photo camera and my phone. Enjoy!

~ Laszlo #thesignhunters

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© All photos were taken by Laszlo Bokor (2019). The Sign Hunters, all rights reserved.

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Friday, 21 June 2019

The neighbourhood where I grew up: 65 'Váci Mihály utca', Szombathely (Hungary)

Hi there folks,

On the 30th March this year, I published a blog called 'The place where I was born: Szombathely' (Click here to see the post) when I also promised that I would make this blog entry an on-going project. I did not lie, because now I am back in Hungary and I have started taking more and more photos to keep my word credible. But this time I have also gone a bit more specific and decided to set my focus on the area where I grew up. So, I also thought that I would make this a separate blog post.

We have not always lived in Sorokpolány. We bought the house here in 2010. The previous 23 years were defined by living in a ten-storey house.

We moved to the 'Derkovits' neighbourhood (named after Gyula Derkovits, a Szombathely-born Hungarian painter and graphic artist) when in 1986 my mother bought a flat on Váci Mihály utca (Mihály Váci Street) in a typical Hungarian multi-storey house, in a typical Hungarian residential area (lakótelep). In Hungarian, this type of building is called 'panel' because they were built like a Lego building, from pre-built/manufactured concrete blocks or panels. The flats in these blockhouses were usually 55 square metres and could normally come in two different layouts either flats with two or three rooms. We lived in a two-room apartment which had a separate kitchen, a bathroom and a toilet. Growing up in this house was not bad at all. I would never move back to a flat in a multi-storey building though, but still, I grew up there, lived there an overall 23 years, and I cannot say too much bad about it. I had a great childhood!

We lived in no. 65. Together with no. 63, the two formed one tower with two stairways. Under each number, there were ten plus one storeys and 44 flats. Our building was unique in the area as this block was the only one around where the balconies had blue glass panels installed. When asked, we always said: 'the house with the blue balconies'. This is where we lived. But, as you can imagine, it has also not always been as bright yellow as it is now. The insulation and recolouring was done only about ten years ago. Prior to that, the entire building was just 'concrete colour' - I included a few photos of it in the previous blog entry (check it out).  

I am at home again, spending sufficient time in Szombathely, and I have returned to this place once again. I only had one hour, I just wanted to take some photos of the building and its surroundings including other iconic multi-storey buildings of the neighbourhood, the local shop, the forest and my primary school. 

I have, however, suddenly started feeling that I should go back and document it more 'deeply', more precisely in more details, so this blog entry at this stage now is certainly not complete. I will come back to this topic with new photos and, maybe, some more added information. Wait and see... Have a look where I grew up!   

~ Laszlo #thesignhunters

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© All photos were taken by Laszlo Bokor (2019). The Sign Hunters, all rights reserved.

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