The Hungarian Maldives

We had a plan. Three stops, culminating with the hard-to-imagine Hungarian Maldives. Having never been to the Maldives, I had little to work with. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what this would look like. We met in Tata, a lovely town in Hungary’s northwest, in Komárom-Esztergom county. Lake Öreg dominates the place and the picturesque mid-fourteenth-century Tata Castle is a building of note. Once the summer resort of King Mátyás, it was burned by the Habsburgs and later renovated by the Esterházy family. They had a far reach with either lots of money or an extended family (or both) because it seems that no matter where you go in Hungary, you’ll find an Esterházy house.

After a leisurely (and surprisingly good) lunch at Korzó, we headed for Majk to see the monastery. Sadly, the monastery at Majk was closed to all but those holding vaccination cards. I’d been before, back in 2012, and the place has certainly been spruced up since then. The gardens and the lake are looking well.

I snapped a photo of a photo of an aerial view of the monks quarters and once again marvelled at the notion of rich people paying for prayers.


And then it was off to the Hungarian Maldives, aka the floating village in Bokod.

The lake, Erőműi tó, is an artificial one, created in the 1930s as a cooling system for the Bánhida II power plant which was in operation until 2004. Till then, the lake was a warm-water lake but since the power plant is no longer working, the water is now cold and stocked with fish (carp, amur, pike, perch, catfish, mali, black bass, bream, crab, compo, busa, small dwarf catfish). The floating houses look like fishing houses and some are available to rent.

I was all for it but it would be a tad surreal to wake up and take a coffee on the deck with a powerplant as an inspiring view.

The reviews are mixed. Some say it’s not worth the journey. I say it is. It’s quite surreal. Another world. One worth seeing.

We overnighted in the fab Bodzaház Apartman in the middle of the village of Tarján, two fully equipped apartments in the one house with its very own deer farm in the back yard. We cooked over an open fire and enjoyed the deceptively rural retreat. Lovely. Simply lovely.




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