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7 august 2017, home alone

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Though my other half and kids remain in budapest, I am back from a week in switzerland, and a second by lake balaton in hungary. Britons may be shunning fortnights away, but I have to say a longer break (still shorter than the august ecb grande vacances) is something I hugely appreciate. Unusually this year, we did several musical highlights, including reliving my youth at paleo nyon, an impromptu night with manchester's own david gray and a double dip into the paloznak jazz picnic, where we saw kool and the gang and matt bianco, who were apparently massive in eastern europe back in the day. We made a lovely start in geneva before mosying around the lake and then breaking new ground for me with 3 nights in interlaken (unremarkable but surrounded by gorgeous water & mountains) 2 in lucerne (gorgeous, amazing bridge)and 1 in zurich (lots to do, but 2 days enough). Mountains featured too of course, including eye-wateringly expensive trains up them, though in fairness the swiss have made an industry of building astounding complexes on top: saleve was our hors d'oeuvres, followed by the amazing la diablerets and then biggest of all jungfrau, where 3500 metres up are things james bondesque lifts flying up 8 floors of shops, restaurants, an ice-palace, a rope-bridge stringing peaks together and an unbelievable bob-sleigh ride. We drove a lot too, through gorgeous scenery, which I love, and managed tennis, spa and a chocolate workshop before jumping on board the night train from the swiss financial capital to our by-now regular hungarian campsite in balatonalmadi. In what has become my intense reading window of the year, I got through the excellent sapiens, the light disobedience, and about half of hugh young's monumental this blessed plot, aided by three hours on budapest's runway waiting for the summer storm to move far away from the airport enough for the them to refuel us, the spectacular lighting marking the end of a heatwave period even by hungarian summer standards, the mercury hitting 39/102. It was also raining when we touched down in manchester at 3am...