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Bonkers at the Border

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

13 Feb. Vienna - Budapest - Mukachevo

A speedy crossing through Hungary in one day takes me through the centre of Budapest allowing me a moment to glimpse the dramatic architecture alongside the Danube. A striking yellow theme accentuates the city's natural light enhancing its sunny disposition, but no time to stop now... https://www.budapestinfo.hu/

Out on a Limb

13 Feb. The Second Leg

With 2000 miles and the first leg of the Car-athon behind me, Travelintime’s ambitious search for matching venues continues into the edgy Carpathian leg and the eastern outpost of the Travelintime Car-athon.


No time for trepidation, more a case of fact-finding research, a little luck and plenty of determination!


Having expected major hold-ups, crossing the frontier into Ukraine only takes me one, if extremely frustrating, hour! Numerous visits back and forth to various kiosks in temperatures hovering below -12, impossible questioning by officials expecting gestures of gifts and implications that they won’t let me in unless... Then just when I’m thinking the game is over, they succumb without a word and raise the barrier.


A rashly made reservation at a prospective retreat in Mukachevo just 30 km from the border now seems feasible. The navigation sends me to a false location leaving me to think I’ve been hoodwinked ...again. But not so! A young couple walking their labradoodle contact the owner on my behalf and even keep me company until her arrival. Ten minutes pass by before Katerina's Range Rover pulls up. I follow her back to the Mukachevo retreat at breakneck speed before arriving onto a 2 km stretch of private driveway, where we continue through a winter wonderland before coming to halt at a gated entrance. No surprise AppleMaps couldn’t find it!


Having shown me to my apartment, Katerina vanishes only to reappear with an evening meal that includes a decanter of Premier Hennessy Cognac complete with brandy glass. In the morning a Ukraine breakfast with freshly ground coffee ...all complimentary. In fact my 2 bed apartment set me back £42.52 for the night including: said meal and cognac, a hot tub, large balcony with a cocktail bar, dining table and sofas, hi-spec equipped kitchen and dining, elegant bedroom with large tv and WiFi throughout.




The full extent of the retreat caters for 6 people in 2 high spec properties set in attractive gardens. Facilities are nothing short of impressive ...an indoor heated swimming pool, a high tech gym with big screen virtual cycling, billiards, sauna, double shower room, hot tub, wood burner, kitchen with Aga, BBQ and ...skis!



Finding hosts who go the extra mile and understand the meaning of customer satisfaction will be a key factor in our choice of partners, qualities that are in abundance here ...no surprise that Katerina’s exceptional hospitality and the agreeable pricing structure quickly secured this location as one of our event venues ...doubling her duties as chauffeur, clientele will appreciate her personable and professional disposition on arrival at Lviv airport.


14 Feb. Another Town Another Place. New and pristine major roads deceive any visiting driver that enter the underfunded villages at anything more than 5 mph ...onto their unmade roads full of humungous potholes! At the time of writing, road signs and traffic lights remain non-existent, but with so little traffic on the roads at this time. a quick passage towards Bukavel looks promising. Under the present government the country’s infrastructure is now improving, enabling visitors like myself access to previously unviable locations. English is also becoming prominent but I couldn’t be building bridges here without the support of two local friends assisting me over matters linguistic! Blog 6 coming soon. Register at travel-in-time.com


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