Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In Quest of the Jakab Hill Ruins

Norm: We knew they were there, but it took us three try's to actually find them after many hours and many miles of hiking. Probably the oldest ruins in Hungary, hidden in the forest on top of Jakab Hill. The early Iron Age people of South Transdanubia built a huge earthwork fortress that dates back to pre-Christ time, but lost its significance by the end of the Roman Conquest. Remnants of the earthworks can be seen in the above photo rising on either side of the trail. The clean lush forest floors that you see here are quite typical of the forests in the Pécs area.
The earth castle remained uninhabited for more than a thousand years until one of the first Hungarian Paulite monasteries was built within its confines in about 1225. The hermite monks lived and worshiped here till 1334 when they moved to the village below the cliff to escape the intrusion of marauders.
If the hermit-monks had built in the village in the first place, they would have saved us a heck of a climb up this hill. Our car is somewhere down there in the village. Regardless, it was a fantastic adventure and we never saw another single soul the entire time.

And what a view they had of any approaching intruders.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Tramp in the Woods

Heather: Pécs is built at the foot of the Mecsek Hills and there are some very lovely walking trails very close by. We have decided to take advantage of the spring weather and do our walking in the various nature reserves here. The floor of the forest here is covered with the beautiful green of an early plant called medve hagyma. It is an edible member of the onion family and is highly prized by local Hungarians. We saw many people out picking medve hagyma while we were walking. We even picked some ourselves. I gave most of it away but I did keep some to put in the rakott krumplie I made for district lunch.
I went for a tarmp in the woods and here he is! Norm up the creek as usual! This is in the Égervölgy or
valley of the alders. There are some magnificent old alders (and old elders) and beech trees in this valley.
The forest floor is carpeted with many different kinds of wild flowers along with the medve hagyma. I nearly dislocated my shoulder trying for a better picture of these lovely blue squill blossoms.
The Hungarians do a wonderful job of logging there forests. Here is a picture of a typical logging pile in a forest reserve. The loggers go throught the woods cutting selected trees by hand. The trees are cut off at ground level so the stumps are hardly noticable, cut into managable lengths, and then all the brush collected so there is no debris left on the forest floor. Except for random wood piles one would not know that there is  logging going on.
The end result is that we can see all the lovely spring frowers growing through last year's fallen leaves!
I could not resist taking pictures of every new varietly of flower I saw. These are primroses.
It is wonderful to see flowers growing wild that I have grown in my garden at home.
This is a close up of the hó virág that is in the header picture. I am going to plant a field of these at home!
Posted by PicasaThis is a patch of Grecian wind flower. There are places here that are covered with these lovely plants. My pictures just do not do them justice! So as you can tell, I am having a wonderful time strolling through the woods and collecting pictures. Yesterday Norm and I spent 3 hours walking up and down the hills. We were looking for famous ruins but we never found them! Next time!
Norm: Yes a pair of old relics looking for ruins. We enjoy our hikes in the woods, but we have to do it early in the morning before our brains figure out what we are doing. Especially enjoy the hills, if for no other reason than to just hear heavy breathing again.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Elders in Town

Our traditional welcome to the new Elders at our haunt The Tex Mex Etterem
Elder Weston (South Jordan Utah) is teamed up with Elder Nielson
And our new "Greenie" on the right Elder Payne (Hurricane Utah). Has been in Hungary a full week with trainer and District Leader Elder Clark.
By the looks of this picture, you'd think we were heavy drinkers.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Farewell Elder Bennion

We lost two great Elders this week. Elder Galland has been transfered to Tatabanya and Elder Bennion has completed his Mission. Sunday was a special day in Kaposvár with Austin's (Elder Bennion) parents in attendance. They both spoke with Austin translating. Pictured here with Elder's Rummler and Hansen.

And this is our dear Eva. Baptised a few months ago. Austin first made contact with her in Kaposvar but was transfered before the big day. Austin will always be that special Elder to her and the rest of us. God be with you Elder Bennion.
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Branch Talent Festival Pécs Hungary

I think we were all encouraged by the Boldogshag Lelni Koncert to dig under our bushel and let it all out. Koczka Zita on the flute. She does it so well.
Káposvar Elders where only too eager to help out. Here Elder Hansen belts one out for us.
And what a delight it was to have the Szabadkai sisters, Luca and Lea play a piano duet.
We had about ten wonderful artists perform. We had no idea Elder Rummler was such a suave crooner.
Then its always a hit to hear from our one and only Branch I could have sworn thats really Elvis himself.Posted by PicasaWhat a fun evening.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Promoting the concert on the main square. Elder Galland (poster boy), Elder Bennion (on the euc), Elder Clark (on the Guitar)

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Whould you believe....Frank Lloyd Weber.....sung by Sister Roderick in Magyarol

BOLDOGSÁGRA LELNI (Finding Happiness Concert)

What are the chances of having 2 beautiful talented young ladies such as this serving at the same time, in the same Mission. Jackie Bodily is an award winning concert pianist and Kimberly Roderick an accomplished singer. The are touring Hungary as part of their mission spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ through music.
This week we arranged for them to come for two performances, one in Kaposvar and the other in Pecs.
This photo was taken after the Pecs performance which was conducted in a very famous old building in Pecs called the Dominikánus Haz. Note the wall behind the stage. It is part of an old Roman Ruins. Elder Clark missed being in this photo, as you quessed it...he was busy in the back of the room doing missionary work.
After the performance we catch a quick snack at a very classy American Resturant.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Busójárás....Farewell to Winter

Norm: Mohács, about 36 km east of Pecs and next to the Croation border, boasts an annual spring festival of mythical origin of the Southern Slavs. The tradition features a folk custom celebrating the arrival of spring.
The Busójárás "Busó'-s" invade the town by crossing the Danube by boat from Mohács Island, then march through the town clanging their noisy rattles and bells.
Pages of the Busós dangle sacks filled with feathers, socks filled with sawdust and pouches of ashes. The throwing of ash on the unsuspected is a fertility magic right.
At the end of the festival, the bonfire (of old Christmas trees) on the main square is lit, and by dancing around it, the Busós bid farewell to winter.Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Battle of Mohács

Norm: The bones of Eighteen Thousand Soldiers and the Soul of the Hungarian Nation lie buried beneath this sod near Mohács. The battle is called the Battle of Mohács but it was fought several kilometers away at Sátorhely, where this Memorial Site is located.
Heather: On August 29th 1529 the Hungarian army of 18,000 led by King Louis II waited for the Turkish forces of Suleiman the Magnificent. Suleiman had arrived the day before after a long grueling march through swampy terrain with his army of 80 to 90,000. In a little over 2 hours the battle was over with 20 year old Louis II and his army dead on these fields. The dead were buried here by Dorottya Kanizsai the mistress of the castle of Siklós and her serfs in a common grave. The artistic wooden figures are tradtional Hungarian wooden crosses and Transylvanian headboards. There is a magnificent bronze gate at the entrance of the Site made with 28,000 rivits to represent the approximate number of soldiers killed that dreadful day. Unfortunately, the area around the gate was under construction and we could not get a good picture.

This fountain represents the nation of Hungary after that battle. The country was broken into three sections and lost its national independence from then until really just the late twentieth century. To the Hungarian soul "Mohács is the burial ground of our national greatness."
May better and greater things come to this wounded land and its heroic people.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Our Grandson in Peru

Elder Trevor Ricks is serving a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Peru Lima North Mission. He is currently assigned to the Zone Moyobamba in the Amazon Jungle and serves in a small 
village called Nueva Cajamarca. He is experiencing an adventure of a lifetime. It's kinda cool that our mission work parallels his at the same time but on opposite sides of the world.
Elder Ricks loves the work and shares with us some amazing experiences. The Amazon is his favorite area of his mission . Posted by Picasa