The Weekly Smile: Rolling

I’ve been on holiday this week, and we took many trips to hike. Being in the forest, away from people feels great for both me and Mia. It was by chance that I chose this particular route for this sunny autumn day, I haven’t been in the neighbourhood, nor did anyone recommend it, but it was close enough and the distance seemed also doable. Little did I know what a gift it would give us.

It started as a normal hike, leaving the village on dusty roads – there were more trucks than usual but it’s the time of the year when heating starts so firewood is in higher demand. As a solo traveller, especially as a woman I always keep a close eye on my surroundings, and it took me a while to relax even after we left the road for a forest path.

The path soon led to another dirt road, no trucks though, only a cyclist on the full 3 kms, and soon it started to wind left and right, leading up to the hill. The top was lovely. It was a simple meadow, very green after the recent rain, even some flowers blooming. It was the embodiment of calm, and we spent a couple minutes to just take it all in. In retrospect, I wish we had rested there a little longer but the weather was threatening with rain, so we went on, hoping to finish before it started.

We entered a forest, and soon the sun came out again, and after some uneventful kilometres, we entered a fenced off area under special nature preservation rules. Mia had to be taken on leash as we are not supposed to leave the path here, but after so much running she didn’t mind. With the sun out, and cars safely outside of the fence, I completely relaxed. Here I was, walking with the most wonderful of soul as my companion, feasting my eyes on the last green bloom of the year, in the warmth of the sun, amongst the native animals who live here undisturbed, in peace, and I felt myself melting, becoming one with them.

One last climb, steep to the top of this hill, almost perfectly cone-shaped with a flat top. And there, I’m welcomed with a panorama I didn’t expect. From the far-away Alps, Tatra, to their nearest foothills, the valley of the Danube, then turning towards Budapest in the distance, forests and hills and valleys like waves, and my heart is so full, the feeling overflows with tears. I laugh out loud. I’m all alone, in the middle of all this beauty, laughing, the perfect happiness.

Hungary is such a beautiful place. Politics cast a dark shadow over it but when one leaves that behind and just looks at what’s real, it’s magic. Ancient. It pulls you in, embraces you – there is nothing dramatic about it, no rough cliffs, tall waves, everything is gentle, caring, loving. Every time I stop and live the moment, I’m reminded of a grandmother’s embrace. I’m safe, I’m accepted, I can fully be whoever I am – complete freedom. The feeling of home.

It’s strange, I’ve been running away from Hungary for many years, but the more time I spend discovering it, actually seeing it, the more I feel at home. There are two Hungarys: the political one full of hate and discrimination, and the natural one, the real one, the complete opposite. We just need to remember which is ours.


The Weekly Smile is a series managed by Trent and is meant to bring positivity into our everyday. This week he also posted about his dogs, check it out.

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